The Spiderman animated series was watered down with censorship yet it found a way to be great. Sure they weren’t allowed to show Spidey punching any bad guys or even saying the world “kill”… And it kind of strayed away from the comics, and there were a lot of storylines involving Peter Parker’s mushy, gushy love for Mary Jane but ultimately, it entertained 90s kids. The show featured all of the classic Spiderman villains like Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, Scorpion, Green Goblin, Mysterio, Hobgoblin, Venom, Carnage and Chameleon; and that was a huge part of its appeal. The Spiderman films had some hope; that is until the catastrophic, massacre Spiderman 3 came out, making us want to shoot web into our eyes and run back to 1994 to relieve the animated series.
As avid watchers of animated 90s Spidey, at what moment did you realize the films had failed you? For me, it was Tobey (Peter Parker) dancing down the street in Spiderman 3. Shameful. Relive the painful scene below.
Posted in Realizations
Tagged Animated Series, Carnage, Chameleon, Doctor Octopus, Fox Kids, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Kingpin, Mysterio, Scorpion, Spiderman, Spiderman Films, Venom
On Rugrats, the babies were fans of a big, green dinosaur named Reptar who was an obvious play on Godzilla. It wasn’t really clear if he was friend or foe because sometimes he looked to be a hero while other times it seemed the opposite. Apparently he was the most marketable character in the Rugrats’ little world because he’s seen on cereal boxes, movies, ice skating shows, TV shows, action figures, amusement parks and other merchandise. On multiple occasions, The Rugrats met Reptar, or someone dressed like him at public events, such as “Reptar On Ice!” It kind of made us envy the babies because most of us wouldn’t have minded an entire market of Reptar stuff in our reality. It seems as if we knew Reptar was made up and we only got him in small doses, so we wanted to see more of him. It was a typical case of wanting what we can’t have. There were plenty of forms of entertainment available to us, yet we couldn’t resist the animated Godzilla rip off. Being shown all those tiny snippets of Reptar was like watching an awesome movie trailer for a film that isn’t ever going to be made. Besides The Beets, Reptar was the greatest form of fiction, toon entertainment. If “The Beets Killer Tofu Tour“ and “Reptar On Ice” were in town on the same night at the same time, which one would you go to?
The game show where four Nickelodeon celebrity panelists would guess skills or accomplishments of kids was something many of us found ourselves watching back in the day. Unfortunately, there were many instances where the word “talent” was used very loosely. Among the most preposterous “talents” were the following:
- A kid who could bite a piece of cheese into the shape of Florida. Riveting.
- A boy who collected his toe jam and turned it into a ball of toe jam. Disgusting.
- A kid who bents fingers back to wrist. You’re double jointed, not talented.
- A kid who discovered peanut shells hid the scent of pig urine. How and why hediscovered this, we don’t want to know.
- A kid who sticks lobsters to eyelids and tongue. Really? Reeeeally?
- A kid who collected human hair to make dolls. Not noteworthy or a skill/talent. It is however, extraordinarily creepy.
- A kid with a rattail down his neck. Congrats on growing an ugly hair style.
While these kids failed epically there was a fair share of skilled kids. The human jump rope and cup stacker kids are the ones that come to mind immediately. The other annoying thing was how unenthusiastic some of these contestants were. We all would’ve loved to be on a Nickelodeon game show and some of these kids were bratty, stuck up or lacking a pulse. You’re on TV winning prizes you ungrateful bee-otches, ENJOY IT. In those kids defense, sometimes the prizes were a tad lame. Like, WTF do I want a “Figure It Out” messenger bag for? C’mon now! Another plus was the host everyone had a crush on, Summer Sanders. Unfortunately her coolness was canceled out by the obnoxiously corny dude who would announce all of the prizes. This sounds like a lot of negative but the show did deliver in the entertainment department! Danny’s constant jokes, flipping his hair back to get slime on the crowd and Lori Beth Denberg always seeming to have the correct guess were common occurrences. Hmm, Lori Beth really knew the answers far too often. Upon reflection, many areas of the show seem blatantly rigged. If that’s the case they owe us an apology… Although, an apology won’t un-shit those kids prizes.
Apparently if something had a sweet taste resembling that of a fruit, it was eligible to be called a “fruit snack”. Realistically, very little real fruit goes into Fruit By The Foot, Fruit Roll-ups, Fruit Gushers, Shark Bites or any of those scrumptious little treats. While they don’t provide many vitamins or nutrients, they are extremely tasty which is why we ate the hell out of them for the entire decade and beyond. Perhaps parents believed the word “fruit” meant “healthy” because they bought masses of these for their kids and filled our lunch boxes and after school snack menus with ‘em. Credit your constant sugar highs and first cavities to these bad boys but realize that they were well worth it. They all provided something unique that made each one special in its own way, for example:
Fruit Roll-ups: Punch out shapes on the fruit rolls and temporary tongue tattoos.
Fruit By The Foot: It’s 3 feet worth of candy. Even if it tasted like crap, the fact that it’s 3 feet worth of crap would make it acceptable.
Fruit Gushers: Its hexagon shaped, chewy and full of juice that tastes like heaven in your mouth.
Shark Bites: Candy shaped like sharks. ‘Nuff Said.
These things were so delectable that they’ve managed to remain popular to this day. The best part is now that you’re grown and have your own jobs, funds and independence, you can buy as many fruit snacks as you please. The sky is the limit… Well the sky and your blood sugar levels are the limits.
