Slimed!
SLIMED! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age tells the surprisingly complex, wonderfully nostalgic, and impressively compelling story of how Nickelodeon -- the First Kids' Network -- began as a DIY startup in the late 70s, and forged ahead through the early eighties with a tiny band of young artists and filmmakers who would go on to change everything about cable television, television in general, animation, and children's entertainment, proving just what can be done if the indie spirit is kept alive in the corporate world. Get the real back story about all of your favorite Golden Age Nick shows: Everything from such classics as You Can't Do That On Television, Out of Control and Double Dare to early 90s faves like The Adventures of Pete & Pete, the original three Nicktoons, Clarissa Explains It All and more ...  All from those who made it happen!

Slimed! Details

TitleSlimed!
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 24th, 2013
PublisherPlume
ISBN-139780142196854
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Culture, Pop Culture, History, Media Tie In, Tv, Oral History, Humor

Slimed! Review

  • Orsolya
    January 1, 1970
    Like most children of the 80s/90s; I was fascinated by Nickelodeon. My eyes feasted on such programs as: “Welcome Freshmen”, “Fifteen”, “You Can’t Do That on Television”, “Salute Your Shorts”, “Roundhouse”, “Clarissa Explains It All”, “Nick Arcade”, “Wild and Crazy Kids”, “Legends of the Hidden Temple”… Need I go on? One can imagine my excitement with the release of a behind-the-scenes expose of THE channel for children in, “Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age” by Mathew Klickste Like most children of the 80s/90s; I was fascinated by Nickelodeon. My eyes feasted on such programs as: “Welcome Freshmen”, “Fifteen”, “You Can’t Do That on Television”, “Salute Your Shorts”, “Roundhouse”, “Clarissa Explains It All”, “Nick Arcade”, “Wild and Crazy Kids”, “Legends of the Hidden Temple”… Need I go on? One can imagine my excitement with the release of a behind-the-scenes expose of THE channel for children in, “Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age” by Mathew Klickstein. The question is whether the work is a slam dunk or a gooey pie to the face…The subtitle to “Slimed!” doesn’t exaggerate when describing the book as an oral history. In fact, this should be italicized and in bold print as the format of “Slimed!” consists merely of quotes/interviews from key players involved in Nickelodeon (producers, directors, actors, animators, etc). Although Klickstein successfully included and received the cooperation from this large and eclectic group; “Slimed!” is a jumbled mess. “Slimed!” is organized by topic interview questions where the said individuals answered questions which were then compiled to form a strand. It would be overstating to call this a narrative, as there is no text aside from the quotes: no introduction, no background, nothing! The “Cast of Characters” (as dubbed by Klickstein), is located at the book end versus the beginning; requiring constant flipping back-and-forth. Plus, each section’s topic isn’t answered by all the cast and crew from one show but jumps from show to show with each line resulting in choppiness, confusion, and a lack of chronology. Also disappointing is the subject matter, itself. One will not learn about how or why Nickelodeon was created, how it got off the ground and was run, etc. Instead, expect gossipy tidbits which are mostly revolved around inter-relationships dramas versus the business end of the channel. Not to mention, each individual seems to remember events differently, causing a loss of credibility instead of a well-rounded view which was probably Klickstein’s intent. “Slimed!” narrows the audience greatly due to the lack of a narrative as you have to be of a certain age to remember the shows and actors being mentioned (or to even care). The piece is not meant for a general audience and is suggested for readers aged late 20s/early 30s. Despite these issues with organization and content; “Slimed!” does feature some notable blurbs which will heighten the levels of nostalgia with the target readers. It should be noted, though, that Melissa Joan Hart’s memoir was released around the same time as “Slimed!” and therefore both books contain similar “Clarissa Explains It All” tidbits. “Slimed!” improves with its ‘storytelling’ (term used loosely) and topics as the pages turn, capturing more reader attention. However, there continues to be an absence of expansion and thus interesting notes are never elaborated leaving the reader with unanswered questions and many “why’s”. Similarly, the reader doesn’t truly learn about Nickelodeon or the players involved because most of the time one is flipping to the directory to figure out who is being discussed. The conclusion of “Slimed!” wraps up the work well in the sense that it asks the interviewees to discuss the current state of the channel and also highlight how their lives were effected/are now. Again, this doesn’t go into detail but it is interesting how these people are living today. Also included is a poem/after word by “Artie” from “Pete & Pete” which is another nostalgic highlight but the actual poem makes no sense at all (I don’t think it is trying to, though). Overall, “Slimed!” is a quick read (1-day) but it is hardly a book at all and it is insulting to other authors to have Klickstein be included in their bunch. He didn’t write ANYTHING. He merely recorded some interviews and compiled the answers. It is evident that Klickstein is a fan and wanted to satisfy his own fanboy excitement. The problem is that the reader barely learns anything with the exception of a few tasty, gossip bits. “Slimed!” is suggested for readers about 25-35 with deep childhood nostalgia and searching for a fast read. Otherwise, “Slimed!” can be skipped.
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  • Sean O'Hara
    January 1, 1970
    EDIT: Okay, I am retroactively deducting a star from this book for the author being an ass-hat of Biblical proportions. Seems the guy gave an interview where he ranted about how Nickelodeon used to be better when it was all white people in the shows.No, seriously.Sanjay and Craig is a really good example.... That show is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that character to be Indian — except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now EDIT: Okay, I am retroactively deducting a star from this book for the author being an ass-hat of Biblical proportions. Seems the guy gave an interview where he ranted about how Nickelodeon used to be better when it was all white people in the shows.No, seriously.Sanjay and Craig is a really good example.... That show is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that character to be Indian — except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now are very obsessed with diversity.Is there any reason for the character to be white instead? No. But in crazy racist white guy world, there never has to be a reason for a character to be white. That's the default, and shows should only deviate from the default if there's a reason for it. TV shows are supposed to be about white people; that's just the way things are, and other races only exist for plot-related reasons. Indian children have no right to see characters like themselves on TV in leading roles -- that's a privilege reserved for white people.Yeah, well screw you Matthew Klickstein. You are a racist shit.ORIGINAL REVIEWThis book is jammed full of information on Nickelodeon's heyday, compiled from interviews with dozens of key players. Everything a fan of the network's classic shows could ever want to know.Too bad it's so badly disorganized. The gold standard for a book like this has to be I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution which wisely began with the founding of the network, covering the trials and tribulations of getting it financed, developing programming, hiring VJs, finding decent music videos, etc. Despite telling the story of MTV entirely through lengthy block quotes, the authors assembled a cohesive narrative that told you everything you needed to know about MTV in a manner that was easy to follow.Here, on the other hand, we have quotes piled on top of quotes with little structure. Instead of discussing individual shows one at a time, the author groups everything by loose themes and jumps from discussing one series to another at will. And because speakers are only ever identified by name, never what they did, the reader sometimes doesn't know that the subject's changed from You Can't Do That on Television to Clarissa Explains It All until somebody mentions Melissa Joan Hart.
