Childhood Favorites: The Nickelodeon Edition

"Welcome To Good Burger...Home Of The Good Burger...Can I Take Your Order?"

If, after reading that quote, you either A) said something like "Oh man! I remember Kenan and Kel! They were hilarious!" or B) said something like "The Good Burger movie sucked!" then you're probably in my age group...And you probably spent a lot of your tween years watching the various programming options on Nickelodeon (although I don't think we were referred to as "tweens" back then. I think we were simply referred to as "eleven" or "twelve".) Or maybe you didn't watch Nickelodeon because you had a life when you were 11 or 12. But I certainly didn't. Having acne and braces doesn't really land you any dates to the Junior High Sadie Hawkins Dance. But we'll discuss my painfully awkward adolescent years some other time...For now, let's re-live the Nickelodeon lineup of our childhood:

"Hey Dude." This was a show about a bunch of teenagers working at a dude ranch. The ranch was owned by Mr. Ernst, and his son Buddy was around, too. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Ernst bought the ranch to get away from his job as an accountant, and Buddy was pissed at the change of scenery. Who knew this show had so much back story? Anyway, from what I can remember, this show's basic formula was as follows: One of the employees gets themselves into a "pickle," (I think it was usually Ted. He was kind of a menace, from what I remember) and they spend the majority of the episode trying to get out of it, with everything getting wrapped up nicely by the time the half hour was over. Oh yeah, and this show had a sweet theme song. I'm pretty sure it both began and ended with some guy saying "Heeeeyyyyy Duuuuuuddde." I couldn't find the theme song on YouTube, but I did find this.

"Salute Your Shorts." This show was kind of the same deal as "Hey Dude," but instead of kids causing trouble at dude ranch, they were causing trouble at summer camp. The only characters I really remember are Donkey Lips and Budnick. They were always up to no good. There was also "Ug," who was the adult figure on the show. And who could forget the rediculous theme song at the beginning of the show? "Camp Anawana...We hold you in our hearts...And when we think about you...It makes me wanna fart!" Hah! Potty humor is fun! This is the best clip I could find of the intro. Ignore the random dude that seems to pop up every 30 seconds or so.

"Clarissa Explains It All." Ah, Clarissa Darling. Girls wanted to be you...Guys wanted to be with you (but only to hold hands...This was a show for kids, after all). This show was basically about the various happenings in the life of Clarissa. In the show, she breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience, hence the part in the title about "explaining it all." She has a pest of a brother named Ferguson, and a best friend named Sam who always entered her room via a ladder (how edgy!).

"All That." This was a sketch comedy show - kind of like SNL for teens. It launched the careers of people like Amanda Bynes, Jamie Lynn Spears, and Nick Cannon...Who went on to do things like star in the remake of "Hairspray," get pregnant, and marry Mariah Carey. It was also where we first met Kenan and Kel - the greatest buddy comedy duo since...Um...No one. I didn't find them funny at all. However, apparently someone thought they were funny...Because they got their own spin-off show (cleverly titled "Kenan and Kel" - to which Coolio sang the theme song. Side note: Coolio randomly made an appearance a house party when I was attending UCLA...I wasn't there, but my friend told me about it the next day. I have no idea why I decided to share this with you). And I'll admit that I actually saw "Good Burger" in the theater. I'll blame it on having a younger sister. Did you miss the movie? Here's a taste. You can now see Kenan on the actual SNL...Yelling at all of us to "FIX IT!"

"The Adventures of Pete and Pete." Honestly, I still don't know if I get this show - even today. It featured two brothers with the same name, a man known as the "strongest man in the world" who waltzed around in spandex, a band playing on the front lawn in the opening credits (the band is Polaris), and everything was shot with weird camera angles. And why on earth did little Pete have a tatto of a lady on his arm? Here's a fun fact for Cubs fans: In the show, Pete and Pete's Mom has a metal plate in her head which can pick up commentary from Cubs' games.




Ok, let's move on to some game shows, shall we?

"Guts." Do do do do ya have it? GUTS! This show featured contestants competing in various American Gladiator-type events, and at the end, everyone got to climb the giant mountain known as the "Aggro Crag." The winner took home a piece of the Aggro Crag, and probably some kind of mountain bike prize pack. When I was a kid, I wrote a letter to the people at Nickelodeon complaining that I thought host Mike O'Malley was a sexist because he never interviewed the female contestants as much as the male contestants. I also noted that I thought he should be nicer to referee Mo. Why don't I have that kind of motivation now?

"Double Dare." Oh come on...I couldn't not mention Double Dare! Who knew that trivia questions and slime could go so well together? And let's not forget the various versions of Double Dare - like Family Double Dare and Super Sloppy Double Dare. Good stuff.




"Legends of the Hidden Temple."
I don't remember too much about this game show - except that there were various challenges involved, and the teams were named after colors and animals...Like "Green Monkeys."

And finally, my favorite show of all...

"Doug." Who didn't love this show about the everyday lives of cartoon adolescents? Characters included Doug, Skeeter, Porkchop, Roger, and Doug's love interest - Patti Mayonnaise. I remember that everyone in the show loved a band called "The Beets," and their big hit was "Killer Tofu." And there was also "Quailman" - the superhero invented by Doug that involved wearing your underwear outside of your pants and a belt on your head. I think they tried to re-do the cartoon a few years ago, but it sucked because no one's voice was the same.

I'll close with this fitting tribute to the Nickelodeon shows we loved - performed by some young men at the University of Michigan. Rock on, boys...

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