Little Bobby Generic had quite a childhood on a show that ran for 80 episodes worth of entertainment. Bobby’s World had a variety of characters, all worthy of a mention but a few in particular stood out. When you look back, Bobby’s Uncle Ted immediately comes to mind. From the looks of things, Uncle Ted was bumming off of his sister and her husband, living and breathing on their dime. On top of being deadweight, the man gave off a very creepy vibe. No grown man should find that much joy in constantly giving a little boy noogies, it’s just not normal. Then there was Bobby’s mother, Martha Generic who had the heaviest North Central American English accent you’ve ever heard. Many have noticed the fact that she is basically the cartoon version of Sarah Palin. Really, it’s remarkable how much Martha’s gee gollys, gosh darns, and don’t ‘cha knows sound just like Mrs. Palin herself. On top of having interesting characters, the show had Howie Mandel! Howie has changed a lot visually since the 1990s. The long, curly locks that he used to wear have ceased to exist. Many didn’t know that he hosted Deal or No Deal because now he has a shiny, bald head. Those who watched Bobby’s World tend to appreciate everything Howie & company had to offer. A few years ago there were even talks of a comeback; but being that there are no new episodes, it seems as if there was no deal.
The cartoon, Recess is an accurate but exaggerated depiction of the fourth grade that all of us knew and loved. We had a tightly knit group of friends, full of unique individuals who had certain tendencies. The society of kids on the cartoon had their own little government system (led by the infamous, “King Bob”) with unwritten laws, much like the higher authorities (better known as popular and/or rich kids) that we had. It’s exactly how things ran back in the day. Sure, we didn’t literally have a “king” but there were kids who ran the show even though they had no title. On the show each character played a specific role:
Vince: The athlete/token black friend.
Spinelli: The tomboy/future lesbian.
Gretchen: The nerd/smart girl.
Mikey: The fat kid/goalie by default.
Gus: The new kid/ the naive one.
Those characters were all important but without the leadership of T.J. Detweiler, they would’ve been wandering around the school grounds aimlessly. T.J. was the glue that kept the group together and got them into shenanigans. What made him a spectacular ringleader was his capability of rallying other students outside of his core group for the greater good as well. The relatable experiences of T.J. and company actually taught us a thing or two that could be translated to our daily lives, which is rare for a kids cartoon. While the combination of characters was cohesive, T.J. stood out as the leader of the average guy and all of us average kids admired him for that. Besides Tommy Pickles, who was a better 90s cartoon leader?
Well, it was only a matter of time. 90s kids and their TV shows are like the ex that you simply can’t get over. You think about calling and texting quite often until eventually, you can no longer resist and you try to rekindle the old flames. That’s essentially what is happening in the fall when Teen Nick airs a 2 hour block from midnight to 2am titled “The 90s Are All That”. The shows included are Rugrats, Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show, Pete & Pete, All That and Clarissa Explains It All. Many of us already stay up until 2 in the morning as it is but now we’ll be doing so for a purpose! We’ll be reminded of the glorious days of ginger brothers, dancing tattoos, adventurous babies, orange soda and so much more in these two hour blocks. The fact that this is being done proves that the new stuff just ain’t cutting it and the networks are relying on the greatness that we grew up on. Word on the street is that the Facebook pages dedicated to the 90s with an abundance of followers are what triggered this change in programming. That means the millions and millions of 90s kids around the world should pat themselves on the back for knocking some sense into Nickelodeon’s brain! Hell, if we have enough pull to get a two hour block, maybe we should see if we can get an entire 90s network, huh?
What other shows would you like to see make a return?
So if some older people decided to start a blog called “Things 70s Kids Realize” that boasted about all of their cool pop culture, Star Wars would certainly be in the discussion. Unfortunately a lot of folks from the 70s were too high to remember what the hell was going on back then, so that’s not likely to happen. While 90s kids can’t take credit for Star Wars, we can say that we got to experience Luke Skywalker for ourselves. That’s because Mark Hamill who played Luke was also the voice of Joker on our beloved Batman The Animated Series. Mark was great in Star Wars as Luke and about 15 years later he truly joined the dark side when he took on the role of the Joker. I know there are constant debates about who performed the best Joker but if you’re talking about who captured the greatest “Joker laugh” then the rankings look a little something like this:
1.) Mark Hamill
2.) Heath Ledger
3.) Jack Nicholson
Personally, I think Mark Hamill is the best overall Joker of ever but my “90s loving opinion” is probably a bias one. Regardless we should all be able to appreciate the fact that two of the most iconic fiction characters of all time were played by the same man. Here’s to Mark Hamill and his awesomeness.
I don’t know who did the casting for Nick Arcade but whoever it was sure had a knack for finding the most incapable gamers. This show was spectacular in the early 90s and it would be interesting to see it done in modern times with all of the new video games and improved technology. Anyway, I’m not sure if it was multiple cases of unsteady hands or if being horrible at the Sega Genesis was a requirement for all contestants, either way; almost every episode features someone so incompetent that it was frustrating to watch. I don’t want to be tough on these kids but it was 1991 and the controllers probably had two buttons and an arrow pad! How hard can that be to handle? Typically those who sucked at video games also sucked in the final part of the show called “The Video Zone”, which was a live action video game. This three level course required climbing, running, ducking and dodging which is asking a lot from an uncoordinated kid who can’t use a basic controller to collect rings on Sonic the Hedgehog. As bad as some of these kids were, the show never failed to entertain me and besides Legends Of The Hidden Temple – it looked like the most fun game show to participate in.