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  • John Lamb
    January 1, 1970
    Growing up, a lot of my time was spent watching The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Hey Dude!, and Double Dare, so I was interested in reading the background on these shows and see how they were created. However, this book is greatly disappointing. Rather than organize the book chronologically or through each show, a bunch of people are quoted, which results in a very large dinner party in which no one is heard. There is no context for the stories and the reader has to keep shuffling back to the Growing up, a lot of my time was spent watching The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Hey Dude!, and Double Dare, so I was interested in reading the background on these shows and see how they were created. However, this book is greatly disappointing. Rather than organize the book chronologically or through each show, a bunch of people are quoted, which results in a very large dinner party in which no one is heard. There is no context for the stories and the reader has to keep shuffling back to the list of characters to figure who is talking and what show he or she is referring to. Such a great opportunity ruined.
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  • Kaethe Douglas
    January 1, 1970
    "I’m starting to do stand-up comedy now and it’s hard to go up there and talk about how hard it is to be a guy. People don’t wanna hear it!"The author on Flavorwire http://flavorwire.com/480990/pete-pet..." I would be offended if one of the friends on Clifford the Big Red Dog had a friend who was in a wheelchair."Um, yeah, Mary is her name. She appears in multiple episodes. My daughter loved Clifford.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I've got a proper review and blog post coming for this one - I've just got to recover from being hit by the sheer awesomeness of someone writing a book devoted to the television of my childhood. Ahhh-mazing!Edit Okay, link to the review on my blog here - http://morwesong.wordpress.com/2013/0...The short version - loved it! Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to read and review.
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  • Mark Simon
    January 1, 1970
    I work in TV production, and love books about how TV is made...The pluses of this one are ** It was an easy read (was done in 2 days)** The thoroughness of the interviews was great. The writer did his homework and then some.** The stories of the battles between creativity and corporate were interesting.** If you grew up on You Can't Do That on Television/Double Dare, it's really cool to read about those ... I loved the little behind the scenes details.Similarly: if you liked The Adventures of Pe I work in TV production, and love books about how TV is made...The pluses of this one are ** It was an easy read (was done in 2 days)** The thoroughness of the interviews was great. The writer did his homework and then some.** The stories of the battles between creativity and corporate were interesting.** If you grew up on You Can't Do That on Television/Double Dare, it's really cool to read about those ... I loved the little behind the scenes details.Similarly: if you liked The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Ren & Stimpy, Rugrats, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Clarissa Explains it All, you will find it entertaining (one of the issues for me was that while I knew of these shows, I didn't watch them)The reasons I "only" gave it 3 stars** I saw this complaint in a few places ... the author doesn't give you a capsule on the people he interviewed until the end of the book. This necessitates checking the bios in the back every 2 minutes to figure out who was who** There's an element of "what the heck are they talking about?" on some of the issues (particularly with the cartoon shows) where there was a lot of airing of grievances and an assumption that the reader understood what was going on.** I LOVE oral histories ... but all the good ones I've read have narratives of some sort to break up the quotes and provide transitions . This one needed them and didn't have any ... it was just quote, quote, quote, quote quote. This made for some weird transitions from subject to subject.Nonetheless, despite the complaints, I gave it a solid 3-star review. If you are my age or younger and remember Nickelodeon well, there are at least parts of this book that you'll really like.
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  • Bob Mackey
    January 1, 1970
    If Slimed! had the organization of MTV's recent oral history "I Want My TV," it could have been amazing. Instead, it's a collection of anecdotes more than it is a history of the network's golden age, and while it was a breezy, entertaining read, I was hoping for something a little more thorough. I can forgive the author, since he's made it clear that he had a problem contacting certain important figures from Nick's history, but this lack of information creates some major gaps in the narrative, i If Slimed! had the organization of MTV's recent oral history "I Want My TV," it could have been amazing. Instead, it's a collection of anecdotes more than it is a history of the network's golden age, and while it was a breezy, entertaining read, I was hoping for something a little more thorough. I can forgive the author, since he's made it clear that he had a problem contacting certain important figures from Nick's history, but this lack of information creates some major gaps in the narrative, including the very creation of the network. Still, this is the best source of information on Nick's history to date, and the book wisely drops off as the network became much less experimental and more of a bland corporate force in the late '90s. And any book that points out the creepiness of those nightmare puppets from Pinwheel gets bonus points with me.
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    I grew up watching Nickelodean. I loved Pinwheel and Today's Special. So I was more than excited to see a book about some of the shows I loved. But this is one of the poorest written books I've ever read. The book is divided into chapters. Each chapter contains interviews with various people associated with the network; be it actors, writers or directors. The interviews are completely in a random order. The narrative has zero flow and it makes for a totally disjointed reading. At the end of the I grew up watching Nickelodean. I loved Pinwheel and Today's Special. So I was more than excited to see a book about some of the shows I loved. But this is one of the poorest written books I've ever read. The book is divided into chapters. Each chapter contains interviews with various people associated with the network; be it actors, writers or directors. The interviews are completely in a random order. The narrative has zero flow and it makes for a totally disjointed reading. At the end of the book there are a list of who these people are. But you have to flip back and forth. Would it have been so hard for the author or editor to put the characters or relation to the show before each entry ? Or at the beginning of the chapter. This book was literally unreadable. Do not buy this!!!!
