January 21, 2009
NC: Hello, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to. Hey, kids! It’s Saturday night!
NC: School is out!
NC: The night is young!
NC: All your friends are free!
NC: And you can’t drive!
NC: But thank God Nickelodeon’s got you covered. For every Saturday night, Nickelodeon was kind enough to give us SNICK.
We see a montage of shows from SNICK as NC narrates.
NC: (voiceover) SNICK was a gathering of some of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows, along with a few new ones, that would air every single Saturday night. Their symbol was an orange couch that was so tacky for any homeowner to take in, that they left it outside. Now, I’ve already talked about some of these shows like Ren & Stimpy, Rugrats, and Clarissa Explains it All, but there were a lot of other shows that were thrown into the mix, too, shows that once again helped Nickelodeon get its identity.
NC: So let’s start with one of Nickelodeon’s biggest hi…funniest sh…let’s start with this.
NC: (voiceover) Roundhouse. Roundhouse was a sketch show that was kind of like that improv group you’ve seen that isn’t really funny, but God knows they’re trying. It was pretty much kids who performed in front of a live audience with no real sets, very few props, and practically no costumes. We were supposed to imagine all those.
NC: Like, imagine that I have a remote control. Now imagine that I am changing the channel. Oh, wait. I don’t. (holds up remote) That’s why we have concrete matter. (deep, demonic voice) USE IT!!
NC: (voiceover) They would perform sketches, musical numbers, and all kinds of other crap while trying to somehow convey a message.
Mac: Hi, I’m Mac McMurray! Trying saying that three times real fast! Mac McMurray, Mac McMurray, Mac Mc-- You see? I can’t even say it, and it’s my own dang name!
NC: Remember those lame self-esteem groups that would come to your school, do some sketches, and actually make you want to return to your class? ...Just imagine that in prime time.
NC: (voiceover) In fact, some of these sketches actually seem a little risqué for a kid’s show. Like, they actually use the word “Hell” a few times.
NC: (voiceover) And how about this bit about looking at a girl’s breasts? Really? You’re going to talk about girls’ breasts?
Lisa: Why can’t I get a guy to look me in the eye? I’ve got brains. I’ve got charm. I’ve got - -
Julene: HUGE, heh-heh, problem! Don’t despair because they stare at your pair! Try the crash-your-eyes bra.
Julene takes out a huge, ridiculous pair of glasses that look like a bra, which Lisa puts on.
David: Hey, four-eyes. What do you say we go get a milkshake and just talk?
NC: That’s right. If only women had breasts on their eyes! Then we would pay attention to them!
NC: (voiceover) This show would go by so fast that it was actually kind of hard to tell if what you just watched was funny or not. Like, watch this sketch about a game show on bullying.
David: I’ll take kidney punches for the heck of it –
David: –Indian burns because I can –
David: –And purple nurples!
Ivan continues screaming while NC just looks unbelievably bored.
Mac: Looks like you need to think of something fast!
Ivan: In that case, I’ll try running like a bat outta hell for a thousand, Bill!
Ivan suddenly starts dancing to convenient dance music for no apparent reason while the others simply walk away. NC looks shocked.
NC: Dancing? Hi. Why are we dancing?
NC: (voiceover) I mean, what the hell? It’s like they ran out of punch lines, so they just decided to dance. “Oh, no! I have no segue! What should I do?”
NC: Dance, you fool! Dance! Quick! Bring in the interpretive dancing mimes to help him out!
Six “mimes” do, in fact, appear.
NC: (voiceover) Speaking of songs, how come every song on this show sounds like bad Christian rock music?
NC: Nah. I take it back. Even Christian rock music isn’t THAT bad.
Shawn: Everything electronic in the whole house is off.
John: Well, what do we do now?
Shawn: Well, I guess we could…talk to each other. (Slow-paced music begins)
NC: Uh, this isn’t talking. This is singing.
