You Can’t Do That On Television

It was the show that essentially launched a new cable channel called Nickelodeon. And if you were “of age” in the 80s, it was almost assuredly part of your daily ritual.

So what made You Can’t Do That On Television so popular? (Whatever you do, don’t say, “I don’t know”… unless, of course, you’re prepared for a Green Slime shower.)

YCDTOTV debuted on Canadian TV in 1979, with Christine “Moose” McGlade and Lisa Ruddy among the original cast on the half-hour sketch comedy show. If you somehow missed it, think of it as Monty Python’s Flying Circus for kids, and you’d be in the right ballpark.

The show came to the States in 1981, and soon became Nickelodeon’s #1 program, reaching its heyday from 1984-86… and all of a sudden kids everywhere were talking about the Green Slime.

No matter what any of the cast members were doing, all they had to say was “I don’t know”, and down the slime came from the heavens, dousing them and anyone within a ten-foot radius. (The same went for water, too—with the word “water” being the cue for a downpour.)

Of the few adults in the YCDTOTV cast, none was more memorable that Les Lye, who played dozens of characters, from Barth the disgusting cook (“Duh, I-I-I-I-I-I heard that!”) to El Capitano, leader of the worst firing squad in history (“Ready! Aim…” “Wait wait wait! Stop the execution!”)

Then, in 1986, an aspiring young Canadian actress named Alanis Morissette joined the cast. Apparently, though, what she really wanted to do was sing, and she left after one season.

A year later, YCDTOTV was on its way out, and by 1990 (Boooo, 90s!) it was relegated to reruns. The Green Slime, though, lives on, and is a prominent feature in the annual Kids Choice Awards on Nick.

We’ll always remember You Can’t Do That On Television, though, as one of the best shows for kids in the 80s. Was there one better?

Honestly… we don’t know.

We ♥ You Can’t Do That On Television.

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~ by weheart80s on May 10, 2010.

2 Responses to “You Can’t Do That On Television”

  1. Like Walt Disney “discovered” Annette Funicello, Roger Price “discovered” Christine McGlade. Annette Funicello is to the Mickey Mouse Club and Christine McGlade is to You Can’t Do That On Television!

  2. Les Lye is forever 84.

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