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  • Leajk
    January 1, 1970
    Some more background info. From another book by the same author: "Some girls I hate so much, I have to see them naked." (quote said by male main character who finds a comatose girl and rather than taking her to a hospital has her a the focal point of an erotic adventure)From an interview with the author about diversity and Nickelodeon: "I think that it does the culture a disservice. If I were Indian or Jewish, for example, and watched something where the characters are Jewish or supposed to be, Some more background info. From another book by the same author: "Some girls I hate so much, I have to see them naked." (quote said by male main character who finds a comatose girl and rather than taking her to a hospital has her a the focal point of an erotic adventure)From an interview with the author about diversity and Nickelodeon: "I think that it does the culture a disservice. If I were Indian or Jewish, for example, and watched something where the characters are Jewish or supposed to be, and if it’s not specific to that, then I start to wonder, “Why are they doing this?” It becomes blackface."
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  • Joe
    January 1, 1970
    It's cool to read about this network that I feel such nostalgia for, but it's not quite a good fit for those of us in our early 20s. Most of the book is focused on what was produced in the mid-late 80s -- things like Salute your Shorts or Hey Dude -- rather than the stuff made in the mid-late 90s. They do talk quite a bit about Rugrats, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and Clarissa Explains it all, but not much is mentioned about All That or Keenan and Kel or Rocko's Modern Life or Hey Arnold or It's cool to read about this network that I feel such nostalgia for, but it's not quite a good fit for those of us in our early 20s. Most of the book is focused on what was produced in the mid-late 80s -- things like Salute your Shorts or Hey Dude -- rather than the stuff made in the mid-late 90s. They do talk quite a bit about Rugrats, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and Clarissa Explains it all, but not much is mentioned about All That or Keenan and Kel or Rocko's Modern Life or Hey Arnold or anything else that I'd feel more familiar with. Still, interesting. Just might be more interesting if you were 27-35.
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  • Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so confused by the reviews complaining about this being an oral history, when that's exactly what the subtitle said. This is what oral histories are. However, the author did a huge disservice to the content in general by not including some identifier with each person; we are expected to just know who the writers, voice actors, musicians, etc are. Also, the author is a racist piece of garbage who thinks nickelodeon was better when it was super white, so there's that. These statements were not I'm so confused by the reviews complaining about this being an oral history, when that's exactly what the subtitle said. This is what oral histories are. However, the author did a huge disservice to the content in general by not including some identifier with each person; we are expected to just know who the writers, voice actors, musicians, etc are. Also, the author is a racist piece of garbage who thinks nickelodeon was better when it was super white, so there's that. These statements were not made in the book, but a separate interview that you can find online. I wanted a nostalgic trip down memory lane and I sort of got that, with the actors I knew. But everything else just ran together and was a jumbled mess. This era of Nick deserves so much better.
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  • Phil Keeling
    January 1, 1970
    As a child, there were few theme songs that carried as much emotional weight as those of The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Ren & Stimpy. This reaction wasn't so much based on the groovy melodies or the beat (though both contained a little of each). No--my blissful heartstrings twanging in harmony with those songs came entirely from the fact that they were the opening of the gates to a half hour of humorous insanity. Those were my two favorites. For other kids, it was Clarissa Explains It A As a child, there were few theme songs that carried as much emotional weight as those of The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Ren & Stimpy. This reaction wasn't so much based on the groovy melodies or the beat (though both contained a little of each). No--my blissful heartstrings twanging in harmony with those songs came entirely from the fact that they were the opening of the gates to a half hour of humorous insanity. Those were my two favorites. For other kids, it was Clarissa Explains It All or the dulcet tones of Doug, Rugrats, or Salute Your Shorts. Nickelodeon, with its initial "us versus them" attitudes of kids and parents held a very important place for people of my generation. The belief that Nickelodeon defined us is no hyperbole. It was the first time that an entire television station was dedicated to children's programming. And the purity and earnestness of those first golden years is perfectly encapsulated in Mathew Klickstein's labor of love, Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age. More than just telling the stories as they objectively happened, Mr. Klickstein interviewed the people who made Nickelodeon possible: from actors to writers to animators, directors and producers. The immense amount of history here is impressive in and of itself, but Klickstein's care and tenderness for the subject makes this collection of reminiscences impossible to put down. By care and tenderness, I don't just mean the mere ability to record and transcribe the dozens of interviews and put them together in some way that is comprehensible. That alone isn't enough for Slimed! Klickstein knows his audience, and has somehow found a way to ask questions of his interviewees that perhaps the reader didn't even know they wanted to know. A great example includes the droopy gibberish that makes up the lyrics to "Hey Sandy", the Miracle Legion-penned theme song to The Adventures of Pete and Pete.If the lyrics seem incomprehensible to you, it's probably because frontman Mark Mulcahy hasn't told anyone:"I'm pretty sure, like anything, people would be pretty disappointed about the truth...No one knows but me, and that's a rarity, so I'm hanging on to it. Even the other band members aren't aware of it. I came close to telling somebody, but I didn't. So I haven't told anybody. Don't feel left out."The entire tome of Slimed! is filled with beautiful tidbits like this one. It'd be nice to suggest that it's nothing but a wistful romp through the orange and green landscape of our childhoods, but as sure as a VH1: Behind The Music has a whiskey-soaked overdose halfway in, greed and infighting rear their ugly heads.If the surge of show moms, lawsuits, and creative struggles sounds like something that would ruin your reception of Nickelodeon's history, that's only because you're straining to look at it with your prepubescent eyes. As an adult, I found watching the Emperor sans undergarments to be fascinating. The Pollyanna nostalgia bug chewing at my insides and begging to be satisfied with wholesome Willy Wonka-style antics is immediately silenced with the fantastic stories of fear and infighting between parties that genuinely seemed to care about the network. The ousting of John Kricfalusi from his own creation of Ren & Stimpy is heartbreaking, but morally vague. The decision to side with the perfectionist, dragging-his-feet creator or the money-hungry corporate machine is entirely up to the reader, and no one side is polished to look better than the other. This is made all the more impressive during Klickstein's Acknowledgements, when it becomes clear that he's a dyed-in-the-wool John K fanatic. Just like any endeavor taken over by highly creative individuals, there are differences of opinion and feelings get hurt. To hear it told by so many different perspectives is utterly amazing. The greatest and most unique moments in Slimed! had to come from the young actors who made up the eclectic casts of Nickelodeon's many live action TV shows. While Salute Your Shorts and Hey Dude inspired the childhoods of people like you or I, this select bunch literally lived out their adolescence on Nickelodeon's stage. Their various transitions into adulthood are as diverse as the people you went to high school with. Our earliest heroes, crushes, bullies and laughingstocks all make appearances, and their perspective is rich, varied, and ultimately satisfying. Mathew Klickstein has done us a service with this book, feeding our whimsey-hungry baby birds with nutrient-rich slime. Expertly compiled and blissfully executed, Slimed! will probably take you four times as long to read as a book of a similar size, as you pop from the book to Google and back again. Though rich with childhood abandon, Slimed! still takes the time to remind one you occasionally come back to the ground for air, as Clarissa mom Elizabeth Hess perfectly summarizes:"Sometimes now my students say, 'Let's have a Clarissa party!' And I'm like, 'Nooooo! No, no. For you, it's nostalgia. For me, it's a really beautiful time in my life I don't need to revisit."And perhaps that's the greatest lesson Mathew Klickstein and Slimed! teaches you: for every whiff of your childhood, there was a crew member somewhere, mixing green food coloring into cream of wheat.
