This blog entry was originally posted April 24, 2012, on the Independent Florida Alligator website.
If there was one channel that could sum up my childhood, it was Nickelodeon.
Whenever I think of its crazy orange logo, I am brought back to my grandma’s spare bedroom, where I would watch Nickelodeon almost the entire day. It took much coaxing from her to get me off the couch.
Although we remember it mostly for its ’90s programs, Nickelodeon first went on the air in 1977 as Pinwheel (the name change occurred in 1979). However, the channel didn’t reach major success until the early 90s, with the creation of “Doug,” “Rugrats” and “The Ren & Stimpy Show.”
1992 brought the introduction of SNICK, a Saturday-night programming block with favorites such as “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” Over the next several years, the block evolved to include “All That,” “KaBlam!” and “Kenan & Kel,” along with other live-action shows like “The Journey of Allen Strange” and “Animorphs.”
In the late 90s, cartoons like “Hey Arnold!” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Rocket Power” brought in a new slew of young viewers. It almost seemed like Nickelodeon was in sync with our generation, creating shows appropriate for our age as years went by.
Even Nick Jr. had awesome shows. Although I was a little too old for a few of these, I still enjoyed the catchy theme songs and lessons they provided. Jumping up and down on the bed to shows like “Allegra’s Window” and “Gullah Gullah Island” became a normal ritual for me. In addition, Face, like Stick Stickly, made waiting in between shows exciting.
Nick wasn’t just a channel; it was a media empire. Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, created in 1990 and shut down in 2005, became home to a wide world of fun, game shows and, of course, slime. Nickelodeon Magazine had mad libs, crazy recipes and comic strips. Nickelodeon even had its own alarm clock.
In 2011, Nick answered our desire for childhood cartoons by introducing “The ’90s Are All That,” a nightly block of ’90s Nick programs on the TeenNick channel. Viewer response has been positive, and I hope more of our favorite shows will be added over time.
No matter how many dramas or sitcoms we watch today, we will always remember Uncle Tito’s philosophical sayings, Chuckie Finster’s nervous ticks and Roger Klotz’s constant bullying. Although Nick has a new generation of viewers now, as long as people keep posting YouTube videos, pictures on Tumblr and blog entries, ’90s Nick shows will never truly go away.
To this day, I still dream of getting slimed.