If you’re around my age, your memories of the 90s may well be filled with Nickelodeon. I look back on that era of TV with fondness. Years later, I still can’t think of beets without remembering that they’re “nature’s candy.”
Let’s take a little stroll through some memories. And if you didn’t watch these shows at the time, maybe you’d enjoy discovering them. These are just a few of my favorites from a long list of greats.
Rocko’s Modern Life (1993 – 1996)
Rocko is a wallaby who works in a comic shop. His best friends are Filburt, a nervous turtle, and Heffer, a cow who was adopted by wolves. Of course, we can’t forget Rocko’s beloved dog, Spunky. In one of the episodes I remember best, Rocko makes a video for his parents, but Heffer and Filburt secretly add embarrassing footage and send it to a film festival.
Doug (1991 – 1994)
Doug Funnie moves to a new town, Bluffington, where he meets friends who really love beets (the vegetable as well as a band by the same name.) His best friend is Skeeter Valentine, and his crush is Patti Mayonnaise. In one of my favorite episodes, Doug makes a karaoke video in which he sings about Patti, but panics when he realizes the tapes have been switched. In another episode, he agrees to dress up as a hamburger at local event, but doesn’t want his friends to know it’s him in the costume.
You can enjoy more animated memories with Nick’s Out of the Vault DVD series.
Clarissa Explains it All (1991 – 1994)
I can still picture Clarissa’s awesome bedroom, where her best friend, Sam, often appears by propping a ladder outside the window. Clarissa speaks directly to the audience frequently, sharing her thoughts on everything from an annoying brother to the computer games she designs. Although humorous, the show did tackle real issues. I remember an episode where Clarissa has to write a poem for school, but instead she programs her computer to do it. When the teacher loves her work, she has to find a way to come clean about cheating.
The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1991 – 1996)
Two brothers with the same name live in a town full of quirky characters, like Artie, the Strongest Man in the World. They’re often tormented by a series of bullies with nicknames like Paper Cut and Pit Stain. Another reoccurring character is an elusive ice cream vendor who never takes off his mascot costume.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991 – 1996)
Sitting around a camp fire in the woods, a group of teens swap spooky stories. They begin each one with the words “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story…” I don’t remember specific characters or tales anymore, but I remember the atmosphere. This show aired in the evening, naturally, and did a good job of creating a not-too-scary but still creepy feel.
All That (1994 – 2005)
“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the good burger, can I take your order?” A sketch comedy show for a young audience, All That gave us classic bits like Good Burger and the Loud Librarian, who shouted “Quiet! This is a library [sic]!” Members of the cast went on to film careers and even to Saturday Night Live.
Nickelodeon is still creating fun memories for a new generation of kids. Their current series include popular shows like PAW Patrol and Shimmer and Shine. To me, though, nothing can ever match their classic 90s lineup.
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