Nick Knacks - long form Youtube channel focused on the history of Nickelodeon

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
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I've been following this channel for a just about a year now and I wanted to give it some attention because it's finally getting to, IMO, the "good stuff":


Nick Knacks is a show that aims to follow the history of Nickelodeon, from pinwheel to modern times, with each episode going into a ton of information about how everything came to be. The first 30-ish episodes have been really slow as they covered everything in super detail, but the last episode they released, which I embedded above, finally gets into the golden era of nickelodeon, the orange splat era. It's been frankly a fascinating series to watch, way more educational than I expected. The guy has said from the beginning that there would be 3 milestone episodes that cover tentpole shows, and he's done one of them thus far (An episode on You Can't Do That on Television) and said what one of the other two will be (Double Dare, presumably coming in a few months). I've been quietly holding off of recommending this series because seeing half hour episodes on puppet shows from the 70's is admittedly dry, but where they are now is where things have started to become fascinating.

If you grew up with "The first kids network" and hold nostalgia for it, I can't recommend this series enough. Mad interesting. Here's the entire series in playlist form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI-57gAo-Uo&list=PL63ushetAZ-xoXYf46MkIywbmLq_3qXRw

as I said, the last episode finally introduced the nick splat, the doo-wop aesthetic, and is in 1985 barreling towards modern times. So the upcoming episodes should be the most interesting. Worth checking out. Even the episodes which sound like they shouldn't be interesting wind up being fascinating because of the amount of research this guy does. He does a great job of laying out all the multiple strings that wound up creating Nickelodeon independently of each other.
 

Shedinja

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Nov 30, 2017
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Nice, I’ll check this out. I find this stuff fascinating. I bought a book a few years ago about early Nick, but was disappointed to find that it was entirely in an interview format with no introductions to the people and their place in Nick’s history.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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Nice, I’ll check this out. I find this stuff fascinating. I bought a book a few years ago about early Nick, but was disappointed to find that it was entirely in an interview format with no introductions to the people and their place in Nick’s history.
I might as well post the You Can't Do That On Television episode as it's been the best so far IMO:


I like this dude's channel because he has a patreon as well that gets some nice funding, and he uses that funding for research. You can tell when you watch these episodes that a lot of digging was done to make these. Like there's one for an episode where no known footage of the show exists anymore. It's a show about games kids would make up and send into the show for prizes. The guy actually tracked down and interviewed one of the kids who's games made it onto the show, because no footage of the show actually exists, so get as much info on the show as possible. I appreciate dives that deep.
 

Frump

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Oct 27, 2017
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This series is so good. One of the best on YouTube. I think Vegetable Soup was my favorite episode.

 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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This series is so good. One of the best on YouTube. I think Vegetable Soup was my favorite episode.

The one on the year 1983 (1984?) where he begins by saying it was the slowest year in Nick history in terms of changing the line up (only like 1 show was added and dropped the entire year) but it winds up being the most important year in the history of the network because of everything that happened outside of nick was incredibly fascinating. It seems Disney Channel fucked up quite badly that year.

I also liked their explaination about how they came up with the doo-wop aesthetic. Talk about a progressive channel.
 

Nairume

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Oct 25, 2017
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Just be ready to bawl your eyes out towards the end of his Hocus Focus retrospective.

 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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I have to admit -- the silverball aesthetic they had before they came up with the nick splat and doo-wop aesthetic... I really liked it. I think that silverball logo ruled, and the trippy lights and colors they had and overall pinball aesthetic was really cool. This guy puts a lot of faith into their branding which helped them take off, but I think perhaps that aesthetic could have done well if they had the right content as well. It's just that the content came along with the aesthetic at the same time, so the switch seems inseparable.
 

Nairume

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Oct 25, 2017
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Also, it's honestly unfair to say that he's now getting to "the good stuff" when some of the work he's done on stuff prior to getting to YCDTOT includes a lot of good/interesting content and/or is important to setting up You Can't Do That (especially his thing on the Tomorrow People).
 

