...and Schmitty's Toons! was never the same. This short marks the first appearance of Nero, the falling whale and staple running gag in my shorts. He typically is the signal of the end for my characters and often appears with no rhyme or reason. The character was inspired by my friend Ric, whose online screen name at the time was RenoSix. He introduced me to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which features a chapter about a falling whale and a bowl of petunias. The idea to drop a whale on my characters from then on as a running gag came about and I name him "Nero," which is an anagram for "Reno."