Shawn: (singing) Talk to me…
NC: Oh, okay! Well, how about that war in Iraq? I personally think that we…oh. That was just part of the song. I’m sorry, I-I have no interest at all. I’m sorry.
Shawn: (still singing) And talk to me…
NC: (mimicking her singing) Shut the fuck up…
NC: (voiceover) All right. This show is freaking me out. How about we take a look at something that isn’t the least bit scary?
The opening sequence of Are You Afraid of the Dark begins.
NC: (voiceover) Are You Afraid of the Dark? Though not particularly frightening, Are You Afraid of the Dark was…well, not particularly frightening. I guess it was trying to be like a kid-friendly version of Tales from the Crypt, but even then, the only scary part about that was the Crypt Keeper’s puns.
Crypt Keeper: He’s frying severed fingers in a pan. I’ve heard of giving someone the finger, but this is ridiculous!
NC: (voiceover) It was about a group of kids who would meet every night to tell quote-unquote “scary stories.” And every single one would have different characters and a different setup. Though, somehow, they always managed to have the same storylines. Have you ever noticed that? There’s always one kid who’s kind and innocent, and another kid who’s always a pain in the ass. The pain in the ass always gets his or her comeuppance from something supernatural while the good kid always saves the day, as they both learn a valuable lesson that ultimately results in a happy ending.
NC: Now, while I have to admit being taught a lesson from a TV show can be very scary at that age, THIS SHOW WASN’T THE LEAST BIT FRIGHTENING!
NC: (voiceover) One of the biggest problems was the actors on this show. Sometimes, you would get a good child actor, but for the most part, they were very rare among the mix. My favorite is this one kid from "The Tale of the Phantom Cab". Like, watch this kid’s stellar change of emotion.
Buzz: (disgusted at worms) Ew! (suddenly amazed) Cool!
NC: (as Buzz) I’m playing two emotions at once! A shame I can’t get either of them right.
Clip plays again
NC: (voiceover) Or how about this scene when he tries to figure out this riddle that this old wizard gave him.
Buzz: But you can’t see air. (suddenly has an epiphany) Or can you? Wait a second there’s a trick here. You can’t put something in the barrel to make it lighter. You have to take something out. If you take something out of the barrel itself, it’ll be lighter.
NC: (throughout the scene, he looks like he’s in pain, and finally sucks in air through his teeth as if in pain) That’s pretty bad. Actually, his acting sounds a little familiar.
Buzz: It’s weightless, you can see it, and if you put it in a barrel, it’ll make the barrel lighter!
A clip from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, is shown.
Anakin Skywalker: This is tense! R2, get us off this autopilot! It’s gonna get us both killed!
NC: It’s like they had the same acting coach! (A picture of, apparently Keanu Reeves, Jake Lloyd’s acting coach for the role appears briefly with a question mark)
NC: (voiceover) However, the most annoying part is just the kids who are telling the story who call themselves “The Midnight Society.” I think these kids take this stuff way too seriously.
Gary: We’re called…The Midnight Society…
NC: (mocking his voice) We’re right next to the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.
Gary: Separately, we’re very different. We like different things. We go to different schools, and we have different friends.
NC: (mocking) Some of us like the same gender. But not me.
Gary: But one thing draws us together.
NC: (mocking) Smoking weed around the fireplace.
Gary: The dark!
NC: (mocking) And smoking weed around the fireplace.
Gary: This is a warning to all who join us. You’re going to leave the comfort of the light, and step into the world of the supernatural.
NC: (mocking) We play Magic: The Gathering, bitches!
Gary motions for someone to come forward, and one of the members brings forward a kid with a blindfold on.
NC: (voiceover) What? Okay. What’s with the blindfold?
Frank: Yeah. What’s with the blindfold?
Kristen: This meeting place is secret.
Kikki: Yeah. And you’re not in YET.
NC: (mocking) There are people who would kill their unborn babies to find this location!
