Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
BY Kyle Murray, Class of 2012 and Michelle Chalen, Class of 2013 —
If you are an ‘80’s baby (someone born in the 1980’s), this list is for you! How many times have you caught yourself saying, “TV isn’t what it used to be”? Sometimes we feel like current Nickelodeon shows seems to be lacking the substance of 90’s classics (or maybe we just grew up). Either way, we felt it necessary to pay homage to the shows that have left us with a lifetime of memories. Here are our top 8 Nickelodeon shows of the ‘90’s.
Kenan and Kel
These teenagers were the dynamic duo of the decade. It was THE American teen comedy sitcom. Created by Kim Bass (creator of Sister, Sister) Kenan and Kel aired on Nickelodeon from July 1996 to the year 2000. Having got their start on another successful Nick show, All That, the two complimented each other so well, producers gave them a show of their own. The pair was a match made in comedy heaven. Taped in front of a live studio audience, the show follows two best friends, (Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell). Goofy and ever so clumsy Kel, usually got the duo into some form of trouble, and together they would figure out how to solve their problems, while having a lot of fun along the way.
The first animated Nick-toon, Doug first aired in 1991. Created by Jim Jinkins, the show had 53 episodes between 1991 and 1994 and syndicated until 1999. Here we follow the life of 11-year -old Doug Funnie struggling to find his place at a new school. He meets green faced Skeeter, who becomes his best pal, and crushes on Patti Mayonnaise. His alter ego Quail Man, which he writes about in his journal, is a means of escapism for Doug, possessing the traits he himself wishes he had. This show was a popular hit was easy for young kids to relate to. Many of us have encountered bullies at some point, or have struggled to deal with our confusing and complicated puppy love situations.
Arguably one of the most successful Nickelodeon shows ever, this animated program followed the adventures into the imaginative and creative minds of five babies: Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, Phil and Lil Deville and Tommy’s mean cousin Angelica. This show was the second animated show after “Doug”. Created by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, and Paul Germain, its first episode aired in 1991, lasting 14 seasons. The Rugrats crew would make a huge splash on the big screen as well with “Rugrats: The Movie” in 1998, grossing $140M. In 2003, a less successful Rugrats Go Wild was released, but still considerably a hit. Merchandise that was based on Rugrats varied from video games, toothpaste, Kelloggs’ cereal to slippers, making it one of Nickelodeon’s most successful and long lasting franchises.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
This was a show based on a group of kids who met in the woods and took turns telling creepy stories around a campfire. First aired in October of 1991, this show was the horror themed series of the 90’s. Many Nickelodeon watchers liked that this show was creepy, but usually finished positive by the end of the episode which always kept viewers coming back for more.
This sketch comedy show first aired in April 1994, and lasted 10 seasons. It was one of Nickelodeon’s first sketch comedy shows, with a Saturday Night Live style format, featuring a musical guest every week. With a variety of colorful and popular characters, this show would feature popular actors such as Amanda Bynes (The Amanda Show, What I Like About You, Easy A), Kenan Thompson (Kenan and Kel, Good Burger, Saturday Night Live) and Nick Cannon (Wild & Out, America’s Got Talent, Love Don’t Cost A Thing). After its 10th anniversary special in 2004, the show went on for its tenth and final season, bringing back former cast mates one last time.
The Adventures of Pete & Pete
The comedy-drama show featured two brothers, both named Pete Wrigley, and their various interactions with family, friends, and enemies. Starting off as minute long shorts in between regular programming in 1989, its popularity quickly grew. This prompted nickelodeon producers to create half hour specials which eventually became a series. Jason Ankeny of Allmusic called the series “the greatest children’s show ever,” while IGN called it “One of the most well-written kids shows ever.”
Legends of the Hidden Temple
This action adventure game-show took place in a Indiana Jones like temple where young people competed in physical challenges to receive a grand prize. First aired in 1993, the show was similar to GUTS, Double Dare, and Wild and Crazy Kids. Hosted by Kirk Frogg, and the Giant talking rock head “Olmec”, the show proved to be one of Nick’s most memorable programs.
Created by Craig Bartlett for Nickelodeon, the show focuses on a fourth grader named Arnold who lives with his grandparents. First aired in 1996, the show centers on his experiences navigating big city life while dealing with the problems he and his friends encounter, including urban legends. Hey Arnold: The Movie was released in 2002, making it one of the few animated Nick series to make it to the big screen. After 8 years and over one hundred episodes, the series ended in 2004.
So, there you have it, our brief recap of some of TV’s most memorable shows as a child growing up in the ‘90’s. These of course are our personal opinions, but feel free to comment with your some of your own personal favorites.