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  • Kelsey Hanson
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 3.5 (Half Stars. Make it happen goodreads!)Like many kids born in the late 80s and early nineties, I'm still in that rough stage of life about four years out from college where you realize that things are not going entirely according to plan and there's lots of responsibility... and debt. I honestly think this is part of the reason why 90s nostalgia is so intense right now, because we're looking back on our childhoods with wistful nostalgia. One of those key points is Nickelodeon. Actual Rating: 3.5 (Half Stars. Make it happen goodreads!)Like many kids born in the late 80s and early nineties, I'm still in that rough stage of life about four years out from college where you realize that things are not going entirely according to plan and there's lots of responsibility... and debt. I honestly think this is part of the reason why 90s nostalgia is so intense right now, because we're looking back on our childhoods with wistful nostalgia. One of those key points is Nickelodeon. Oh my GOD! I loved this network and spent most of my childhood being its target audience. My sister and brother and I were flipping cartwheels when we finally got cable because it meant we could watch Nickelodeon. In fact, The BIG Help came to my hometown and every kid under thirteen lost their freaking minds. Nickelodeon has a rich history with SO MANY good shows! This book focuses on a ton of different Nick-related topics including interviews with past stars, behind the scenes looks at the production process for many popular shows, and the impact that it had on the kids who loved it.That being said, this was not the book that I wanted. It was totally engrossing and I devoured it in a day and I learned a ton of new things about the network, but the format of the book was frustrating. What I was hoping for was a history about the rise and fall (yes, I do believe Nick has indeed fallen) of Nickelodeon that focused on the origins of the company, the addition of the popular shows (both live action and animated), how these shows were made, what it was like on the studios/stations and how it compares to what it is today (PS. If anyone knows about a book of this sort PLEASE let me know I will love you forever. If this book doesn't exist yet SOMEBODY PLEASE WRITE IT). This book is really more of a collection of interview answers loosely wrapped around a topic. This format is a bit hit and miss. It did provide a lot of insight into the Ren and Stimpy fight and the production issues with Rugrats (I had no idea that Klasky and the rest of the Rugrats team had such a tumultuous working relationship). But it didn't cover a lot of info about how the network was created and doesn't touch on a lot of the shows that I really liked (Rocko's Modern Life, All That, Hey Arnold!, Rocket Power, CatDog etc.) I was also a bit surprised on how little it touched on Spongebob Squarepants. Even though many people view Spongebob as the yellow menace who destroyed 90s era Nickelodeon, it has had a major impact on the network (whether good or not is debatable). The general gist of this book is that Nickelodeon's Golden Age ended when Viacom *thunderclap and lighting* quit letting the highly creative show creators do what they do best and let the network go corporate. I felt a bit depressed reading this book realizing that the best years of the network are probably in the past. It's pretty crushing knowing that the studio where these shows were produced and/or filmed, which used to be painted bright blue, orange and green with a slime fountain, is now just another office building. However, I am happy that I was able to witness and appreciate Nickelodeon's finest years.
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  • Valerie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun book, and I had a major squee episode when I got the email from First Reads that I'd won it. I'm 31 years old, so I spent a good portion of my childhood in Nick's Target audience. SNICK was an Event in my home, I subscribed to Nick magazine, and I wanted nothing more in life than to someday compete on Double Dare. The book isn't exactly what I expected it to be. It's an oral history, so it's a series of quotes from cast, crew, production staff, everyone involved in the various pro This was a fun book, and I had a major squee episode when I got the email from First Reads that I'd won it. I'm 31 years old, so I spent a good portion of my childhood in Nick's Target audience. SNICK was an Event in my home, I subscribed to Nick magazine, and I wanted nothing more in life than to someday compete on Double Dare. The book isn't exactly what I expected it to be. It's an oral history, so it's a series of quotes from cast, crew, production staff, everyone involved in the various projects. Rather than being organized by the interviewee, it's organized by topic. This keeps topics from being repeated, but it did make it a little difficult to understand at times. I would have preferred if after the interviewee's name, there was some kind of credit to tell me who they were or at least which show(s) they were associated with. Either that or some sort of narrative thread from the author tying the interviews together. Most of the time, the context is there, but I still ended up flipping to the appendix an awful lot which got annoying.That said, I learned a lot about the network that basically defined childhood for me and most of my friends. It's a great nostalgic look back at this time without having to see the stars now, recognize how old they are and by extension how old I am. They contradict each other left and right, so you really get to see all of the challenges from every angle. Kids loved being slimed! We all hated the slime! etc... The only time I found this frustrating was during the bits about Ren & Stimpy. I really hated this show, and listening to the people who made it talk bitterly about it all these years later... well, maybe that's some of the reason why. The people associated with my favorite shows seemed a little more positive except for those canceled in their prime (yes, my family was the only one around who watched Roundhouse. What? It had a mobile La-Z-Boy!).I love children's television, and I still spend a lot of my time today analyzing it and seeing what values we are imposing on our kids. The last chapter reflects a lot on this, and I really feel that in those early days, Nick was one of the few that put kids first (except with Ren & Stimpy... God, I hated that show). They were using real kids playing with real kids, and I was sad when they got bigger and more and more corporate input started making its way onto the show. I hope that some of those folks will read this book and remember that, "What's good for kids will be good for business."
