Forgotten Freshness: You Can’t Do That On Television
Man, how the times have changed. Back in the 80’s, it was totally okay to have children’s sketch comedy show where families were so poor that their children got repossessed, it was okay for middle-aged man dressed as a scuba diver to share a bathtub with an underage girl, and there was even a recurring sketch about children being sentenced to death by firing squad.
You Can’t Do That On Television: Poverty & Unemployment Pt.1
Originally a low budget children’s sketch comedy show in 1979 for local Ottowa, Canada station CJOH-TV, You Can’t Do That On Television was picked up by Nickelodeon in 1981. Each episode’s sketches always centered around a main theme and the show is most known for its “slime” gag where green slime fell from the sky onto the actors’ heads every time they said “I don’t know.” To this day, green slime is a staple of Nickelodeon’s brand identity. In addition to the slime if any of the actors said “water,” water would fall on them.
You Can’t Do That On Television: Poverty & Unemployment Pt. 2
YCDTOTV was definitely a pretty edgy show, even by today’s standards. Episode themes centered around things like poverty, fashion, and the future, but some episodes were banned. An episode about adoption was banned in the U.S. and Canada and an episode about divorce was banned in Canada.
Once Nickelodeon picked up the show and tried aiming it toward a younger demographic, it kind of started going downhill. While originally made for teens and pre-teens, episodes about things like sexual equality, peer pressure, and drugs were replaced by more kiddy-ish potty humor.
The show lasted until 1990 and reruns were aired until 1994. In 2004, there was a reunion special called Project 131 and you can watch the whole thing on YouTube.
You Can’t Do That On Television: Poverty & Unemployment Pt. 3
Watching these old episodes, it’s definitely hard to imagine this sort of thing flying on TV today. As much as people complain that TV is too violent or oversexualized, I think they tend to forget how things used to be. Not saying anything was wrong with the good old days of children’s entertainment, though. If anything, this show deserves respect for not talking down to kids and talking about real issues.
And, come on, could you even imagine how if there was a children’s program where kids were being shot by a firing squad this day and age? Uptight parents would have a fit!
Maybe that’s the main divide between kids and grown-ups. Kids have the ability to see the humor in everything while grown-ups tend to take everything way too seriously.
- Canadian singer Allanis Morrisette was on the show when she was just 5 years old in 1979 and was on again in 1986 for an episode about pop music. Dave Coulier was also working for Nickelodeon around this time on the show Out Of Control. Alanis Morisette’s song “You Oughta Know” is about Dave Coulier!!! Coincidence?
- The show’s opening animation, The Children’s Television Sausage Factor was inspired by Terry Gilliam’s “gilliamations.” That’s the same Terry Gilliam from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He also directed some movies you’ve probably heard of like 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles graffiti spotted by eighty8five.0.
Gizmo Duck Custom Kidrobot Mascot By Nikejerk
If you grew up in the 80’s, then there was a pretty good chance that DuckTales was your jumpoff and you recognized the crime-fighting robot Gizmo Duck as one of the greatest characters on the show. Jared Cain aka Nikejerk brings back our childhood with this tremendously awesome custom.
From the artist:
This is the chase Kidrobot Mascot for the 2nd Battle of the Mascots Series titled New vs. Old. I did a total of 3 figures. 2 were the same, and this is the only Gizmo Duck that I made so it is a one off. Only I think half the people involved were chosen to make a chase.
Fact: I used to wake up early every Saturday morning and watch DuckTales while eating a bowl of Ghostbusters cereal back in the day. Man, I’m old.
Daily Graffiti: Alf’s Back. In Graffiti Form!
Remember Alf, though? That dude was my jumpoff when I was a little kid. I even had a plush Alf puppet that I got in a Burger King kid’s meal or some junk. My mom ran it through the washing machine and his fur came out looking like sheep wool. I pretty much hated my her for like a whole week afterward.
This piece was added to our Geek Graffiti Flickr Pool. Submit your geeky graff pics for a chance to get featured on the site!
A Little Bit On The Anti-Gravity Side: The Higgs Field stands no chance against the mighty Mattel Hoverboard. Now you can have your own replica of the iconic Back to the Future: Part II prop. Since these are replicas, they do unfortunately interact with most gravity wells, so be careful. They’re $85 from Etsy seller JGDesigns.
Hardcover Original TMNT Comics out 1/10/12
Two hardcover compilations of Eatman and Laird’s original series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics will be out in early January. The first book contains issues 1-7 along with the one-off Raphael issues. The second contains issues 8-11 plus the Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo one-offs. They’re currently up for pre-order on Amazon. I could just go up to my basement and find my originals I got as a kid, but it’s pretty cold up there.
Homebrew Ecto Cooler
Oh yeah. You remember Ecto Cooler. It was the Ghost Busters branded Hi-C flavor that’s long since disappeared from store shelves. I’ve missed that delicious drink (and the Ghost Busters toothpaste) for about 20 years now, but the code has finally been cracked. Watch this video to find out how to brew your very own ectoplasmic concoction.
Campbell Whyte is an Australian artist whose work is infused with pop culture nostalgia and a stylish sense of whimsy. He’s probably most well known for his 8 Bit Dreams project where he’s doing an illustration for each of the original 799 games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. He’s already finished illustrations for each game made in 1985, 1986, 1987 and he’s just recently wrapped up 1988 which you can peep here.
Hit the jump for our full interview with this bad dude.
I Wish Layzner Got Localized
I was in a comic shop recently and stumbled upon a really cool action figure. I Googled that shit and found out it was based on an 80’s anime called Layzner. It was supposed to get an English translation, but the master reels were damaged between the time Sunrise shipped them from Japan to America. Lame! They should have at least translated the audio tracks and created a dub.