A Magazine on the Cutting Edge of Pop Culture
By Sarah Clegg
Nickelodeon. For me, this was a major part of my childhood. This channel, from its inception in 1979 (as Pinwheel) went through changes and nearly went under until a restructure in 1984 cornered the market on children’s television programming.
The quirky shows introduced many American children to Canadian humor and word pronunciations, leaving them set in pop culture forever. One show that hits all three markers is the show that has given Nickelodeon its identity today. The show I speak of, for those of you that were too young to know it or weren’t lucky enough to have cable, was called You Can’t Do That On Television. Originally it was a local Canadian show, but was picked up by Nickelodeon in 1981, production ending in 1990 and reruns airing until 1994.
The show was a sketch comedy with an ensemble cast of teens and pre-teens. I cannot even think of the show without thinking of Moose, Lisa and Kevin. Though later, even Allanis Morrisette would be a cast member.
So how did this show give an entire network its identity? Any time during the show, if a cast member would say the words “I don’t know”, a bucket of green slime would drop on their head. Thus making Nickelodeon the slimiest network on television. Green slime has gone on to appear in other shows such as Double Dare and the teen choice awards as well as an orange slime splat being the logo for the network.
I was about five years old, and my sister and cousin were 8 when we decided the slime looked like way too much fun. So into the kitchen we went to replicate the viscous fluid. After several attempts we finally decided on flour, water and food dye. We took turns in the front yard dumping bucket after bucket of slime on our heads, giggling and laughing in the Miami sun, all the time clueless to the glue hardening on our heads. When my mother came home, she flipped. \After hours of removal attempts, the three of us landed in a barber’s chair receiving very short hairstyles, but I never stopped loving the show. I still snicker to this day when I exclaim “I don’t know!” (cue bucket falling).
I don’t know! How Nickelodeon got it’s slime is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.