Thursday, May 25, 2017

Special Delivery – Double Dare We Say It: A Nickelodeon Historical Celebration

Mathew Klickstein has written a non-fiction book titled SLIMED! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age, which covers the early development of Nickelodeon. SLIMED! was featured on Parade's "Year’s Best Books About Movies and TV" for 2013, listed as one of the top four tell-all books of 2013 by Entertainment Weekly and picked as one of the top ten social science books by Publishers Weekly.

On September 27, 2013, Matthew moderated and produced a three-hour long series of panels with more than 40 creative members of the Nickelodeon community, including actors, producers, writers, show creators and network personnel at the 92nd Street Y in New York called Double Dare We Say It: A Nickelodeon Historical Celebration. The event was hosted by Marc Summers and included the first live performance by the Beets, a fictional band featured on the animated Nickelodeon series Doug, made up of Fred Newman and Dan Sawyer who produced the music and sound effects for the show.

Similar reunion and panel events followed at Book Soup, Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe, Iowa City's FilmScene and, in 2014, various others as part of a short Jewish Book Council tour.

Matthew Klickstein Official Website

Official SLIMED! Site

Nickelodeon's Glory Days (Full)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

At Last, Children’s Programming That’s Fit For Children

Toedo Blade – Feb. 21, 1980

The debate about what kids watch on TV continues. Certainly everyone is concerned about it. And experts on both sides of the issue will, undoubtedly, continue to juggle their ways through research studies and case findings to arrive at their respective conclusions. But that still leaves the kids caught in the middle.

            That is, until now.

            We, at the CableSystem, are proud to announce that the void in solid children’s television has been filled.

            The CableSystem is now offering a selection of 10-11 hours of daily, Nickelodeon. Children’s programming experts convinced us that the best way to get kids away from the violence and commercials they’re constantly subjected to on regular TV is by offering them something they like better.

            They’ll like Nickelodeon better.

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10:00 - 3:00 weekdays
9:00 - 2:00 weekends

Pinwheel is the nationally acclaimed creation of a talented group of professionals including veterans of the Children’s Television Workshop. Specially tailored to the interests and attention span of the preschooler, each Pinwheel segment averages about three minutes. Blended into the format are award wining animated films as well as live action films.

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3:00/4:30 weekdays
3:00/4:00/ 6:30 weekends

The half-hour Video Comic Books show is a unique reading experience for children. Starring favorite super heroes like green Lantern and Space Ranger, this show is devoted to paging through comic books panel by panel. The visuals with printed captions are arranged for easy reading and viewing. Voice-overs and sound effects are used with the exception of one comic adventure per show during which the children are compelled to read the dialogue for themselves.

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7:00-7:30 weekdays
2:30-4:00 weekends

Children’s Classics are high-quality presentations from the British Broadcasting Company. With universal appeal to children of all ages. BBC Children’s Classics include such timeless tales as “The Prince and the Pauper,” Robin Hood,” “Heidi,” and “David Copperfield.”

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6:00-7:00 weekdays

America goes Bananaz is a teen variety show offering a multitude of happenings molded to meet the needs of the American adolescent. In addition to being an entertaining talent showcase for young artists, it also provides a great information service providing a stimulating array of suggestions on such important toics as choosing the right college and how to manage money. 

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3: 30/7:30 weekdays
5:30-6:30 weekends

Seven to twelve year olds explore the world around them through the eyes of the host character Kryspen, a medieval time traveler who comes to learn about life in the 20th Century.

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5:00-6:00 weekdays
4:30/7:00 weekends

First Row Features are special one hours children’s films broadly ranging from comedies and adventures to dramas and semi-documentaries.

Now, you can breath your sigh of relief. Worry no more about what the kids are home watching.

There’s loads of healthy, educational commercial-free viewing enjoyment for your kids on Nickelodeon. And it’s available at no additional charge to our regular subscribers. The usual monthly charge of $7.50 (plus installation) gets your kids Nickelodeon and your get all the great entertainment variety the CableSystem offers you. See for yourself. Call 535-0081

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of our amazing mothers. Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Special Delivery – Micky Dolenz Interview

The Monkees originally aired from 1966 to 1968 and became a real band when their hits singles like "Last Train to Clarksville", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Daydream Believer", and "I'm a Believer". They have sold more than 75 million records worldwide and had international hits and at their peak in 1967, the band outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.

