In 2 days, many of Nickelodeon’s finest shows of the past will be turning 25 years old. To celebrate this milestone, we decided to take a look back at the best shows in Nickelodeon’s slime-filled adolescence focused catalog. As such, this week’s edition of TVEnthusiast’s Top 10 Tuesday is exploring Nickelodeon classics. Beware of slime.
10. Clarissa Explains it All
Not only did Clarissa Explains it All start the career of Melissa Joan Hart, but it also laid the foundation that has been copied ad nauseam… Wait, then why am I including this? Oh yeah! Despite the bad imitations, Clarissa was actually a good show to watch as a kid growing up.
09. All That/Kenan & Kel
Though adults may look at kids doing a sketch comedy series as the ultimate cringe, when you are a kid yourself, a show like All That is YOUR Saturday Night Live. I am grouping this together with Kenan & Kel which spun off of All That because the content was very similar.
08. Salute Your Shorts
The ultimate kids show about summer camp aired in 1991, and featured a group of likable scared kids, a set of bullies, an unseen camp director, and a strict counselor who often became the butt of the jokes. Oh “Camp Anawanna, we hold you in our hearts. And when we think about you, It makes me wanna fart!”
The adventures of Douglas Funnie were ultra relate-able while often veering into the surreal. The series was filled with fantasy sequences as Doug’s overactive imagination took over. Doug even had a superhero alter ego named Quailman. The real strength of the series, though, was in Doug’s relationship with his dog Porkchop, his friendship with the ever-honking Skeeter, his semi-antagonist relationship with the school bully Roger, and his longing crush on Patti Mayonnaise. Everyone had a Patti Mayonnaise growing up, which is a big part of what made Doug so relate-able.
Avatar and The Legend of Korra were a bit after my time, but the series, which drew large inspiration from Japanese animation, is an undeniably influential and progressive cartoon series that is rare today for its adherence to respecting the intelligence of its viewers. It might not be up there with the best of Anime, but it certainly is with the best of cartoons inspired by anime, and perhaps the only Western developed set of shows to correctly emulate what makes Anime work.
05. Are You Afraid of the Dark
Before making a name for himself as a YA Author, DJ McHale created a magnificent spooky anthology series titled Are You Afraid of the Dark. Set around a fire, with a group of friends gathering to take turns telling scary stories, Are You Afraid of the Dark was able to tap into that part of the human psyche that loves horror movies, without alienating a younger audience. I remember watching the series every week with my family, and perhaps it played a part in my love for horror films later in life.
04. Double Dare
30+ year old men and women squealed with joy when they learned that Marc Summers was coming out of retirement to host Double Dare, live from Comic Con 2016. Double Dare embraced what it meant to be a kid. Look for a key in a giant snotty nose, dive through food, and go home soaked in slime. There was trivia too, but who cares about that, Double Dare was about getting messy. Frankly, I am amazed that it ever went off the air.
03. The Adventures of Pete & Pete
This story about 2 ginger brothers with the same name was just ludicrous, in the best of way. Big Pete is fairly normal, but his little brother has 2 tattoos , one of which has its own character, and reportedly “dances”. Little Pete idolizes a lanky superhero named Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, who mostly comes across as awkward and crazy before pulling off real feats of super powered strength. The series had a highly enviable cast, which included Steve Buscemi, and Iggy Pop, and had guest appearances which included LL Cool J, Alicia Keys, Frank Gifford, JK Simmons, and Micheal Stipe. It was a hip, clever, and batshit crazy family sitcom.
02. You Can’t Do That on Television
You Can’t Do That on Television was a Canadian series from 1979 which basically served as the basis of Nickelodeons entire identity as a network. Even the slime-ing that occured whenever a character said “I Don’t Know” was derived from this obscure sketch comedy series from America’s hat. Iconic segments of the sketch comedy series included Barth’s Burgers (a sketch that ended in vomit), a Firing Squad (yes, a firing squad), and jokes being told by characters leaning out of school lockers. You Can’t Do That on Television was classic, network defining, and all manner of weird.
01. The Ren & Stimpy Show
The top pick of this week’s edition of Top 10 Tuesday was the easiest choice I made. From the ultra-realistic gross-out gags, to the 1950s inspired awkwardness, to the many catchy jingles, The Ren and Stimpy Show goes far beyond the scope of its network as one of the most iconic and revolutionary animated series of all time. And endless line of ultra-iconic bits and pieces constructed the series about an obese Cat and a sickly skinny Chihuahua. Log, Powdered Toast Man, and an anthropomorphize horse who always ends up saying “No Sir, I don’t like it” when questioned about various ridiculous products are just some of the moments we will always remember from the classic and indominable The Ren and Stimpy Show.
Do you agree with this nostalgia bomb of a story? Do you not? Put away the pitchforks, and be heard, by posting in our comments. Stay tuned to TVEnthusiast, for more coverage of all of your favorite shows, past, present, and future.
And now, if you don’t mind… “Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy!”