Nickelodeon Shows Airing When I Worked for Nick
I was a Nick Online producer from 1996-1998, when many of you were no doubt watching as kids. One of my last memories before leaving was hearing about an upcoming new cartoon about a sponge who wore pants. Naturally, we thought it sounded stupid and wouldn't last long. How many of these shows do you remember?
- •RugratsUntil that happy-go-lucky Sponge came around, these babies ruled the Nickelodeon kingdom.
- •CatDogI don't know how it pooped either.
- •Space CasesThe cheap production value of this show about interstellar stowaways made Dr. Who look like Game of Thrones. Still, it was nice to see an attempt at sci-fi.
- •AAAHH!!! Real MonstersFinally, a specific creative premise, not just mutant creatures in Wackyville . I made a groovy Nick game based on this for AOL. At the time, there were no major websites, only AOL, Prodigy, and Compuserve.
- •Kenan & KelWho wants orange soda? I saw a live taping in Orlando -- so fun. Fun fact: Kel won a Cable Ace award for this role, which is a much bigger deal than a Kids Choice Award.
- •Hey Arnold!Besides good storytelling, this cartoon had more heart than the others, and I think kids recognized that.
- •The Adventures of Pete & PeteWicked clever, zany, and funny, this was a favorite show among Nick staffers. Way ahead of its time.
- •Stick StickleyHe set the standard for popsicle stick heroes. Proved that the simplest things can be the funniest.
- •All ThatFrankly, I never watched it. Strictly for kids. Remember, I was 26.
- •The Secret World of Alex MackThe show I wish I saw more of.
- •The Mystery Files of Shelby WooThe show I wish I saw less of. No offense, Ghost of Pat Morita.
- •KaBlam!What if we let animators do whatever the hell they wanted? KaBlam! Fun, but it needed focus. About a decade later, Word Girl nailed this category of satirical animated ridiculousness... and it was educational!
- •Figure It OutThis game show existed mostly to give former Nick stars something to do. I think I had a crush on Summer Sanders.
- •Are You Afraid of the Dark?Never saw much of it, but certainly admired it. More horror please! I always produced our online Halloween specials.
- •Cousin SkeeterQuestion: Can it really be an offensive stereotype if it's just a puppet? Answer: Yes.
- •The Angry BeaversI don't remember much about this toon except that they were no Ren & Stimpy, and that I used them to make an interesting trivia game.
- •The Wild ThornberrysDuring my time, this was probably the show execs were most excited about. They thought test audiences of girls would identify with -- and thus connect most with -- the geeky, braces-wearing, earnest Eliza, but the girls mostly wanted to be the blonde materialistic, sarcastic older sister Debbie, proving that most kids don't want to watch kids like them; they want to watch kids they fantasize being.
- •The Journey of Allen StrangeBig E.T.-derivative idea that never quite took off. Maybe the beginning of the end for hour-long dramas.