The 10 Best Nickelodeon Shows You’ve Forgotten All About

By Rob Bricken in Daily Lists, TV
Monday, October 13, 2008 at 5:06 am

OSN-logo-old-school-nickelodeon-801791_200_200.jpgBy Jason F.C Clarke

Long before it became the juggernaut of kids’ entertainment that it is today, Nickelodeon was a tiny Ohio-based cable station airing an odd assortment of children’s shows. And while many kids remember classics like You Can’t Do That on Television, Double Dare and Danger Mouse, the young Nick had to fill more than just two hours of daytime programming before Nick at Nite kicked in. Here are a few of the shows that paved the way for hits like Ren and Stimpy and Spongebob Squarepants.

10) Maya the Bee

In its early days, Nickelodeon filled half their daytime programming schedule with redubbed child-oriented Japanese anime. These cartoons often had some sort of European connection or flavor, either in its origins or in its production. Maya the Bee was based on a German book first published in 1912. The eponymous bee is extraordinarily adventurous for her species and earns her keep by seeking out pollen. The cloying theme song is probably the most memorable aspect of the show.

9) Eureeka’s Castle

“Picnic time!” Eureeka’s Castle was a puppet show about Eureeka, a young sorceress who lives in a wind-up music box owned by a giant (it’s unclear whether Eureeka and her friends were prisoners or just renting, but I digress). Eureeka hung out with Magellan, a friendly dragon, and other puppet creatures, and hilarity generally ensued.

8) Finders Keepers

Nickelodeon had a lot of game shows that involved kids wearing colorful protective gear. Everyone remembers Double Dare, but another popular show was Finders Keepers. The beginning of the game involved something about figuring out clues hidden in a cartoon drawing, but you really watched it to see the part where the kids got to tear apart rooms in the “house” on stage, looking for random objects. Nickelodeon got a lot of mileage out of shows that inverted traditional childhood rules—instead of cleaning their room, they were trashing it! The irony was palpable.

7) Salute Your Shorts

By the early ‘90s, Nick was producing its own live-action shows as well as cartoons. One of the first was Salute Your Shorts. Based on a kid’s book, SYS followed the antics of a group of kids at a summer camp for what was apparently the longest summer ever in history. The gaggle of teens and pre-teens were herded by Ug, the bumbling camp counselor. Plots usually served as platters for an unending stream of burp and fart jokes.

6) Hey Dude

If you remember this show at all—about a dude ranch in Arizona—I guarantee it’s because of Christine Taylor, probably the most famous person to come out of a show on this list. She played girl-next door Melody, and she was really, really cute. There was another girl on the show, rich spoiled Brad, but most young male viewers only had eyes for Melody.

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