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  • Amber Ross
    January 1, 1970
    Nickelodeon is engrained in my childhood. The shows that were on in the early 90s to the year 2000 were wonderful, weird and unafraid. I went into this book expecting to get some great insights into the behemoth that is Nickelodeon and get some fun Intel on a few of my old favorite shows. That's not what I got. This book is not really an oral history. It's one question posed at the beginning of a chapter with a bunch of random people answering. Half the time, the answers morph into new subjects Nickelodeon is engrained in my childhood. The shows that were on in the early 90s to the year 2000 were wonderful, weird and unafraid. I went into this book expecting to get some great insights into the behemoth that is Nickelodeon and get some fun Intel on a few of my old favorite shows. That's not what I got. This book is not really an oral history. It's one question posed at the beginning of a chapter with a bunch of random people answering. Half the time, the answers morph into new subjects altogether. I grew bored, I had no idea who was talking and couldn't remember some of the shows they were discussing - like Roundhouse. I really anticipated something different with this. Would've loved it to be more chronological instead of this bizarre mish mash of sound bites. Give this a skip.
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  • Cara
    January 1, 1970
    Though I enjoyed this book, I found the format difficult to read as I constantly had to flip back to the list of interviewees & Google who people were. This is essentially just a collection of quotes & would get confusing when each person was talking about a different show. I would have given this 2 stars, but gave it 1 extra just due to the nostalgia factor & behind the scenes information about Nickelodeon. Chapters are divided into different themes instead of a timeline or by show. Though I enjoyed this book, I found the format difficult to read as I constantly had to flip back to the list of interviewees & Google who people were. This is essentially just a collection of quotes & would get confusing when each person was talking about a different show. I would have given this 2 stars, but gave it 1 extra just due to the nostalgia factor & behind the scenes information about Nickelodeon. Chapters are divided into different themes instead of a timeline or by show. The best parts were the longer chunks about Pete & Pete and the chunk about Ren & Stimpy's creator getting fired, as those were longer chunks & more of a narrative than 10 different actors from 10 different shows talking about growing up & shooting schedules.
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  • Shant
    January 1, 1970
    It would have been a 4 had it not been for the author's tone-deafness outside of this book.Besides that issue, I think this book was pretty insightful. At first I assumed that the time period covered would be vaguely defined (Either based on availability or no definition of what consisted of the golden age), but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the book mostly stuck with things made in the first Bush Administration or the beginning of the Clinton Administration.I wish the chapters had di It would have been a 4 had it not been for the author's tone-deafness outside of this book.Besides that issue, I think this book was pretty insightful. At first I assumed that the time period covered would be vaguely defined (Either based on availability or no definition of what consisted of the golden age), but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the book mostly stuck with things made in the first Bush Administration or the beginning of the Clinton Administration.I wish the chapters had dividers. I don't read oral histories that often so I'm not sure if this is common for the genre, but I thought it was kind of annoying how The Challenges chapter at least sounded like it was just going to be about the Ren & Stimpy conflict, but then included things like injuries too (I'm already forgetting which is nnnn).I like how they answer questions like 'Can the Stiller/Taylor clan get a copy of Hey Dude from Nickelodeon or does no one have access to it?' and 'When do these actors realize that they're not going to continue acting?'.I thought the diversity chapter was brave for them to add because I chalked (no pun intended) the all white casts to just a sign of the times/catering to the demographics and job interviews taught me that you should focus on the positive - like 'But the important thing is, Nickelodeon went on to have shows like Kenan and Kel, Taina, The Brothers Garcia...' or the strategy of some of the people interviewed- 'Well, at least the kids looked real'. Again, I have to reread the book to see if they had problematic quotes.If you want to read more about Nickelodeon, I'd recommend 'Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids', by Heather Hendershot.
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  • Petty Lisbon
    January 1, 1970
    I thought the actual content was a 4, even if I've heard most of it over the years through other sources. The organization was somewhere between a 2 and a 3. I wish he'd introduce each person before instead of at the end of the book. Also, it felt like it was just a 50 person interview conducted in an auditorium that jumped from person to person, so you wouldn't really know when one topic would end and move to the next one. I thought it was pretty interesting for what they talked about but it wo I thought the actual content was a 4, even if I've heard most of it over the years through other sources. The organization was somewhere between a 2 and a 3. I wish he'd introduce each person before instead of at the end of the book. Also, it felt like it was just a 50 person interview conducted in an auditorium that jumped from person to person, so you wouldn't really know when one topic would end and move to the next one. I thought it was pretty interesting for what they talked about but it would've been nicer to have subsections.I originally didn't want to read this book, because I remember hearing about the controversy for the author saying some messy things about race (funnily enough, diversity was a chapter that I think the 50+ baby boomers handled okay) but it's an oral history so you don't see that slide in too much. I was surprised at how he doesn't cover anything like All That even (although Kenan Thompson and Danny Tamberelli were the only ones interviewed from that) and that his idea of the "Nickelodeon Golden Age" ended around 1994 (or whenever the last episode of Pete and Pete aired). There are better literary criticisms on Nickelodeon out there if that's what you're looking for but this was a good, light read. The more I review that controversy, the more I cringe, but giving this book a 3 star rating feels a little better because I'm just rewarding the participants and the effort it took to compile all of this rather than his own views.
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting topic that suffers from a lack luster and lazy presentation from the author.