Nairume

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Oct 25, 2017
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I must have seen this one like a year ago and don't remember at all how it ended, summary?
After you get the Brad William's life story and start hearing about how his life was seemingly in a really good spot, you then find out that he died in an accident and was almost entirely forgotten by the historical record until NickNacks made a point to actually dig up as much as possible.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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Also, it's honestly unfair to say that he's now getting to "the good stuff" when some of the work he's done on stuff prior to getting to YCDTOT includes a lot of good/interesting content and/or is important to setting up You Can't Do That (especially his thing on the Tomorrow People).
I didn't mean good stuff as in the stuff he made before is bad, but rather that the stuff he's covering is generally what people think of when they think of nickelodeon. Especially this board, full of young 30 year olds. I admit, I don't remember nearly any of the shows covered thus far beyond You can't do that on television and Mr Wizard. They're all fascinating, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't getting more excited for upcoming episodes knowing they're about to cover what was, essentially, my youth. I'm saying the stuff he is covering now is the "good stuff," not that his coverage is "the good stuff." His coverage has been consistently outstanding the entire series.
 

Nairume

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Oct 25, 2017
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I didn't mean good stuff as in the stuff he made before is bad, but rather that the stuff he's covering is generally what people think of when they think of nickelodeon. Especially this board, full of young 30 year olds. I admit, I don't remember nearly any of the shows covered thus far beyond You can't do that on television and Mr Wizard. They're all fascinating, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't getting more excited for upcoming episodes knowing they're about to cover what was, essentially, my youth. I'm saying the stuff he is covering now is the "good stuff," not that his coverage is "the good stuff." His coverage has been consistently outstanding the entire series.
Fair enough. Tomorrow People is honestly the only one out of that batch that I knew of, and even then, it was only due to the 90's remake. I've just been finding everything completely fascinating due to how stuff flows together.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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After you get the Brad William's life story and start hearing about how his life was seemingly in a really good spot, you then find out that he died in an accident and was almost entirely forgotten by the historical record until NickNacks made a point to actually dig up as much as possible.
oh yeah, I remember that now. A lot of the early history of Nickelodeon seems owed to a few key figures who really actually cared, surrounded by people who didn't get it. Like the network took off in spite of the leadership.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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Fair enough. Tomorrow People is honestly the only one out of that batch that I knew of, and even then, it was only due to the 90's remake. I've just been finding everything completely fascinating due to how stuff flows together.
Yeah, I knew of the Tomorrow People because of the remake as well. I had no idea it was a remake either until I saw that episode.

What's neat about the last 3 or so episodes is watching how the nickelodeon I grew up with slowly starts to appear. Like, that dude who did the voice over work for the network after nearly every show, the "coming up next" dude from the 80's and early 90's, his voice FINALLY showed up like 2 episodes ago. It's really neat.
 

Frump

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Oct 27, 2017
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Just be ready to bawl your eyes out towards the end of his Hocus Focus retrospective.

I can't deny that I choked up a bit on this one when I watched it myself. It is a really great biographic video of an unsung hero.

I also liked their explaination about how they came up with the doo-wop aesthetic. Talk about a progressive channel.
Yeah, that was great to hear. I wonder how much that influenced the fairly diverse (at least for the time) casting on the live-action shows from when I was watching as a kid in the early 90s.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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I can't deny that I choked up a bit on this one when I watched it myself. It is a really great biographic video of an unsung hero.


Yeah, that was great to hear. I wonder how much that influenced the fairly diverse (at least for the time) casting on the live-action shows from when I was watching as a kid in the early 90s.
I dunno, I think about that show My Brother and Me and I'm not too sure. I liked that show, I used to watch it in reruns all the time. From what I've read online, it was generally popular. It got decent ratings. Nobody seems to know why it was cancelled exactly. I get the feeling around that time Nickelodeon underwent another change, but that's about when I stopped watching Nickelodeon all together, when stuff like All That starting coming around. I hear other nick fans call that the "Dan Schneider" era and the horror stories I hear about that...

