Slipping on Slime:The Making of Nickelodeon

A look back/documentary about the first kids network
December 30, 2013
Admit it! Nickelodeon is the greatest network for kids and I have done a TON of research on this wonderful channel and now I'm going to give all you readers here on Retro Junk the a little lesson history on Nickelodeon. Let's get started.

To give you an understanding where Nickelodeon came from, it all goes back to December 1st, 1977. When a cable system called "QUBE" was released in Columbus, Ohio.

There were only 30 channels on "QUBE" and of these 30 channels, there was one small kids network called "Pinwheel". Now, this network only had one show and it was basically a carbon copy of Sesame Street but with a few minor differences. The only notable thing about "Pinwheel" is that they had none other than Bill Cosby in the cast.

Fast forward to April 1st, 1979. Pinwheel was renamed Nickelodeon and they still kept Pinwheel on the network but they also had another show called America Goes Bananaz which was a kids variety show that focused on kids topics. There's really not much more to say about America Goes Bananaz as it's not one of the more popular Nickelodeon programs in the canon.

Also in 1979, Nickelodeon got their first legit logo seen here

In 1980, PopClips was released. This was basically a music video show that lasted less than a year and helped in the creation of MTV.

Believe it or not, Nickelodeon was in for a real treat in 1981. Not only did they get their own symbol but they also got a new show: You Can't Do That On Television.

This show was just nothing more than a sketch comedy show for kids and it was amazing. It brought slime into Nickelodeon which would rain down any time a cast member said "I don't know." Aside from that, it was a show from Canada. You may not know this but most of the shows on Nickelodeon at this time were from other countries like France, The UK & Canada. Nickelodeon also got a new logo in 1981 as well as an official anthem called "Silver Ball".

Two years later in 1983, Nickelodeon got another anthem simply called "Nick. Nickelodeon"

Skipping ahead into the 1990's, Nickelodeon was about to get a major face lift. Enter the "Doo Wop Bumpers". A series of bumpers on Nickelodeon that had Doo Wop music playing. Here's the story of these interesting but strange bumpers:

Two people, Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman used to be known as "logo guys". They are known for developing (not disigning) the MTV logo. They worked for MTV Networks for a little while, until they had the idea of developing media brands. They left MTV Networks and started Fred/Alan Inc. The first clients for Fred/Alan was MTV Networks.
Fred and Alan, along with Tom Corey and Scott Nash, developed what is refered today as "the orange splat".
Fred and Alan wanted to then create bumpers for Nickelodeon. They worked with Eugene Pitt, leader of The Jive 5, and several different animators. The hardest part was convincing Nickelodeon to use Doo-Wop. Nickelodeon executives believed, "Doo-wops 30 years old, no kid has ever heard of it.

According to Fred Seibert, "We won the day on two grounds."

Fred played on the executives liberal backgrouds. 'We love all forms of African-American music, and using doo-wop will be a great way to educate American kids without anyone being the wiser.'

"Alan worked even better. He opened his mouth and, quoting The Marcels arrangement of chestnut 'Blue Moon,' sang:

"'Bom-ma-bom, a-bom-bom-a-bom, ba-ba-bom-bom-a-bomp, b-dang-a-dang-dang, b-ding-a-dong-ding.'

"'What kid isnt going to relate to that right away?' Alan asked.

"Case closed."

Out of all this, the classic Nickelodeon jingle was born.
Nick, Nick, Nick, Nickelodeon!!!!!!

Now I thought this article would be a flop but it's turning out quite well but I don't think I can go on anymore. So this article is OVER. Why? Because I just wanted to give you the back story of Nickelodeon. This really wasn't much of a making of article but it served its purpose.
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