  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    i actually just bought this copy for myself because I couldn't remember if I had read it in its entirety or not when I checked it out of the library last year. I just really love 90's Nickelodeon (for me there IS no other Nickelodeon) and this book was super cheap. but immediately when I opened it up and saw its distinctive format, I was like oh yeahhhh, I definitely read this. but when I looked it up in my books, there was no record of it. hmm. o_0 but being that I actually spent money on this i actually just bought this copy for myself because I couldn't remember if I had read it in its entirety or not when I checked it out of the library last year. I just really love 90's Nickelodeon (for me there IS no other Nickelodeon) and this book was super cheap. but immediately when I opened it up and saw its distinctive format, I was like oh yeahhhh, I definitely read this. but when I looked it up in my books, there was no record of it. hmm. o_0 but being that I actually spent money on this copy, I decided to re-read it (maybe I just never finished it the first time around?? it's driving me crazy) and I got to learn some behind the scenes stuff that I never would have known. for example: -the ASPCA put pressure on the creators of Clarissa Explains It All to get rid of the pet alligator that Clarissa had in a kiddie pool in her bedroom. -Michael Bower (Donkeylips from Salute Your Shorts) actually hated that he was always known as that character. "a few years later, you meet fans and they constantly call you that name and they have no respect for you at all after you introduce yourself as a human being. that's when it gets a little annoying. being typecast is an industry standard. I don't like it..." and it's just crazy because to me, he played a beloved character from a quirky show that I watched as a kid and who knew that instead of it being a good thing for him, he actually despises it? it's really sad actually:( -the kids on the shows actually got paid extra whenever they got slimed :P apparently it was only like $25-$50 but they really appreciated the extra money, according to one of the directors.-Nickelodeon "Gak" was actually dubbed Gak by some crew members and then the name kind of took off from there. however, apparently at the time, Gak was (still is?? not sure) the street name for heroin. according to Marc summers, "Nickelodeon apparently didn't do their research and didn't know. and when we told them, they about shit themselves." LMAO -arlene klasky, one of the co-creators and producers of rugrats, hated the character of Angelica and thought she was too mean. she actually at one point wanted to do away with her character because she thought she was a bad influence on kids so yeah. definitely picked up on a few interesting tidbits I wouldn't have known otherwise. I really love the fact that as a network, Nickelodeon wanted REAL kids. not cookie cutter, blonde and blue eyed perfect looking creatures but real kids with zits and braces, because they wanted it to be a network full of shows that real kids could relate to and see themselves in the characters. ♥ ♥ *of course times have changed and it's 2016 and this sadly no longer applies, but back in the "golden age," Nick was PERFECT in this respect. I also completely lost my shit when the guy who played Sardo on Are You Afraid of the Dark was talking about his first episode where he said the line "that's Sar-DOH. no mister, accent on the DOH." JSNDBSJAHDB my childhood!!! can't even deal. HOWEVER a huge gripe that I have, and one that made reading this book extremely difficult was that it's basically filled with random people "talking." it's almost written in play form. ex. Joe Schmoe: "blah blah blah"John smith: "blah blah blah"and everyone is kind of just giving their input and behind the scenes tidbits and memories and I'm just over here like....who the fuck are you people? there is a long long list at the back of the book, that lists in alphabetical order who everyone is and what show(s) they were a part of but that basically means that you have to flip to the back like ten times PER PAGE just to figure out who the flip is talking. that's a lot of flipping. flip. ain't nobody got time for that. but again, because I actually spent money on this copy, instead of getting it from the library, I pretty much made time. I also didn't like how it was organized. or rather, not organized at all. there were quotes from random people about all these different shows lumped together. one minute you were reading about double dare and then you were reading about the time there was a snake in a vending machine on the set of hey dude and it's like whaat? how did we get here?a more organized grouping of anecdotes, perhaps based on show, would have been nice. bottom line: I love old school Nickelodeon so the stars are for that and not necessarily for the actual book
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. it isn't too bad..went into it after reading reviews so I knew what to expect and have low expectations. It is interesting but at the same time doesn't completely capture me and I have to read in increments because I get bored. I think I would enjoy it more if I was a tad bit older... most of the shows mentioned are late eighties and early 90s and my nostalgia is more mid to late 90s so I know the shows but most specific actor names leave me clueless. there are several chapters though 3.5 stars. it isn't too bad..went into it after reading reviews so I knew what to expect and have low expectations. It is interesting but at the same time doesn't completely capture me and I have to read in increments because I get bored. I think I would enjoy it more if I was a tad bit older... most of the shows mentioned are late eighties and early 90s and my nostalgia is more mid to late 90s so I know the shows but most specific actor names leave me clueless. there are several chapters though that cover shows and topics I remembered and I really enjoyed those sections. It did however come off more gossip like than fact though.
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  • Caseen Gaines
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I had almost forgotten how much Nickelodeon was a part of my life.I owned all the Ren & Stimpy comics and read them religiously during lunch recess. Doug gave me hope that if you were sweet, nice, and tenacious, eventually your crush might express reciprocal feelings. Clarissa inspired my interest in journalism and, as an aside, I spent years asking my uncle who worked in computers to help me design my own computer games. I could never understand w I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I had almost forgotten how much Nickelodeon was a part of my life.I owned all the Ren & Stimpy comics and read them religiously during lunch recess. Doug gave me hope that if you were sweet, nice, and tenacious, eventually your crush might express reciprocal feelings. Clarissa inspired my interest in journalism and, as an aside, I spent years asking my uncle who worked in computers to help me design my own computer games. I could never understand why he said it was complicated and Clarissa could create a game in what seemed like minutes. I watched Hey Dude and Salute Your Shorts, and dreamt of a summer experience that was spent doing things more exciting than my local day camp. I watched Double Dare and fantasized about visiting Orlando not because of Disney World, but because of Nickelodeon Studios -- and the potential of getting SLIMED!Mathew Klickstein's book is fantastic and fascinating for a number of reasons. The biggest accomplishment is the sheer number of people who contributed to this oral history, making it a very comprehensive collection of occasionally disagreeing comments. The book is organized in a smart way, with each chapter based on a simple question or topic, and then Klickstein as moderator let the interviewees answer and divert mildly from the topic, giving excellent anecdotes throughout their journey.I was most interested in the chapter on Nickelodeon's diversity. Growing up, I didn't notice that so many of the actors on the network's shows were white, and I was equally surprised that the minorities on the network weren't aware of that either. There were some who felt it was a somewhat conscious decision to cater to their audience (who was more likely to be comprised of suburban kids, back in those days, based on where the network was available in the early days of cable).There were some anecdotes that I found mildly curious, but that's to be expected. For example, one of the people who worked on Rugrats takes credit in the book for creating a shot looking out from inside one of the babies' mouths, even though a similar shot was done in Little Shop of Horrors back in 1986.However, this book is an oral history, and as a result, Klickstein does the right thing throughout this book by not playing fact-keeper, but facilitator. In the wrong hands, segments of the book (like the extended conversation about the factors that led to John K. being fired from Ren & Stimpy) might have seem slanted, but here, all opinions are welcomed. The book is better for it.What I love the most about SLIMED! is how much it reminded me of the little kid I once was who used to watch TV on his bedroom floor, screaming at the TV during the Kids Choice Awards, and singing along loudly with his favorite theme songs. Nickelodeon was special and informed so much of who I am, and I'm glad this book is here to remind me of those great days."Now we will share a lifetime of the fondest memories..."