I pretty much religiously watched Nickelodeon from around 1988 when we got cable till about 1995 or so. When I think of Nickelodeon, I think of Ren & Stimpy, and Roundhouse, and Snick, and Are you afraid of the dark, and Pete and Pete, and Double Dare, Nick Arcade, Guts, etc.
 

Frump

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I dunno, I think about that show My Brother and Me and I'm not too sure. I liked that show, I used to watch it in reruns all the time. From what I've read online, it was generally popular. It got decent ratings. Nobody seems to know why it was cancelled exactly. I get the feeling around that time Nickelodeon underwent another change, but that's about when I stopped watching Nickelodeon all together, when stuff like All That starting coming around. I hear other nick fans call that the "Dan Schneider" era and the horror stories I hear about that...

I pretty much religiously watched Nickelodeon from around 1988 when we got cable till about 1995 or so. When I think of Nickelodeon, I think of Ren & Stimpy, and Roundhouse, and Snick, and Are you afraid of the dark, and Pete and Pete, and Double Dare, Nick Arcade, Guts, etc.
We were definitely watching around the same time period, though I was slightly later. I have some vague pre-Nicktoon memories of the channel, specifically the channel advertising those shows coming soon. I know exactly when I stopped watching it though. It was right after Kablaam aired Race Rabbit for the first time. I was talking about it in my 7th grade gym class locker room with some friends and a kid leans over and says "You still watch Nickelodeon?" The weird shame I felt as a 13-year-old has stuck with me, even if I think caring about that kind of comment now is silly. Hell, I think I like and appreciate The Adventures of Pete & Pete now as an adult more than I did as a kid.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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We were definitely watching around the same time period, though I was slightly later. I have some vague pre-Nicktoon memories of the channel, specifically the channel advertising those shows coming soon. I know exactly when I stopped watching it though. It was right after Kablaam aired Race Rabbit for the first time. I was talking about it in my 7th grade gym class locker room with some friends and a kid leans over and says "You still watch Nickelodeon?" The weird shame I felt as a 13-year-old has stuck with me, even if I think caring about that kind of comment now is silly. Hell, I think I like and appreciate The Adventures of Pete & Pete now as an adult more than I did as a kid.
haha, I definitely didn't grow out of nickelodeon, it's just that we got the cartoon network in early 1996. I LOVED the early cartoon network, cartoon network until about 1998 might have been my favorite TV channel ever. The creativity seem unbridled, I would love to have worked there at that time.

What's funny is that when I switched to cartoon network, despite basically giving up on nickelodeon for day programming, I'd still watch Nick At Nite. I watched that shit till like college.

My memories of Nickelodeon blur together with MTV, funnily enough. My sister and I are roughly the same age, and we watched a ton of TV together. I liked Nickelodeon more, she liked MTV more, but we shared the TV and liked both channels to a degree. So it'd be us watching Nickelodeon, switching back to MTV during commercials and watching music videos instead. Great memories, there was a ton of synergy between MTV and Nickelodeon at the time, like they were sister stations.
 

Nairume

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Oct 25, 2017
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I was religiously watching Nick from 89 up through about 97, though I had largely switch to Cartoon Network by those last couple of years. I held on for a few more years for Hey Arnold and Angry Beavers, but I think I tapped out around the time their awful Animorphs series got canned.
 
