Remembering Nick at Nite: Nostalgic for Nostalgia

Remember when The Simpson was fresh and witty, and not the animated equivalent of a sick dog that needs to be put to sleep? Remember when it was a prerequisite that video game mascots be radical and have an in-your-face ‘tude? Remember the color neon green? What happened to that?

You know he’s radical because of the exclamation point.

I am discussing, of course, a magical time called the early 90s. It seems like everyone is getting nostalgic for this period. Even M.C. Hammer is getting in on the action by persisting to exist. And I am as guilty as any one–just check out half the entries in this blog.

It’s a sign of the times that Nickelodeon is getting 90s-crazy. They are going to air a block of vintage Nickelodeon, including shows I  enjoyed, like Ren & Stimpy, and ones I watched because they were on, and what else is a 9-year-old going to do–play outside? I am speaking, of course, of Salute Your Shorts and Hey Dude.

That’s all well and good, but you know what I’m really nostalgic for? Good old-fashioned nostalgia.

I say, forget Hey Dude (seriously, lose this memory as soon as possible). Bring back the old Nick at Nite! Remember when people were nostalgic for decades besides the 80s and 90s? Remember the 50s, 60s and 70s?

I don’t, but thanks to Nick at Nite, I remember many of the shows of this era. Only difference is that when I saw Bewitched for the first time it was interspersed with surreal, post-modern promos and commercials with Wendy the Snapple lady.

Nick at Nite was created in 1985 by the same people who created the imagery behind MTV, back when MTV was cool (yes, it actually was cool once, kids).  It was modeled after an oldies radio station, so they often played marathons of shows (100 episodes of Donna Reed in a row? That could never get tiresome).

Get Smart was one the classic shows that aired on Nick at Nite. It featured Maxwell Smart, a bumbling secret agent who talked into his shoe a lot, and the foxy agent 99. You might remember this as the show Steve Carrell ruined. And, no, I don’t mean The Office.

They also showed the 1960s revival of Dragnet, featuring Joe Friday and his partner Bill Dannon, two cops who were usually shown arguing with hippies. That was pretty much the whole show. And it was awesome.

I particularly enjoyed The Mary Tyler Moore Show. A good show, no doubt, but I cannot really figure out what the appeal was for me as a nine-year-old boy. I mean, it’s about a 30-year-old single, working woman living in the 1970s. I still played with Ninja Turtles. I don’t really see what I got out of it.

Back in the day, Nick at Nite also used to show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the Dick Van Dyke Show and F-Troop (yeah, that one was a bit like Hey Dude in that it was just kinda on).

Nick at Nite still exists, but they don’t show old shows anymore. Unless Friends is now considered an old show, which I guess it is. And that just makes me feel…old.

What happened to Nick at Nite! They used to talk about “preserving our television heritage.” Well, what happened to our television heritage? Apparently, they dismantled it and sold it off for the rights to purchase more episodes of the George Lopez Show.

Okay, half the shows I used to watch probably do not hold up over time. But I am imploring Nick to bring back a block of  vintage Nick at Nite. I’m nostalgic for my nostalgia!

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2 Responses to Remembering Nick at Nite: Nostalgic for Nostalgia

  1. wilsonflannery33 says:

    I liked Hey Dude. Take that back. Loved Hey Dude. Sike it sucked. But I agree with you post.

    • Gareth says:

      No one and I mean NO ONE liked Hey Dude. Sike, it was awesome! Double-sike, it sucked. Or did it? Yes.
      Wait, how do you spell “sike” again? Better travel back to the 90s and ask someone.

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