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    This is a hard one to rate for me. On the one hand, I was a huge Nickelodeon fan. Doug, Rugrats, SNICK, What Would You Do, Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts - they all bring back so many fun childhood memories. So much so, that I started You Tube'ing old episodes while reading this one.On the other hand, the interview format of this book made getting a good flow hard. I didn't realize that there was a "cast of characters" at the end of the book until about 1/3 of the way through. It was ok, but pictu This is a hard one to rate for me. On the one hand, I was a huge Nickelodeon fan. Doug, Rugrats, SNICK, What Would You Do, Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts - they all bring back so many fun childhood memories. So much so, that I started You Tube'ing old episodes while reading this one.On the other hand, the interview format of this book made getting a good flow hard. I didn't realize that there was a "cast of characters" at the end of the book until about 1/3 of the way through. It was ok, but pictures would have been more helpful in helping me recall who was who. I spent a lot of time on Google images while reading this one. The book had a few broad chapters that helped to corral the material, but it was still so much info from so many people that it was hard to take it all in. Giving this one 3 stars though I think my positive memories of Nick are the reason for the rating. Will update with a few fun factoids later (including what the green slime was made of!). - The green slime recipe varied somewhat depending on who made it, but generally consisted of gelatin, food coloring, oatmeal (or Cream of Wheat), and eventually shampoo. Also, sometimes water. - Green slime was actually an accident. They were originally joking around and going to dump a bucket of cafeteria plate leftovers on a kid but they didn't get around to shooting the scene because kids couldn't work overtime. The following week when they went to shoot the scene USING THE SAME BUCKET (gag), there were 8" of green crud growing over the top of the bucket. And they still dumped it on the kid. Everyone felt bad afterwards because it was (unsurprisingly) really rank. - Double Dare didn't use the same green slime that was used on You Can't Do That on Television, because if it sat on the stage under the hot lights, an oatmeal-based slime would actually bake and get hard. So they used GAK, which was a mixture of applesauce with food coloring and milk powder. The stage crew coined the term GAK, which is actually the street name for heroin. Oops. - On Are You Afraid of the Dark, they used a campfire to start each episode. Not one of the 91 episodes show an actor striking a match to start those campfires since they didn't want to teach kids at home how to strike a match/start a fire. Each episode kicked off with the dust being thrown into the fire to make it flame - this concoction was a mix of Carnation instant milk and glitter. Apparently it was also really sticky. One season was shot in a warehouse with asbestos-lined walls. Oops again.
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  • Tyler
    January 1, 1970
    If you're between 23-33 and spent the first 8ish years of your life watching Nickelodeon then go read this book. It was a delightful trip down memory lane. The "golden age" of Nick stops right around the ending of Clarissa Explains it All and started during You Can't Do That On Television. This book was just interview after interview with all the people involved (actors, producers, animators) in You Can't Do That On Television, Welcome Freshman, Out of Control, Nick Arcade, Roundhouse, Double Da If you're between 23-33 and spent the first 8ish years of your life watching Nickelodeon then go read this book. It was a delightful trip down memory lane. The "golden age" of Nick stops right around the ending of Clarissa Explains it All and started during You Can't Do That On Television. This book was just interview after interview with all the people involved (actors, producers, animators) in You Can't Do That On Television, Welcome Freshman, Out of Control, Nick Arcade, Roundhouse, Double Dare, Wild & Crazy Kids, Clarissa Explains it All, Salute Your Shorts, Hey Dude!, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Rugrats, Doug and Ren & Stimpy. It was so interesting. What's amazing is all the child actors seem to be completely normal people now. Most of them went on to college and if any of them stayed in the business it was as Production Assistants and Producers. The people who were really screwed up by Nickelodeon? The adults! OMG it sounds crazy. Backstabbing and bickering and being just downright cruel to one another. You'd never know the animosity that came out of RUGRATS! The backstabbing that happened with Ren & Stimpy.This books covers everything from what Slime is made of (eww), to diversity on Nick, the music, the costumes- Pete & Pete's costume designed does Mad Men's costumes now. It's so interesting. For the adults at the time they of course seem the least effected, all the actors apparently still get approached on the street by not 30-somethings telling them how big a fan they were of their shows. This book probably doesn't really deserve 5 stars, but it gets it because I'm a nostalgia sucker. What this book reminded me of- I will forever long for the day when the entire series of Pete & Pete is on DVD (right now only two seasons are grrr), Clarissa had the best fashion sense in the world, and Marc Summers is a bad ass.
