Thursday, August 25, 2011

TV I Love: 90s Nick Edition

Before I begin, I just want to say...this is my 100th blog post!

|*|*|*|*|*|*|*|*SELF-THROWN CONFETTI!|*|*|*|*|*|*|*|*|*

Which begs the question...what on earth have I been blathering about for 100 posts?! Oh...I know. Stuff like this:

How ill was 90s Nickelodeon, y'all? It was da bomb diggity. Hopefully, with the success of its "The 90s Are All That" block, Nick realizes this.

I watched a lot of Nickelodeon growing up. Doug, Rugrats, Wild & Crazy Kids, Double Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple...I could go on and on. But I won't. Instead, allow me to wax poetic about two of my favorite all-time shows.

Clarissa Explains It All
 Clarissa was, without a doubt, the coolest. Yes, she was blond and pretty but the show didn't dwell on that at all. Instead it focused on how she was an oddball, an individualist, and the owner of a crocodile named Elvis. Her relationship with her little brother Ferguson was hilarious. Her relationship with best friend Sam was beyond sweet.

One of my favorite episodes was about how Clarissa was totally annoyed with a poetry assignment courtesy of her English teacher, who seemed to like only poems about rainbows and daffodils. Instead of doing it, she came up with a computer program that created random "poems" based on keywords (you can guess what she put in: yup, rainbows and daffodils). Of course, her teacher ended up loving the ensuing poem, leading Clarissa to feelings of guilt...

Sophomore year of film school, I took a Comedy Writing class. My teacher's name was Mollie Fermaglich and we hit it off right from the start. It was at some point in the middle of the semester that I found out: Mollie was on the writing staff of Clarissa!! To say I was starstruck is a bit of an understatement. But I never forgot that feeling, meeting someone who was creatively responsible for one of my favorite childhood pastimes. It would be amazing if I ever found myself on the flip side of that a few years from now.

Salute Your Shorts

I never went to summer camp (and I always wish I had)...but this show was the next best thing. I loved the theme song, the fact that they called their counselor Ug (short for "Ug" Lee, his last name), and I had a major crush on Michael, the blond kid who was only around for the first season. You know who else was awesome? Danny Cooksey, the fabulous actor who played Budnick.

My favorite episode was about how Budnick and Michael--sworn enemies--ended up being stuck  together in the sick ward, thinking they could get into the tonsillitis stash of ice cream. Meanwhile, the stash ends up being locked up and the rest of the kids end up going off on some desirable escapade. By necessity, Danny and Michael bond (excellent character backstory work here). And even put a puzzle together...BACKSIDE UP. (I can't tell you how badly I've always wanted to do this, but the sheer magnitude of the undertaking scares me).

I remember reaching a point where I knew I had seen every single episode of Salute Your Shorts (multiple times) and that there wouldn't be any new ones for me to watch. That was a sad day. In other news, doing research for this blog post has lead me to find out that the actor who played Pinsky (Michael's Season 2 replacement) ended up forming the band Rilo Kiley. Crazy!

Holla at me. Weren't the 90s Nick shows hella cool?


  1. Heck yes, they were. I can't imagine picking a favorite of mine, as in a way, they're all indelibly grouped together in my head. And the shows from the 1980s as well - why do I still, after all these years, have the theme song to Pinwheel stuck in my head?? Not that it's a bad thing...

  2. Remember the Clarissa episode where she and Ferguson found they had superpowers if they stared at each other really creepily? My sister and I still do that creepy stare at each other from time to time. Love how it's stayed in our minds all these years! (We also say "The Beets! Jackets!" Anyone? Anyone?)

  3. I also loved Clarissa - what a great show. Can't believe you got to meet/learn from a writer for the show. - way cool.

  4. Stacy, the Beets! YES! I loved 'Doug' and I remember being upset when the show moved to ABC and Doug's voiceover artist changed.

    Graig, the thing I remember most about 'Pinwheel' is thinking it was a 4-5 hour long show. Seriously, that show never seemed to end. Imagine my surprise when I later discovered the show was a half-hour long. Still to this day, I don't know how that's possible.

    Bill, way cool is exactly right! :-)

  5. Clarissa was my FAVORITE!!! And I have to reluctantly admit that I was also a massive Hey Dude fan...such a bad show, but I looooved it! And I always wanted to be on Double Dare or Legends of the Hidden Temple! Salute Your Shorts was definitely one of my favorite theme songs ever. So many fantastic shows! I think we were super lucky to grow up watching them.

  6. I have been LOVING the 90s redux on TeenNick (which I already watch a lot of because of Degrassi, but that's neither here nor there). It's funny because I loved Clarissa SO much and now can't stand Melissa Joan Hart in any other show. I've been recording and watching the reruns and still really love it - I think it's so clever and STILL seems unique.

    I watched all the shows you mentioned, but especially Salute Your Shorts and Hey Dude. And I realllllly hope they bring back Adventures of Pete & Pete soon (along with all the others) because I felt like I never "got" that show as a kid but that I'd love it now. Weird, right? Can you tell I'm obsessed with all of this? Sheesh.

  7. Jenny, I liked 'Hey Dude' too, though not quite as much as the others. Do you remember 'Welcome Freshman?' I always lump those two with 'Salute Your Shorts' (maybe they were aired in a block?)

    Brandy, I TOTALLY agree with your assessment of 'Pete and Pete.' I always felt like I was missing something when I watched it as a kid, but I'm almost positive I'd love it now.

  8. Oh my word I loved all of these shows and I don't have Teen Nick!!! Note to self: get a better tv service provider when we move!

    Did you know that they have a couple of seasons of these shows available on itunes now? I bought seasons 1 and 2 of Doug. Can't wait to watch them!!

  9. "Clarissa" and "Hey, Dude" were so much fun. I would've been giddy to meet a writer from "Clarissa", too.

    And now, a shocking confession: I've never seen, or even heard of, "Salute Your Shorts." Are we still friends???

  10. Nice, Taylor! You'll have to write about whether they hold up.

    Sarah, I...don't know what to say. I never thought this day would come!

  11. Nice post... that brings back some memories.

  12. I was all about Hey Dude!? That was my absolute favorite. Well, besides Clarissa.

    They were BOTH my favorite.