This is the end of innocence
Who doesn’t remember the good old days of watching show after show on Nickelodeon?
Those golden hours flew by with cartoon classics, live action adventures, and the first reality game shows you probably ever watched. A trip to the Nickelodeon resort in Orlando seemed like the best thing that could ever happen to you.
And as you whiled away the hours with shows like Salute Your Shorts, Rugrats, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, GUTS, Double Dare, and other classics, you may have just been an innocent kid, but some of the stuff happening before your very eyes was anything but innocent.
From drug references to nightmare-inducing scenes that drew the ire of religious and social groups around the country, these classic Nick shows may have gone too far.
Slime and Shut Up
The idea of sliming kids started on You Can’t Do That on Television, and while it would turn into a fun staple for the network, slime was originally a weird and sadistic punishment.
Roger Price, the show’s creator, would slime kids whenever they said “I don’t know” because he found that phrase annoying. He would also douse them with water if they said the word “water.”
Child actors on Nickelodeon didn’t have good benefits or unions back then (or in the ’90s…), but they would get paid extra for getting slimed.
What is Gak, really?
Nickelodeon was more than just TV shows. It was an entire enterprise of awesomeness headquartered in Orlando, best known for absolutely dousing people in that famous green slime at any given moment.
Kids, parents, and celebrities alike all fell victim to that amazing green goodness as it was dumped over their heads on TV or at the park; it was just a shame we couldn’t take it home.
Then they invented Gak, that strange, gooey mystery that every kid needed to have (until it fell on the floor and was ruined). But where did the name come from?
Sure, it could have been an onomatopoeia for that fart sound the putty made when you played with it… or was it? According to host Marc Summers, everyone on set knew that gak was actually street slang for heroin. Apparently it was a huge joke among employees that went over the heads of the execs who would never have allowed it otherwise.
Didi the Dominatrix
It’s hard to believe that even a show like Rugrats could have its dirty little secrets.
But it does.
Leave it to the animators to let their imaginations wander with their characters. According to voice actress Melanie Chartof, who was the voice behind Tommy’s mother, the show’s animators had fetishized her as a BDSM enthusiast. She once said, “I was invited into the men’s room to see S&M drawings of Didi inside all the stalls. They had her decked out in leather, with whips and chains; the whole dominatrix regalia.”
Guess Stu was into that stuff…