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  • Adam
    January 1, 1970
    Received this book as a Goodreads Giveway. It was pretty interesting, but I'm not sure if I'd have purchased it if not given a free copy.It's basically an "oral history," as the title states -- this means that various people were (I assume) asked questions and then their answers are written down. There is some behind-the-scenes information about Nickelodeon and various shows, but mostly it's what it was like to be involved with the network from an artist's/director's standpoint, as opposed to an Received this book as a Goodreads Giveway. It was pretty interesting, but I'm not sure if I'd have purchased it if not given a free copy.It's basically an "oral history," as the title states -- this means that various people were (I assume) asked questions and then their answers are written down. There is some behind-the-scenes information about Nickelodeon and various shows, but mostly it's what it was like to be involved with the network from an artist's/director's standpoint, as opposed to anything really juicy about what was going on.My first problem is that only the first question is every listed (at the start of the chapter). As you continue through the chapter you realize people begin to talk about various different things and you kind of have to work backwards to figure out what question they're answering or what the hell they are talking about.The other problem I had with this book was that I didn't recognize half the names. Sure, Melissa Joan Hart, Danny Tamberelli, Michelle Trachenburg, Christine Taylor (Ben Stiller's wife, she was on Hey Dude, who knew?). The narratives were still interesting, but half of the people I just didn't know who they were. It would have almost been more helpful if instead of names they had used descriptions or character's names -- i.e. Donkeylips, the tall, leader kid from Are You Afraid of the Dark, the counselor from Hey Dude, etc. Overall, an interesting read, but kind of a let down if you want a history of Nickelodeon shows in particular or any gossip of growing up Nick.
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  • Brendan
    January 1, 1970
    Do you remember the Golden Age of Nickelodeon? Do you remember the Canada call-in show for kids that was retooled, gave Nick it's slime and wishing the water would magically cool you off in the summer. What about Pete and Pete or Salute Your Shorts? Or a host of other shows that were imperfect but it was "Where kids win." You know the Time before a stupid sponge took over 24/7. Slimed! is a great read. The documentary style of over a hundred interviews of the people from the golden age of Nickel Do you remember the Golden Age of Nickelodeon? Do you remember the Canada call-in show for kids that was retooled, gave Nick it's slime and wishing the water would magically cool you off in the summer. What about Pete and Pete or Salute Your Shorts? Or a host of other shows that were imperfect but it was "Where kids win." You know the Time before a stupid sponge took over 24/7. Slimed! is a great read. The documentary style of over a hundred interviews of the people from the golden age of Nickelodeon flows wonderfully. The only problem I see with this book is the number of people you need to keep track of because yes there are the people you know like Melissa Joan Hart or Marc Summers but also the people whose names you don't know like the writer, producer or executive who made some great tv. You will find yourself going to the biography section to remind yourself who the person is. It's great behind the scenes stories of how people that could make anything because no one knew what they were doing, stories of child stars growing up in front of the camera and then leaving it, and the challenges of managing something new.If you watched Nick during the 80's and early 90's, you should read this book.
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  • Boop
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. I grew up watching Nickelodeon and considered myself relatively well-versed in the golden age of the network. Then I read Slimed and realized I knew nothing. There is so much information in this book, it boggles my mind that Klickstein actually talked to all of these people - not just the cast members but the creators and the execs as well. The legwork involved in this book alone must have been endless and what amazes me is how candid these people are, especially when talking I loved this book. I grew up watching Nickelodeon and considered myself relatively well-versed in the golden age of the network. Then I read Slimed and realized I knew nothing. There is so much information in this book, it boggles my mind that Klickstein actually talked to all of these people - not just the cast members but the creators and the execs as well. The legwork involved in this book alone must have been endless and what amazes me is how candid these people are, especially when talking about some clearly touchy subjects.This is truly the untold story of Nickelodeon, a collection of quotes, totally unfiltered and free from author prejudice. You have to draw your own conclusions about some of the struggles that Slimed discusses but you’ll see first-hand the passion that the people who basically raised a generation had in making Nickelodeon. Slimed is a juicy, nostalgic ride back into your childhood. For anyone who grew up watching 80's and 90's Nickelodeon, you need to read this.
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  • Josef Ploski
    January 1, 1970
    I just got up after nearly 4 hours(I guess I read slow) of starting and finishing this book in one sitting. The last time this came close to happening was the last Harry Potter.I've only had cable one summer when my sister and I were rewarded with cable TV in 1994 for good grades. While didn't have Nick on a constant basis I remember seeing You Can't do that on Television, Double Dare and Pinwheel in the early 80's at friends houses and being awed.As well as being fair to all parties involved it I just got up after nearly 4 hours(I guess I read slow) of starting and finishing this book in one sitting. The last time this came close to happening was the last Harry Potter.I've only had cable one summer when my sister and I were rewarded with cable TV in 1994 for good grades. While didn't have Nick on a constant basis I remember seeing You Can't do that on Television, Double Dare and Pinwheel in the early 80's at friends houses and being awed.As well as being fair to all parties involved it was the closest thing I could get to a time machine. It was fascinating to hear all the stories from the performers, writers, hosts, executives and production staff who were there in the early days.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I would give this a 3.5. This book is full of very interesting information, especially the break up of my family's favorite show, Ren and Stimpy. So much drama! Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to get a narrative flow. I feel like it comes and goes every so often. And I wish that there were more pictures. Half of the people, especially in the sketch shows, I couldn't remember. And the fact that the list of people was at the end caused a lot of flipping back and forth. Still, I enjoyed this nosta I would give this a 3.5. This book is full of very interesting information, especially the break up of my family's favorite show, Ren and Stimpy. So much drama! Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to get a narrative flow. I feel like it comes and goes every so often. And I wish that there were more pictures. Half of the people, especially in the sketch shows, I couldn't remember. And the fact that the list of people was at the end caused a lot of flipping back and forth. Still, I enjoyed this nostalgia bomb for what it was. So much drama and so much slime. Sidenote: I was going to complain about how none of these shows are on DVD...but I was pleasantly surprised! I know what I will be buying myself!
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    Pretty interesting for any 80s or 90s kid who grew up with Nickelodeon during its heyday. Some fun insight from the cast and crew of shows like "Clarissa" and "Are You Afraid of the Dark". I don't recommend buying the kindle version though. I did and because of that I didn't realize until the end of the book that there is a "cast of characters" section telling you who everyone interviewed is. Would have been so helpful while I was reading! I spent most of the time Googling or looking at Wikipedi Pretty interesting for any 80s or 90s kid who grew up with Nickelodeon during its heyday. Some fun insight from the cast and crew of shows like "Clarissa" and "Are You Afraid of the Dark". I don't recommend buying the kindle version though. I did and because of that I didn't realize until the end of the book that there is a "cast of characters" section telling you who everyone interviewed is. Would have been so helpful while I was reading! I spent most of the time Googling or looking at Wikipedia for the names I couldn't figure out, very annoying. But overall a good read.
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