r.i.p. nickelodeon


Since I recently moved into my uncle’s house near my old hometown of Philly, I’ve been reminiscing about the good old days of Nickelodeon television. My uncle’s 8-year-old daughter has introduced me to what the kids are watching on Nick these days. On TeenNick you have the annoyingly dramatic show Degrassi, the mildly funny Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, and What I Like about You featuring the former All That star (a show from my time) Amanda Bines.

As far as Nicktoons go, we’ve got shows like Avitar, El Tigre, My Life as a Teenage Robot and the only one that I’m semi impressed by, Fairly Odd Parents. Now, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older, but I just can’t appreciate any of these shows. It seems like the quality of Nickelodeon story lines, jokes and even animation has significantly dwindled since about 1992ish.

Are they getting lazy over at Nickelodeon studios? Robotically spewing out these thoughtless, rushed, half-baked, passionless abominations that they call television programs?

And let’s not forget about the removal of Nickelodeon Studios from Universal Studios down in Orlando (where they used to produce Double Dare). No more Slime geyser! Sacrilege!

And the Rugrats grew up? I’m not sure if that one is true -- maybe it was just an appalling nightmare I had once.

Since I’ve been mourning for the good old days of Nick, I decided to assemble a Top 5 list of my favorite, classic Nick shows. A small commemoration, and a reminder to myself (and fans like me) that once upon a time Nickelodeon was the shit.

5. Are You Afraid of the Dark?

“Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story…”

Boom! A handful of potassium nitrate into the fire nestled in the Canadian woods, and the show began. The pilot episode, “The Tale of the Twisted Claw,” aired in 1991 and episodes ran until 1996 on SNICK. It was a scary show, but not too scary for family TV. Many of the tales told by the teenagers were adaptations of short stories, fairytales and urban legends, lending to the show’s awesomeness. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any episodes of Degrassi that are W.W. Jacobs adaptations. Burn.

4. All That

Debuting on December 24, 1994 on SNICK, this sketch comedy show ran for 10 seasons before it was cancelled. All That included musical performances, celebrity guest appearances and was really, really funny—like the SNL for kids.

3. Rugrats

Chuckie, Phil and Lil, Angelica and of course Tommy Pickles made up our favorite Rugrat gang. Truly a classic (airing for 14 years!), Rugrats was the longest running Nickelodeon cartoon.

2. Salute Your Shorts

“Camp Anawanna, we hold you in our hearts. And when we think about you…". It only aired from 1991-1992 but there were reruns until 1998. Salute was based on the 1986 book: Salute Your Shorts: Life at Summer Camp by Steve Slavkin. I’ll never forget this amazing show. Remember the “Zeke the Plumber” episode? Ug Lee! Ug Lee!

1. Doug

“Doo doo doo do do do doo doo do do do!” Thank you Jim Jinkins for creating this classic 90’s cartoon. I’m not talking about Disney’s Doug either. I’m talking about the original, 1991, Nickelodeon Doug, when he’s just moving into Bluffington in the first episode. Once the show went over to Disney the animation got all…weird. Doug was a staple after school cartoon. The concept for the show came from the book Doug Got a New Pair of Shoes (never published, who knew?) written by Joe Aaron.

The Beets (yay):

It pained me to exclude shows like Rocko’s Modern Life (1993), The Adventures of Pete and Pete (1993), Roundhouse, Ren and Stimpy (1996), KaBlam (1996), Hey Dude (1989) and of course game shows like Double Dare, Global Guts, Legends of the Hidden Temple, What Would You Do? etc. etc.

They’re all amazing shows in their own way, but Nickelodeon game shows alone deserve their own “Top 5” list (and they’ll get one). And Paul Brandenburg (fellow “old school nick shows” fan) and I decided that these were the 5 that we couldn’t live without. (Thank you Paul, even though I know your personal list would be a Top 6 with Legends of the Hidden Temple as #1, and Kirk Fogg would win for hottest game show host…).

It is true! Nickelodeon shows and Nicktoons didn’t always make me want to gouge my eyes out! In fact… they were enjoyable and there will never be anything quite like them.


  1. First, Are You Afraid Of The Dark scared the shit out of me as a kid especially in the opening scene when they showed a dummy...shudder. Also, wasn't a giant fan of Rugrats although I watched it all the time as a kid, couldn't stop. Salute Your Shorts was banging!

  2. It is true Rug Rats have grown up!! Guess they ran out of ideas for the original show.

    You missed shows like, Sabrina, Keanan and Kel, saved by the bell, too! Ah the Memories!

    Rob (robjweaver.blogspot.com)

  3. Saved by the bell? A nickelodeon show? I think not.

  4. Correct lyrics from "Salute your Shorts"- "Camp anawanna, we hold you in our hearts, and when we think about you it makes me wanna fart". Get it right or pay the price!!

    Who can forget Clarissa Explains it All and your fave, Legends of the Hidden Temple?

    I miss SNICK!! RIP Nickalodeon and the television of our youth.

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