Heffer Wolfe (né Steer) is a main character of Rocko's Modern Life. He is a steer (male bovine) in his mid-20s. His name is a pun on the word "heifer" (a female cow that has never had a calf).
Best friend with Rocko Rama and Filburt Turtle, Heffer was raised by wolves in O-Town, as seen by his family name, who originally were going to eat him, and thus began to fatten him up. Eventually, the family grew to love Heffer, so they instead raised him like a son, not letting him know that he was adopted until Rocko accidentally revealed the truth when the Wolfe family invited him for dinner. The mark which Heffer believed to be a "birthmark" on his butt is actually the plotting lines showing where the wolves were going to divide him.
Gags and Personality
Besides eating a lot, Heffer being called a cow is another running gag. Most characters would call him a "cow", then either his father or himself would correct them by calling Heffer a steer. Heffer prefers watching TV over reading. The Nickelodeon UK page describes Heffer's personality as a "devoted friend" who "loves life." Heffer's lack of fear mostly stems from stupidity instead of genuine bravery. The Nickelodeon South East Asia website describes Heffer's personality as an "overgrown slob."
Heffer holds several jobs: tree farmer, a groundskeeper at a golf course, mail carrier, security guard, waiter at a café, and cashier. Despite being obese, he can drive; unlike Rocko, he does not wear seatbelts. This, in fact, caused severe damage to his father's car when he was driving to the store, and decided not to put the seat belt on because he was too big for its maximum length, and when a Chokey Chicken restaurant was being torn down a few hundred yards ahead of him, the plastic Chicken mascot came bouncing down the road and headed Heffer's way. He successfully stopped and avoided collision. However, his massive size along with the momentum of the sudden deceleration caused him to plow right through the front of the car. Despite his size, he can be very nimble at times, most notably when he is roller-skating. At the local skating rink, he is known as "The King," and performs his own skating routine at the request of the patrons. It is revealed in an episode that Heffer's biological father is still alive with a girl cow named Joyce living in a trailer in the Canoga Park section of the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, United States. However, Heffer's father seems to have very little patience for his son, even to the point of dropping the short-tempered bombshell that "your mother's a car seat in Illinois." Heffer is lazy and immature. In later episodes, he becomes loudmouthed.
Heffer is mostly colored yellow with an orange snout. He has green-yellow spiked hair and wears blue suspenders with red pants.
Behind the scenes
Conception and Early Development
Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life, partially based Heffer on an adopted friend who enjoyed bologna sandwiches and "had an interesting take on life." Heffer first appeared on an ID spot aired on MTV in 1989; the ID spot depicts Heffer as flying out of a television with the MTV logo branded on his buttocks.
Murray originally wrote "A Sucker for the Suck-O-Matic" as the pilot episode; the executives decided that Heffer would be "a little too weird for test audiences." Murray, instead of removing Heffer from A A Sucker for the Suck-O-Matic, decided to write "Trash-O-Madness", an episode without Heffer, as the pilot episode. Originally Murray did not include any information about Heffer's origins in his pitch to Nickelodeon. Vince Calandra wrote the Heffer's origin plotline in season one.
Murray auditioned Kenny in a large casting call in Los Angeles and chose him as the voice actor for Heffer. Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, a storyboard writer, says that Heffer's right eye and left nostril are "notched at the bottom" due to Murray's design style. Marsh added that the animators found keeping the sides straight "a little tricky at first" and that they referred to the design as "Tombstone-shaped."
Heffer is voiced by Tom Kenny.
- "CALZONE!" "FLAT CALZONE!"
- "That was a hoot!"
- "The more I eat, the more weight I get to loose."
- "Is your mom still hospital-ised?"
- "Phone home! Heffer phone home.."
- "SEA MONKEYS!!!!... That was hard."
- "That...was one rude frog."
- "Well I guess this is goodbye. Just remember the problems of two people don't amount to a [???] in this wacky world, but at least we'll always have the barn."
- "Rocko, living here has allowed me to explore new facets of my personality. I am a nudist."
- "Rocko! That's it! The answer to all your problems! Plastic! You can charge now and pay later! "
- [While arguing with Filburt] "I had one french fry left. Did I share it with Rocko? No cause I could tell he wasn't hungry."
- "WACKY DELLY, Ya WACKY DELLY ya. Sandwiches are good"
- In the final episode of Cartoon Network's Camp Lazlo (a show also produced by Murray), "Lumpus' Last Stand", it's revealed that Lumpus, who had served as scoutmaster of the camp for the duration of the show, was revealed to be an imposter, with the supposed true scoutmaster was an elderly steer. Said steer vaguely resembles Heffer and is also voiced by Tom Kenny.
- This was revealed to be an intentional, albeit legally distinct reference to Heffer, itself originally suggested by Tom Kenny. And although there are rumors Heffer was intended to make an actual appearance, it would likely have been too difficult or costly to license an appearance in a competing network's show.
- He appears in the mobile game Nickelodeon Pixel Town (only available in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines), where the player can get him by merging Chuckie from Rugrats and Carl from Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius in the memory center.
- Tom Kenny would later use Heffer's voice in the Spongebob episode The Chaperone where he voices the long, tan, and handsome anchovy.