Classic Nickelodeon Shows part 1: The Nicktoons

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_utpn85k5ndo/S38v5P_J4bI/AAAAAAAAAJw/mw1r8Sd4oxE/s1600/flashbacklogo.jpgThe other day, while on 20 Something Bloggers, I came across a discussion about "classic" Nickelodeon shows and it dawned on me that that would make for a great Flashback Friday post. Since there's so many great, classic Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching in the 90s, I thought it would be best to break up into a 3 part series - the Nicktoons, the game shows, and the original programming.

Anyone remember Nickelodeon's original Sunday Morning lineup with the 3 original Nicktoons?

We had Doug, followed by Rugrats and then Ren and Stimpy. I remember as a kid procrastinating Sunday mornings when it came time to get ready for church because I wanted to watch the Nicktoons. Sometimes we would tape them, other times I'd catch them on the afternoon reruns or marathons.

In Doug, we followed the adventures of Doug Funny and his pet dog and sidekick Porkchop as Doug's family moves to the town of Bluffington. Joining Doug and Porkchop, are Doug's best friend Skeeter, his crush Patty Mayonnaise and her friend rich Bebe Bloom, and the school bully Roger. I believe Doug was supposed to be in Junior High. He also had an alter ego named Quailman, who wore his underwear outside his brown shorts with a belt around his head like a headband. Doug and his friends were also huge fans of the Killer Tofu rockband The Beets. While Doug's family were more background characters, his older beatnik sister Judy did occasionally help out her younger brother. Doug lasted for several years in the early 90s on Nickelodeon until Disney made a version of the show for their ABC Saturday morning lineup (which many have cited as not being nearly as good as the original).

http://gordonandthewhale.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/rugrats.gifRugrats followed the adventures of baby Tommy Pickles, his pre-school aged cousin (and spoiled brat) Angelica, and his baby friends Chuckie and twins Phil and Lil - later on they were joined by pre-school aged neighbor Susie (who would frequently butt heads with Angelica), Tommy's newborn baby brother Dil, and Chuckie's stepsister Kimmie. Rounding out the cast were the kids respective parents (Tommy's parents inventor Stu and his wife DiDi; Chuckie's anal-retentive widowed father Chaz; Angelica's workaholic mother Charlotte and clueless father Drew; and Phil and Lil's feminist athlete mother Betty with quiet father Howard); the Pickle's family dog Spike and of course Tommy's live-in grandpa Lou. Throughout the years the babies had quite the adventures, like the time Tommy was out shopping with grandpa and got mistaken for a rich baby and was kidnapped, only to have the kidnappers return him after a few hours because his curious antics drove them nuts; or the time Angelica thought she really was a princesses and that her "real" father - a king - was finally coming to get her, so she stows away with her doll Cynthia in the Plummer King's truck, thinking he's the king; or the time when Phil and Lil switched clothes to confuse their parents. The kids also loved a t-rex dinosaur named Reptar and had to have everything Reptar-related. There's a reason this show was on the air for so long, spawning several theatrical movies as well as an All Grown Up special and spin-off series taking place 10 years after the original series. The show had a certain magic to it - kids loved it due to the antics and adventures the kids got into, while adults loved it because it reminded them of when their kids were little.

Rounding out the Sunday Morning lineup of Nicktoons was Ren and Stimpy, which followed the adventures of chihuahua Ren and his fat cat pal Stimpy. Clearly, Ren was the brains of their antics, as Stimpy was pretty naive and sometimes stupid. While the show did have some memorable moments (like Log, from Blam-O), and in the first episode we were introduced to the 2, showing how they were orphaned and left to live alone on the streets before finding each, but as the series progressed, it delved quite a bit into gross-out animated antics with a lot of "bathroom" humor - of course the kids loved it, mothers loathed it and dad's being dad's thought it was pretty funny. In 2003, Ren and Stimpy was brought back to television, this time on SpikeTV as part of a late-night block, but it was a more mature version of the show brought to us by the original creator (who was fired by Nickelodeon during the 2nd season of the original series run) and only lasted for 9 episodes (several of which were originally banned by Nickelodeon during the original run). Despite some of the grosser episodes, Ren and Stimpy, like The Simpsons, has been called one the pioneers for adult cartoons, paving the way for the adult cartoons shows we have today.

*Fun Fact - What do 2 of these original Nicktoons have in common with Futurama?

Billy West! That's right, the voice of Stephen J. Fry is also the voice of Doug Funny and his nemesis Roger, as well as the voice of Stimpy and later Ren.

With the success of these 3 original Nicktoons, Nickelodeon decided to add more Nicktoons to the channel throughout the years, with the next one being the cult classic Rocko's Modern Life.

http://a5.vox.com/6a00cd970d30ae4cd500fa968deaa50003-320piIn Rocko's Modern Life, we follow the adventures of a bachelor Australian wallaby named Rocko and his cute little dog named Spunky who live in O-Town. We also regularly see his best friend the steer named Heffer, a geeky neurotic turtle named Filburt, Rocko's next door neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Bighead. A few memorable episodes include one focused on garbage day, as Rocko hears the garbage truck coming up the street and tries to gather up all his trash, only to have the neighborhood bull dog Earl in his way of getting it out to the curb - Spunky also finds a nasty slime in the fridge and proceeds to play with it, as it sticks to nearly everything. The humor in the show was similar to that of Ren and Stimpy, as it did some have some gross out moments, but compared to Ren and Stimpy it was a lot more tame! Despite only lasting 4 seasons, this is another one that became a cult classic.

http://i46.tinypic.com/118du1t.jpgAnother early Nicktoon was the Aaahh! Real Monsters. In this series, we follow the adventures of 3 young monsters - Ickis who is a reddish-purple creature who often gets mistaken as a bunny rabbit by the children he tries to scare; Oblina who is a black and white stripped female upper-class monster with big lips - one of her memorable scare tactics is disguising herself as an umbrella handle; and Krumm, a fleshtone monster with a big mouth whose eyes are carried by 2 human-like hands, he is also known to wreak of stench. The 3 monsters all attend a monster-like academy with other students and are taught by the unpleasant headmaster Gromble. Each episode followed our 3 main characters as they tried to carry out their scare assignments for the week in order to appease Gromble, although they did on occasion have other adventures as well. Like Rugrats, there was a planned movie for this series, however it was canceled when the proposed script was deemed too disturbing for kids. Like Rocko's Modern Life, this one too lasted for 4 seasons.

Stay tuned next week, for our 2nd installment of Flashback Friday to Classic Nickelodeon shows, taking a look at some classic Nick game shows!


  1. mmm i remember them all - rocko was so cool and my boyfriend is convinced the opening is a condensed version of real life - please tell me you are talking about hey dude in your next installment :)

  2. Not the next installment, but the one after that =)

    Next week is a look back at some of the game shows Nickelodeon aired and then the week after will be original programming - that one's gonna take a bit longer to type up cuz there's such a great bunch of original Nickelodeon shows to mention =)

    So stay tuned!!

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