Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nickelodeon Nostalgia, Part 2

Since I wrote last week about old-school live-action Nickelodeon shows, friends have brought to my attention individual shows that I somehow forgot to mention. I was just going to let it go, but when I realized how many shows there were I decided to do a second post to remedy my error. So, here’s more live-action Nickelodeon nostalgia:

All That! - The other sketch comedy show I watched on Nickelodeon (in addition to Roundhouse). I watched this from the original pilot (to my knowledge, only aired once) up to the beginning of the second era, which was just awful. The show produced a number of spin-offs, such as the sitcom Keenan & Kel, the film Good Burger, and the multi-format animation KaBlam! It also launched the spin-offs The Nick Cannon Show, The Amanda Show and Zoey 101 and led to Drake & Josh and iCarly, but I think All That! can be forgiven for those.

Keenan & Kel - A sitcom staring Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell as two best friends who lived next door to each other. Keenan was a schemer who worked at a small grocery store, and Kel was dimwitted and clumsy and usually went along with Keenan’s schemes. He also loved orange soda. The show was the first spin-off from All That! and the only live-action television spin-off that I actually enjoyed.

Clarissa Explains It All - Melissa Joan Hart (who later played Sabrina on Sabrina The Teenage Witch) stars as Clarissa Darling. The show was about her day to day life and how she dealt with it. She also had an annoying younger brother named Ferguson, a best friend named Sam who always climbed in through the window, and, for a short time, a pet alligator that she kept in a wading pool. I don’t remember much beyond that.

Are You Afraid Of The Dark - I’m upset with myself for forgetting the rest of the shows on this list, but I’m really kicking myself about this one. I loved this show. The premise was simple. A group of teens (“The Midnight Society”) gathered around a a campfire to tell scary stories. Each week, a different member would tell the story, with the whole episode consisting of the story and the bookend segments around the campfire. Several stories involved the recurring character Sardo (every time he was involved, someone would call him “Mr. Sardo,” prompting him to repeat his memorable line, “That’s SarDO, no Mr, accent on the DO”). Each episode began with some talking between the group members, then one would throw some kinda power substance on the fire to introduce the story. At the end, the leader of the group would declare the meeting over and dump a bucket of water on the fire. If my memory serves me right, the first episode, “The Tale Of The Twisted Claw,” (which can be viewed on Youtube, or at least it was there when I watched it back in October) was shown as the pilot around Halloween, then the show didn’t start again for another year or two.

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo - An Asian-American girl named Shelby Woo solved mysteries. Pat “Mr. Miyagi” Morita co-starred. I don’t remember much beyond that, but seriously, that should be enough to let you know it was a great show.

Nickelodeon also showed modernized or Americanized versions of two shows, both of which I watched a lot:

Land Of The Lost - Sid and Marty Kroft’s remake of their own earlier show, Land Of The Lost followed a man and his two kids after they fall through a time portal and end up in the age of the dinosaurs, where they befriend a baby dinosaur, some kind of sentient monkey thing, and a girl named Christa who fell through earlier.

The Tomorrow People - Forget what I said about Alex Mack, this might have actually been the first sci-fi I watched. An Americanized version of a British show from the 70’s, The Tomorrow People followed a group of teens who discover they are part of the next stage of human evolution, Homo superior, also known as “Tomorrow People.” Using their psychic abilities (specifically, telekinesis, telepathy and teleportation) they attempt to hide from the authorities that are looking for them. What I remember most from the show (it aired before I was even 10, I sadly don’t remember much other than how awesome it was) is that in the opening story arc, an Australian character named Adam does this cool “Now you see me, now you do” thing with the teleportation while explaining what’s going on to another character.


  1. What was that show about how fast food and candy are made?

  2. Are you talking about Unwrapped? It was hosted by Marc Summers, who was a staple of 90's Nickelodeon, but it was on Food Network.

  3. Wasn't Marc a staple of the 80's Nickelodeon? His career was winding down by mid-90s.

    Reading these nostalgia posts though is making me think of almost every show I used to watch as a kid... I sorta hate you for that because now I want to watch them again, and that'll just ruin my childhood when I realize how bad they hold up to time.

  4. Wikipedia says Double Dare ran from 1986 to 1993. What Would You Do? ran from 1991 to 1993. And Marc Summers' Mystery Magical Special (possibly my favorite Halloween special ever) originally aired in 1986, but ran every year for several years after that. So yeah, I guess he was a staple of late 80's/early 90's Nickelodeon.