Gary: Who sponsors Frank?
NC: (normal) We have sponsors?
David: I do. He’s a good guy.
Eric: Yeah, but can he tell a good story?
Frank: Who said that?
NC: Who dares question my storytelling abilities, huh!?
NC: (voiceover) So the person tells the story, and at the end, they have a vote as to whether or not he should be allowed in this most sacred of bullshit societies.
Gary: Now we vote…thumbs up means Frank’s in, thumb’s down he’s not. And it has to be unanimous.
NC: (speaking with a higher voice to make him sound younger) Hey, um, is this really necessary? I mean, couldn’t we just say whether or not we liked the story? I mean, it’d go a lot faster.
NC: (mocking) You don’t understand the rules of this society. Without these rules, this whole organization would fall apart!
NC: (younger) Yeah, um, about that, too; do we really have to be so “official” all the time? I mean, can’t we just, I don’t know, eat some snacks, drink some beer, maybe tell a story? You know, do stuff that kids are supposed to do?
NC: (mocking) I don’t think you’re a team player anymore, kid. Do I have to unleash the rabid, crotch-biting wildebeest again?!
NC: (younger) No, no! No, no! I’m cool! I’m cool! Just…God, don’t release that thing.
NC: (mocking) GOOD! Like I said…thumbs up?
Gary: Kikki? Betty-Anne? Kristen? Eric? (they all give thumbs up)
NC: (mocking) Simon?
Simon Cowell: Dreadful.
NC: (voiceover) I also like the fact that before every story, they throw magic dust on the fire that somehow makes the title appear. I guess it’s just magic credit dust or something. Actually, I always thought that dust was cocaine. And that’s why the kids kept coming back all the time. But I will give it this: It was at least entertaining. I mean, sure, it was campy, but a lot of it was creative, and did often keep my interest until the end of the show. So I guess that’s something. And I guess, for really, really young kids, it was a decent enough show.
NC: But enough of all that. Let’s move on to All That!...All that, meaning all that that entails, but All That the TV series that was, in fact, all that and a bag of chips…but all that you know already because…all that - -All right, this joke is dead. (He pulls a lever and the words "JOKE ABORTED" appear)
NC: (voiceover) As if Nick didn’t have enough sketch shows, we were given All That, a very hit-and-miss comedy that actually had a cast that was half African-American, and I gotta admit, that was pretty damn cool.
NC: But In Living Color had mostly African-American…racists.
NC: (voiceover) Though, it is funny because if you look at the show about ten years later... (A much more recent cast is shown) Wow. Look how whitened up it became! It’s like a plain black coffee turning into a latte and just giving up and turning into milk. How delightfully sickening. But, oh, well. We were there at the start with the original characters and sketches, like the two old guys who look like Don King and Uncle Remus.
Man: Excuse me, guys? Could you keep it down a little bit?
Mavis: Clavis, did you hear what that man said to us?
Clavis: Yeah, He must be the president of the audience!
NC: (voiceover) Or the Good Burger kid who seemed to encompass all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in just one voice.
Ed (Kel Mitchell): Welcome to Good Burger, home of the good burger. Can I take your order?
NC: (voiceover) Or how about Cheese Police? The foreign guy? Or Earboy?
NC: …All right, some of these characters did seem like satires of satires, but they weren’t all like that.
NC: (voiceover) Some of them were pretty good, like, I love the librarian who tried to keep peace and quiet in the library by yelling at the top of her lungs.
Ms. Hushbum the librarian: QUIET!! THIS IS A LIBRARY!! (blows air horn)
NC: (voiceover) That’s funny enough, but then she proceeds to yell on the phone, eat chips, play the drums, and even do some construction work! That’s actually pretty funny. I also like Learning French with Pierre, where he taught you phrases that made you sound like you had no idea how to speak French.
Pier says something in French with subtitles reading “Waitress, would you please stuff your pizza up my nose?”
