|~ Filbert's catchphrase.|
|~ One of Filburt's catchphrase.|
Filburt Shellbach is a fictional character, an anthropomorphic turtle, and the tritagonist of the animated television series Rocko's Modern Life and the comic book series of the same name. In the Australian website of the television show his name is sometimes spelled as Filbert and sometimes as Filburt. In the comic book his name is spelled Filbert. On Murray's website and in the episodes "Born to Spawn" and "Uniform Behavior" his name is spelled as Filburt. In the episodes "Born to Spawn" and "Fortune Cookie" he is referred to as "Mr. Filbert Turtle".
Whenever Filburt feels uncomfortable or disturbed he is known to say, "I'm nauseous! I'm nauseous!". He also occasionally says, "Oh boy" and "Oh fishsticks." He also popularized the phrase "Turn the page, wash your hands."
Filburt becomes age 21 in the episode "Born to Spawn."
Joe Murray, the creator of the show, originally intended for Filburt to be a secondary character used to "add texture" to Rocko and Heffer Wolfe. Lawrence, also functioning as a director on the show, sculpted Filburt into a main character befriending Rocko and Heffer.
Murray auditioned Lawrence in a large casting call in Los Angeles and chose him as the voice actor for Filburt. Murray stated that he did not expect for Lawrence's "east coast nasal to be so perfect for Filburt."
Martin Olson, a writer, described the decision when Nickelodeon gave the "okay" for the marriage of Filburt and Paula Hutchinson as one of the most memorable moments of the production. Olson said that the executives at first did not like the idea; linear character development did not exist in Nicktoons. Murray convinced the executives to allow for the marriage to occur.
Filburt, described on the Australian website as "nerdy" and "neurotic," bears many phobias. Filburt, a former "genius," "babe magnet," and "star athlete," became ruined by a case of "unrequited love." The Nickelodeon South East Asia website states "think of Woody Allen when you think of Filburt."
His birth place is Kerplop-it-goes Island (named after the Galápagos Islands); on his 21st birthday, as dictated by nature, he is required to go back to the island for a period of time.
Filburt and Dr. Paula Hutchison have four children, Gilbert, Shellbert, Norbert, and Missy who all came from the same egg. Gilbert and Shellbert look exactly like Filburt while Missy is a miniature version of Hutchison. Norbert, on the other hand, has Filburt's eyes but oddly resembles Heffer, who took on the job of "egg-sitting" (literally, sitting on the egg to keep it warm) for Filburt when they realized Filburt's rear was too hard for the task. Norbert also often thinks that Rocko is his father. Filburt actually holds the record number of jobs on the series: nine. These include a cashier at a grocery store (Rocko's Happy Sack), cashier at Kind-of-A-Lot-O-Comics (Power Trip), license checker at the Department O' Motor Vehicles (Skid Marks), film runner at the GooglePlex Cinemas (Popcorn Pandemonium), lounge singer (The Lounge Singer), Christmas tree salesman (Rocko's Modern Christmas), photographer (Hair Licked), cook at Stuff on a Stick (Pranksters), and a food sample carrier (Put out to Pasture). In one episode, it is shown that when between jobs, Filburt apparently supports himself by recycling an enormous collection of empty cans in his trailer at the Patch-O-Heaven Trailer Park; this prompted Rocko to comment, "So this is why he never works." According to geneal records of him, he is 44% Dutch, 43% French, and 13% German.
In the comic book Filbert does not meet Hutch; instead in the first story in Issue#7 he meets a female turtle named Cindy at a comic book convention.
A running gag in the series is how multiple, mundane things give Filbert nausea. This is always followed with Filbert repetitively saying, "I'm nauseous, I'm nauseous, I'm nauseous...". At the end of the episode "Sailing the Seven Zzz's", while in a sub, we hear Filbert about to say it, only to hear Rocko and Heffer say "You're nauseous", at which point he says "Right" and vomits.
- In addition to being a parody of Woody Allen, Filburt also clearly comes across as being an extremely blatant stereotype caricature of Jews due to numerous traits/features of his that very much include but are not quite limited to his ludicrously thick "Jewish Nerd" accent, his downright irrational fear of germs and social interaction, the way in which he counts his potato chips like coins at one point in the episode "Put Out To Pasture", his comically massive nose, and his obsession with quite literally hiding in his shell.
- His "Mr. Cheese" character in the episode/show "Wacky Delly" constantly calls itself "the best character on the show", presumably as a reference to the fact that Filburt himself is voiced by one of the writers of Rocko's Modern Life (Doug Lawrence, who would later become the voice actor for Plankton in SpongeBob SquarePants) and has many of said show's best lines.
- The only banned Rocko's Modern Life episode where he serves as the main antagonist was Filburt the Murderer, where he downright became an emotionally unstable mass murderer as he got such a thrill killing almost 2,300 people in O-Town that he couldn't resist going back for more. This happened after he blew up the Cine-O-Plex theater, presumably killing everyone inside, and got away with it in With Friends Like These.