Apr 8, 2018
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Oh damn, I almost forgot about this series. I don't remember how, but I stumbled upon these videos sometime last year. I think I only watched the first few episodes, but it was very interesting stuff indeed. Insane how much detail you can get into with some of those topics. I should start watching these again.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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I was religiously watching Nick from 89 up through about 97, though I had largely switch to Cartoon Network by those last couple of years. I held on for a few more years for Hey Arnold and Angry Beavers, but I think I tapped out around the time their awful Animorphs series got canned.
See, I dropped watching Nick before Hey Arnold premiered. I would still see Kablam until like 1997 tho, I dunno how I got onto that show specifically. It was part of a friday night routine I had where I'd watch kablam then switch to Cartoon Network and watch Cartoon Planet followed by Space Ghost Coast to Coast. But that was more like tuning into nick specifically for kablam.
 

hiryu2015

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Oct 27, 2017
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I have faint memories of watching Pinwheel (episode #2) during my earliest, pre-elementary school days. I look forward to watching the rest of these.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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I have faint memories of watching Pinwheel (episode #2) during my earliest, pre-elementary school days. I look forward to watching the rest of these.
what's pretty cool is that, even if you haven't got any memories of these shows, the way the guy builds them all into the larger overall story of Nickelodeon still makes it fascinating. He sort of goes year by year for nick, with the early years being basically a struggle on a show by show basis. Every show was part of a larger story involving the network executives and tv trends at the time.

Fascinating stuff.
 

Meatwad

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Oct 25, 2017
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I have faint memories of watching Pinwheel (episode #2) during my earliest, pre-elementary school days. I look forward to watching the rest of these.
Yeah Pinwheel was basically my first addiction lol, I barely have memories of the show but my mom told me that I used to watch it for hours and monopolize the television. I wouldn't stop being addicted to Nickelodeon until high school
 

SG-17

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Oct 25, 2017
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See, I dropped watching Nick before Hey Arnold premiered. I would still see Kablam until like 1997 tho, I dunno how I got onto that show specifically. It was part of a friday night routine I had where I'd watch kablam then switch to Cartoon Network and watch Cartoon Planet followed by Space Ghost Coast to Coast. But that was more like tuning into nick specifically for kablam.
I was a '96 to '06 Nick kid. After Avatar ended I didn't watch anything new on Nick until Korra (and since then nothing). I was also a '97-'04 CN kid. I didn't watch anything new after Fosters but I stuck around to watch the end of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Grim Adventures, and KnD. Around that time I transitioned to Adult Swim, which is where I first watched Futurama.
 

Jims

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Oct 27, 2017
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I see what's going on. You're going to introduce me to this channel and then I'm going find out he's an alt-right/MRA shithead and I'll then have to go over to that other thread. Very sneaky.

Thanks for sharing, gonna watch a bunch of these!
 

Frump

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Oct 27, 2017
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I see what's going on. You're going to introduce me to this channel and then I'm going find out he's an alt-right/MRA shithead and I'll then have to go over to that other thread. Very sneaky.

Thanks for sharing, gonna watch a bunch of these!
If anyone is legit concerned about this happening, watching the Vegetable Soup episode should put your mind at ease.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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Yunsen

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Oct 25, 2017
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Cool channel. Everything so far has been before my time but I’ve been pretty consistently watching Nick from the mid 90’s to now, so I’m really curious how everything has unfolded from when I started.
 
May 21, 2019
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Wow I'm a bit of a fan just started today and I'm really enjoying the content. Just reached the star channel stuff and he really is putting alot of effort into the production of the essays.
 

Gaia Lanzer

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Oct 25, 2017
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I see what's going on. You're going to introduce me to this channel and then I'm going find out he's an alt-right/MRA shithead and I'll then have to go over to that other thread. Very sneaky.

Thanks for sharing, gonna watch a bunch of these!
If anyone is legit concerned about this happening, watching the Vegetable Soup episode should put your mind at ease.
YES, the Vegetable Soup one... that ending... DAMN!

I subscribed to poparena a ways back. Big fan of Nick Knacks and his Goosebumps reviews. I grew up on 80s Nickelodeon, so stumbling across his channel, every video has been a blast.
 
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Krejlooc

Krejlooc

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New Episode:


These are coming out faster than before lately, I wonder if getting to the "golden era" of Nick has sped up production. The dude mentioned a while back that he wasn't going to be taking requests anymore to try and speed through the best stuff, and it looks like he's kept his word.

On the subject of this show -- I remember this show!