NC: (voiceover) Plus, you have to give them credit on the best Ross Perot impression ever done in the history of comedy! Performed by a little girl with rubber ears.
Mr. Perot: [Can] you let me finish? Am I a eucalyptus tree or can. I. Finish?
NC: Right on the crooked, prosthetic nose!
Mr. Perot: I got four billion dollars, so listen up.
NC: Wow. Right down to the fact that he thinks he actually has money.* How delightfully perceptive.
NC: (voiceover) And speaking of impressions, here’s a weird little coincidence. Kenan Thompson, who would go on to do Bill Cosby on Saturday Night Live, is actually doing Bill Cosby here as a little kid.
Kenan: Then you grab a permanent mar-ker, and proce-e-ede to write her name on her forehead!
NC: …He grew into it.
NC: (voiceover) Now, like I said, this show was hit-and-miss, so there were certainly a lot of sketches that weren’t that funny, too. Like, I never thought the Vital Information sketch was funny, but obviously the writers thought it was, because they used it all the friggin’ time!
Lori-Beth: If you’re standing in a line, it’s rude to keep turning to the person behind you and saying, “I’M IN FRONT OF YOU! I’M STILL IN FRONT OF YOU, I AM!!”
NC: Here’s another one: When writing a sketch, don’t assume something’s funny because you scream it. Because it’s not.
Lori-Beth: If Little Miss Muffet sits on your tuffet, say, “Hey! Miss Muffet! GET YOUR BUTT OFF MY TUFFET!”
NC: Can you believe those silly writers thinking something is funny simply because you scream it? SCREAMING IN EVERY OTHER SENTENCE IS NOT FUNNY! IT IS LOUD AND ANNOYING! AND ANYONE WHO DOES IT SHOULD BE SHOT- -
He’s shot through his forehead.
His wound and blood disappear.
NC: -AND GIVEN A BAG OF MONEY!
A bag of money appears in his hand. For a moment, he just looks surprised.
NC: How about some lounge music?
Lounge music plays and NC sits back, enjoying himself.
NC: (voiceover) Some sketches were stupid, but we still found them funny. Like, how about the old man who would scream out his window just telling things to shut up?
A clip of the old man yelling at some birds.
NC: (voiceover) And then, out of nowhere, whatever he was yelling at would suddenly attack him. That’s so stupid, yet for some reason, it always made me laugh. A lot of the show was like that. For all of its problems, All That certainly knew how to keep us entertained and keep us coming back.
NC: Now I stopped watching SNICK around this point, but there’s two other shows that I gotta talk about simply because everyone says I gotta talk about them.
NC: (voiceover) One of the shows was KA-BLAM. Kind of like a cartoon sketch show that used a variety of different animation. Now, the problem is, I couldn’t find any full episodes. All I could find was a bunch of clips from two sketches called "Action League", which kinda looks like my G. I. Joes beating up some Barbies, and another series of sketches called "Prometheus and Bob", which was about an alien who's trying to teach a caveman to evolve, but the caveman never catches on. Both of these sketches are funny, I guess, but like I said, I couldn’t find anything else, so that’s all I can really talk about. The other show is called Kenan and Kel, based off of the two most popular actors off of All That. From what I can tell, it’s ab- -
Coolio: Aw, here it goes!
NC: HOLY SHIT, IS THAT COOLIO!?
It sure is. Who else could have that hairdo and keep any shred of their dignity?
NC: (voiceover) How the fuck did they get Coolio!? I mean, seriously! This is the same guy who said "Gangsta’s Paradise" was too serious to be parodied, and then he is doing the opening to a kids show!? How the hell does that work!?
NC: (mimicking Coolio) Yeah, well, you know I was hesitant at first, but then I started watching the show All That, and I saw that these boys really knew what it was like to suffer. Because Lord knows I suffered through a lot of them Good Burger sketches, and THEY KNOW ALL ABOUT PAIN, boy. They know all about pain…represent.
