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Nickelodeon classics remain fondly remembered

Erin McGinn | Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story The Tale of the Nick Kid Who Never Grew Up.

I wanted to be a Blue Barracuda. I am not ashamed to say that I was afraid of the dark. Camp Anawanna is where I wanted to spend every summer. And I will still swear to this day that Clarissa really can explain all.

There is a reason why at campus events – such as the Dillon Pep Rally or the Keenan Revue – old Nickelodeon theme songs never fail to be played. Or why the whole audience continues singing the songs long after they have been turned off. We were all Nick kids.

Aside from those poor souls who had no cable-access growing up, our childhoods revolved around excursions up the Aggro Crag, trips out to the Bar None Dude Ranch and watching the mischievous Wrigley brothers.

And now, thanks to the respective glories of Comcast and Netflix, I can be a Nick kid whenever I want.

Thanks to cries of outrage and a steady stream of demand from our generation, it is now easier than ever to submerse yourself in nostalgia and take procrastination to new heights by watching these Nickelodeon treasures.

Nickelodeon (Ch. 31 in the dorms) now has timeslots that they classify under “NICK Rewind” during their regular schedules. In these programming blocks, they show some of the old cartoon shows that we so fondly remember. Recently “Rewind” has shown episodes of “The Angry Beavers,” “Ren and Stimpy,” and “AAAHH!!! Real Monsters.” Nickelodeon has also recently had marathons where they will show some of the shorter-lived series in their entireties – like this summer’s complete run of “Salute Your Shorts.”

If you splurge towards the next level of Comcast pleasure, you gain access to both Nicktoons Network and Nickelodeon Games and Sports (Nick GAS, for short). This is where Nickelodeon excels in raising the dead. Nicktoons has “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Ren and Stimpy” and “Invader Zim” built in to their daily schedule. And more frequently than the regular channel, Nicktoons has specials where they resurrect some of the other cartoons (like “Kablam!”) for a day or two.

Nick GAS brings back the amazing game shows that we would spend our every minute wishing that we could play. Shows like “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Family Double Dare,” “GUTS” and “Nick Arcade” are on each and every day. Not only are the shows themselves treasures, but they have the additional bonus of letting you relive your childhood consumerism by remembering how badly you wanted those Hush Puppies sneakers or the super sweet mountain bike. Plus, Kirk Fogg is a pretty good-looking guy.

But what about the crème de la crème of the Nickelodeon opus – the live-action shows? Although slow in the follow-through, Nickelodeon has been releasing these masterpieces in their Nickelodeon Rewind DVD collection. The first two seasons of “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” have already been released, with the third on the way.

Now you can watch “Petunia” dance, watch random items attach themselves to the plate in Mom’s head and watch little Pete go head to head with Pitstain when it starts getting too cold to head out to the Backer.

Also in this collection is the first season of “Clarissa Explains It All.” This is especially important to us Domers, because Jason Zimbler – who plays Clarissa’s brother, Ferguson, or “Ferg-face” – is a 1998 graduate of Notre Dame. Future claimed releases in this series include “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and “Salute Your Shorts.”

Whether your passion is unlocking Olmec’s secrets, laughing at Donkeylips or playing with a Log, it’s easier than ever to relive that passion each and every day. So until next time, I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society closed.

Contact Erin McGinn at emcginn@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Observer.