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May 4th, 2001

History of Nickelodeon

Long before Nick became the kids arm of megacorporation Viacom, it was something else altogether. Nick started as a very, very small experiment by Warner-Amex (later, of course, they came up with MTV too.) The initial show? Pinwheel. I still remember the lyrics, and if you ever watched this show growing up, you do, too. Nick was a small net at first, not even broadcasting all day. The aforementioned Pinwheel was later flanked by Kids Writes, Mr. Wizard’s World, and more.

But what about Today’s Special, which took place in a department store after hours? And Jeff, the mannequin, came to life when his magic cap was on? The transformation from mannequin to man scared the pants off me as a kid (but then, so did the dragon on Tic Tac Dough.) Also of note: R.E.M. was featured on an episode of Livewire back in the early 80s, and a young boy by the name of Adam Yauch asked them a question. Adam Yauch, of course, is one of the Beastie Boys.

Referenced here in the past is the show Out of Control, which featured Dave Coulier as host of a comedy/variety program. I know that just one sentence for this wonderful show is an injustice; instead, I’ll let the link below do the talking.

I was able to find a treasure trove of old Nick info: The Nick Nostalgia Site. The images, theme songs, and movies (!) contained therein brought back tons of memories. -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Nicholas Hallman October 10, 2006, 2:33 pm

i’m glad you took an interest in nickelodeon history. my favorite shows back in the 90’s were rockko’s modern life, Land Of The Lost, Are You Afrsid Of The Dark, Rugrats, and Hey Arnold. These were very popular shows and they will always be part of my child hood. i hopes these shows might hewlp in the history of nickelodeon.

Tiffany December 30, 2006, 3:50 am

I love Jem too… 🙁 I wish they would put her back on the air….

I love Jem

Dave Walls December 30, 2006, 11:07 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Jem was completely syndicated, and NOT a Nickelodeon show. Nick may have, at one time aired reruns, but in the true sense, it was never a Nick-created or even featured show.

Not one for the boys, anyways. ;p

Jeremy P. Burson January 17, 2007, 6:01 pm

Do anyone remember a television movie or i forgot. About this girl who gets trapped in the movies, when her bracelet gets caught in the movie reel, and this boy tries to help get her out. I can’t remember much except that since i was like 4 years old at the time. I would like to know the name of it so i can find it on the internet, if it’s still out there. I would like to watch it again.


Judy March 9, 2007, 4:27 am

Hi to all you Nick and Pinwheel fans! If you remember Chapi Chapo from Pinwheel, I am now webcasting two episodes per week on my new children’s website

write and let me know your favorite episodes, and I’ll try to put them on ASAP!


Ashley March 28, 2007, 4:12 pm

I love all these classic Nick shows like: David The Gnome; Pinwheel; Today’s Special; Sharon, Lois & Bram; The Little Koala; Salute Your Shorts; Hey Dude; etc…

But I don’t think anyone has mentioned: Mapletown, Belle & Sebastian, Fred Penner’s Place, Grimm’s Fairy Tales Classics, Heathcliff, and The Little Prince. It’s hard to find people who remember these shows! I finally found someone who remembers The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Spartakus & The Sun Beneath The Sea…that’s just sad!

One thing I’d like to bring up is that kids today watch Nickelodeon and love the slime…but have NO IDEA where it originated from. None of them have seen “You Can’t Do That On Television” and don’t understand that when you say “I don’t know” you get slimed and when you say “water” – well you know. Ah, good times…

The only shows I watch on Nick now are: Rocko’s Modern Life and Ren & Stimpy (reruns), Spongebob, Jimmy Neutron, Fairly Odd Parents, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. None of the others interest me much. The Disney Channel used to be MUCH better too.

Dro June 18, 2007, 4:55 pm

I’m soo happy to find this site it really took me back to when i was a kid. Awesome!!! However does anybody remember a show on nick where there was a skinny white guy w/ glasses and i think reddish hair who traveled to different places with historic stories behind it or some really cool things. Man, i wish i remember that show. i you know that please tell me.

Clock June 29, 2007, 2:13 am

ARGH! Help me out, guys! I’m having flashbacks about an old Nick show I watched (but never understood).

I only remember it being about kids in the desert, and I -think- it was a camp and they were all teens? Anywho, I also remember there being some kind of ‘class clown’ character, as well as a bad-boy character Help me out? :S

Ashley August 1, 2007, 2:24 pm

Dro: was it a cartoon or a live action show?

Clock: are you referring to “Hey Dude?” It was a show about a group of teens that worked at a dude ranch. The only other camp show would be “Salute Your Shorts” but that didn’t take place in the desert.

Does anyone else agree that there should be a classic Nick TV station complete with old commercials and the old in-between-show-fillers they had (don’t know what those are called)?

aaron December 27, 2007, 2:28 am

does anybody remember the “nickelodeon all-star challenge” from 1994? (it aired as part of that years big help a thon

cody July 17, 2009, 7:03 am

thanks so much for this. I have been going insane trying to think of the show fred penners place. I never had cable but gma down the street did. there ae so many shows that you have mentioned that I forgot all about. im going to youtube these and go back to my childhood for awhile.

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