NC: (voiceover) So I took a look at this special TV movie they made called Two Heads are Better Than None, which is about Kenan’s family going on vacation while his best friend Kel tags along. From what I could gather, it wasn’t that bad. It was kind of hit-and-miss like All That, though, like when they want to sit around a camp fire telling ghost stories.
Kel: When the bread…popped out of the toaster…no one knew what to put on it…
Kenan: He said “let's tell ghost stories!” Not “TOAST stories!”
NC: Hey, as long as there’s no Midnight Society involved, I don’t care what shitty jokes they tell.
NC: (voiceover) Their comedy is pretty standard. Kenan is the cynical smart one while Kel is the energetic dumb one. Yeah. Haven’t seen that before.
Kel: 11 bottles of orange soda on the wall! (He just stops)
Kenan: What, that’s it? You’re just gonna stop at 11? YOU MEAN WE HAD TO SIT THROUGH A MILLION BOTTLES OF ORANGE SODA ON THE WALL, AND YOU’RE JUST GONNA STOP AT 11?? YOU”RE NOT EVEN GONNA FINISH!?
Kel: Yeah, I’m tired of that song.
NC: (voiceover) Also, what is up with Kenan’s hair in this? He looks like one of those black cabbage patch kids. What, was that just the style then?
Kenan: Oh, look. Um, the fire’s dying down. Maybe I should get some more wood for it.
NC: Actually, Kenan’s starting to sound a little familiar, too.
The clip continues, Kenan sort of half-mumbling his dialogue, but then the scene turns into a stuttering Chester A. Bum.
Chester: I-I never thought he sounded like any Kenan Thompson. I always thought he sounded like Bill Murray from Caddyshack. WHICH IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!
NC: (voiceover) Well, even though it wasn’t really anything new, I guess Kenan and Kel was harmless enough. I mean, where else can you see people dancing to a Ludacris song being performed by a piano-playing monkey?
NC: Okay, that one episode of The View, but I don’t think that counts.
NC: (voiceover) So that’s about all I gotta say about SNICK. It was fun, goofy, and an enjoyable way to spend your Saturday night before you discovered booze and how to break the law.
NC: Sorry I couldn’t be more detailed, but most of those shows I already went over in the last two episodes, and everything else I was too old for. But hey, next week, we’re going to be tackling my favorite Nickelodeon topic, Nickelodeon game shows! That’s right! We’re going to be going over all of your favorites! Like GUTS!
Placecard saying “No Video Found.”
NC: Oh. We couldn’t find any good videos for GUTS? Well, okay. We’ll be going over shows like Wild & Crazy Kids!
Again, the same placecard.
NC: Oh. No good quality videos for that either? Well, what game shows DO we have?
Place card reads “Double Dare.”
NC: (voiceover) DOUBLE DARE!? THAT’S IT!?
NC: I ALREADY DID DOUBLE DARE, YOU MISERABLE PILE OF SPLOOGE! I CAN’T DO IT AGAIN! Great! So I have no high-quality videos to do the Nickelodeon game shows with. That’s just wonderful! How am I supposed to end Nickelodeon Month, hmm? I can’t just stop in the middle! Come on! Give me something! I’ll take the worst thing that Nickelodeon has ever produced!
The area behind him turns into a stormy sky as dramatic music builds. As he continues talking, he becomes progressively more and more nervous.
NC: The absolute worst. Anything. I-I don’t care how bad it is. It could be…the most horrible, terrifying thing that Nickelodeon has ever uh…unleashed. ‘Cause I can take it. So, uh…tell me, Nick, uh…w-what uh…what exactly do you have in mind for me to look over…?
As if he even needs to ask. The music then crescendos as a movie poster for Good Burger appears. NC then proceeds to scream like a little girl repeatedly.
NC: AAAH! AAAH! AAAH! AAAH! AAAH! AAAH! AAAH!
The screen goes black and the credits are shown.