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Exclusive Preview of “It’s the shizNICK” Group Art Show Celebrating Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon’s weekly ratings serve as a sobering reminder of the network’s perputual stasis and its inability to produce a hit show for well over a decade. But this wasn’t always the case. In an earlier era, Nick used to be the dominant name in children’s entertainment, pumping out hit show after hit.

That classic era of Nickelodeon is the subject of “It’s the shizNICK”, a group art show that will open Friday, April 19, from 7-11pm, at the iam8bit gallery (2147 W. Sunset Blvd., LA, CA 90026):

Nickelodeon—a network brave enough to broadcast bold, awesome, epic and irreverent programming that embraces the free-flying spirit of being a kid, ignoring the conventional rules of TV development and just… well… going for it!

An entire generation was raised on Nick’s onslaught of 90’s awesomeness – truly weird, funny, and honest entertainment that speaks for itself:

The Ren & Stimpy Show, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Rocko’s Modern Life, Salute Your Shorts, Doug, Double Dare, You Can’t Do That on Television, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rugrats, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Hey Dude, SpongeBob SquarePants, etc.

The list flows on, but you get the picture. Nickelodeon has had a lasting cultural influence, far deeper than any other cable channel can claim.

The line-up of artists exhibiting in “It’s the shizNick” is impressively eclectic:

Opening night festivities will include DJs, drinks, an “Animated GIF Theatre”, a photo playset, and, of course, green slime. Full details on the Facebook event page.

Iam8bit provided Cartoon Brew with an exclusive preview of some of the art that will be exhibited:

  • YES!! I remember Danger Mouse! Oh, and Ren & Stimpy. And Hey Arnold. And Rocco’s Modern Life. And Angry Beavers. But still, DANGER MOUSE!! I am so glad they haven’t forgotten that. I also remember some of the anime they used to air. Boy. Those really were the days.

  • Is “shizNICK” inspired by that old Ned Beatty sitcom? Does anyone even remember that show?

  • Deaniac

    I love this. The Hey Arnold, Angry Beavers, and Squidward pieces shown here had to be my favorites.

  • Ty

    I thought their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reboot was a hit. If I’m not mistaken, its been renued for a third season, and the second season is still in production, while the first season is still being aired.

    • That might not count since it’s from a preexisting hit franchise.

      For original series, though, Avatar: The Last Airbender stands out as a major hit.

      • Except the franchise is now owned by Nick. The series that premiered this past September certainly does count

  • I’m pretty sure Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly and Victorious, Danny Phantom as well as the two Avatar series, the Dreamworks movie spinoffs… you know what, I don’t need to say any more. I’ve named enough hits from the last decade. This article has nostalgia goggles on.

    • AmidAmidi

      Scott, Click on the link in sentence and look at the network’s recent ratings. Their biggest show—not to mention 40% of their programming schedule—is from the 1990s.

      • Ratings are no indication of a hit in the way that you’re implying. Is Dancing With the Stars not a hit because it never supplanted the 30 million views Luke and Laura’s wedding on General Hospital got? Can the Super Bowls of the 2010s be the only hit series since MASH’s series finale because they’re the only programs that brought in more viewers? NO. Ratings standards change. Your bias is inexcusable.

        • z-k

          Maybe you could tell this to whoever’s deciding on Nick’s airing schedule. They just might supplant those Spongebob several hour back-to-back timeslots with reruns of Butkus getting dunked in Gatoraid.

        • ILDC

          How do they compare to Disney and Cartoon?

    • Nostalgia goggles off, I still have trouble seeing future young adults looking back with nostalgia and fondness for Zoey 101 and Victorious.

      I’ve got a little sister who watched all the tween shows as a kid, and I can give Drake and Josh props for being funny and zany (consistent with early Nick), but the others, at least in terms of live action, don’t have a lot of charm.

      Although I do agree that Avatar (and to a lesser extent Danny Phantom) have big fan bases.

      • Sean Pendleton

        I wouldn’t be too surprised. Clarissa Explains it All and Salute your Shorts were a bit silly at times and people usually look at those shows with nostalgia. People like the stuff they saw as kids.

  • jhalpernkitcat

    The Danger Mouse piece is absolutely beautiful. I was only around five years old when that showed up on Nickelodeon, and it’s definitely one of my earliest memories of Nickelodeon. In fact, my early life revolved around Nick. I fondly remember watching Inspector Gadget, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Count Duckula, Beetlejuice, Looney Tunes, and of course their original series shows such as Rugrats, Doug, and Ren and Stimpy. Then in second grade, a new channel called Cartoon Network showed up on our tv–opening up a new wave of cartoons for me to explore.

    • Funkybat

      The Danger Mouse and County Duckula days are definitely my favorite era of Nick. I liked how their live-action programs like “You Can’t Do That On Television” and “Turkey Television” had this homebrew feel to them, back in the era where cable TV felt like some kind of higher-budget version of public access TV. Very “free” and “experimental.” When Ren & Stimpy came on, I could hardly believe this had been approved by the censors.

      • jhalpernkitcat

        The only downside of Danger Mouse on Nickelodeon was that they changed Stiletto Mafioso (Baron Greenback’s henchman’s) accent to a Cockney one in fear that people would be offended by his original Italian one. I also did watch quite a bit of their live action game shows such as Legends of the HIdden Temple, Guts, What Would You Do? and Wild and Crazy Kids.

        Ren and Stimpy sort of scared me as a child–I don’t remember too much of them–but it’s actually a part of my childhood that I don’t want to revisit. A friend of mine even admitted that when he was little, his parents wouldn’t even let him watch Ren and Stimpy.

        • Funkybat

          I wouldn’t recommend Ren & Stimpy for anyone under 7 or 8. For a preschooler, it would definitely be kind of intense and even frightening. Not sure how old you were when they came on, but I was already a teenager so I was totally ready for something that gonzo.

          I didn’t know about the re-dubbing of Stilleto until I bought the Danger Mouse DVDs a few years ago. Growing up with the cockney accent, it still sounds very weird to me to hear him with the original accent. I think the redubbing was done for a dumb reason, but I prefer the cockney voice if I had to choose.

          One show that hasn’t shown up anywhere (at least Stateside) in ages is Bananaman. It used ot run after DM as “filler” (I think the episodes were 7-8 minutes long at most.) It wasn’t as good as the Cosgrove-Hall shows, but I liked it and no one seems to remember it. Another old UK show that had a big bu brief run here was SuperTed. I think it aired on the Disney Channel, but I lump it in with DM and the others as part of the 80s “British Invasion” in TV animation in the U.S.

          • jhalpernkitcat

            I was probably 5 or 6–then again, I also watched Tex Avery and Tom and Jerry shorts at that age–and sometimes was equally shocked by what I saw–I also was absolutely disturbed by the Pink Elephants sequence from Dumbo.
            I knew very little about Danger Mouse until I decided to revisit it by watching it online a few years ago. I read about the re-dubbing online and only have a vague idea of what the Cockney accent sounded like–it was rather high pitched, that’s all I recall.

          • Funkybat

            Yeah, those pink elephants in Dumbo (which I saw when I was maybe 3-4) made for some seriously high-grade nightmare fuel.

  • Oh, this hurts me. I’d consider giving a part of one of my toes to be here.

  • To me Ren and Stimpy is already art, so i wonder how they will top it. Most of nickelodeon shows however can use a creative overhaul.