1986 saw the Monkees’ 20th anniversary and once again they found themselves in the limelight singing their longtime fan favorites but adding new hits like, “That Was Then This Is Now,” with Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork. By that time, Davy Jones had joined them once again as they released “Heart and Soul.” 

Micky Dolenz - Raw, Uncut, Unedited Interview (February 1986)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New Blog Logo!

Brand new, hot off the press is my brand new blog logo! I'm toying with the idea of having this logo put onto ceramic cups and having some professional stickers created so if any of you are interested PLEASE, PLEASE let me know! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Classic Nickelodeon Wednesday – Black Beauty

This week I would like to look at one of literature's most beloved, and well known, characters of which several book series, movies, two television shows and a stage play have been based. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Black Beauty, a beautiful, intelligent, lightning fast, black horse.

The Adventures of Black Beauty was originally produced by London Weekend Television and shown by ITV in the United Kingdom between 1972 and 1974 and was distributed internationally by London Weekend International. William Lucas stars as Dr. James Gordon, a widower who is raising his two* children on his own.

In a continuation of the Anna Sewell novel we first meet Black Beauty in the series premier “The Fugitive” where Samson Ryder is breaking in his uncle’s horses. Beauty throws Samson then runs away. Later he is discovered by Vicky and Kevin Goren while they are exploring their new surroundings. Beauty has been badly beaten, his eye is infected and he has the chills after his long run.

The children take him home for their father, widower Dr. James Gorden, to mend but when Samson discovers that the Gorden family have his horse he attempts to reclaim him only to find out that the horse must recover before the Dr. Gorden will allow him to be moved. Naturally by this time the children have fallen in love with him and beg their father to buy him from Mr. Ryder, which he is unable to do because of the horse’s great value.

By the end of the first episode Dr. Gorden saves the life of old Mr. Ryder and in return Mr. Ryder gives the black horse to the Gorden family. It is at the end of this first episode that Vicky names him claiming that his name should, describe him, thus settling on the name “Black Beauty”.

From that point on the series focuses on the Gorden family and their everyday life as they do their best to help their friends and neighbors always with the aid of Black Beauty.

As stated above Dr. James Gorden is a widower but has employed a strong, but kind-hearted, woman named Amy Winthrop as his housekeeper. Very little is known about either of these characters but in the second season we are introduced to Ned Lewis who is Amy’s nephew. It is also in this second series where we are introduced to Dr. Gordon’s second daughter *Jenny, “who has been away at school and has only just returned” however we do not see Victoria again.

The show was cancelled in 1974 but in 1990 new life was breathed into the series with the arrival of “The New Adventures of Black Beauty” which, like its predecessor, lasted a full two seasons from 1990-1992 however it is only the first season which is directly tied to the original series picking up 20 years after the first series. It stared Stacy Dorning and William Lucas reprising their roles as Dr. Jenny (Gordon) Denning and Dr. James Gordon with both actors appearing in the first season only from 1990-1991 for a total of 26 episodes.

Both series featured the theme song, "Galloping Home", which was written by Denis King and performed by the London String Chorale and both are currently available on DVD.

Personal Note:
I remember watching this on Nickelodeon in the very early 1980’s so I was around twelve or thirteen. Back then I liked it because Beauty was a beautiful black horse, Vicky and Jenny were young girls who I wanted as my friends or sisters, Kevin, Ned and Albert were kinda cute and Dr. Gorden was so handsome. It was the perfect show for girls of that age but now that I’m an adult I still think all of those things are true but now I can see what I didn’t back then.

This show wasn’t just entertaining, it was educational as well. It taught children how to respect their elders (something that they are very lax in these days), it taught them not to lie no matter what the consequences, it taught them to always be kind to animals and not to be afraid to get involved and help your neighbors. This is one of the most wholesome shows that I would personal allow my children, whenever I have some, to sit and watch all day if they wanted too because of the strong moral values it contains.

Original Series Main Cast
William Lucas as Dr. James Gordon – (52 episodes, 1972-1974)
Charlotte Mitchell as Amy Winthrop – (52 episodes, 1972-1974)
Michael Culver as Squire Armstrong – (31 episodes, 1972-1974)
Judi Bowker as Vicky Gordon – (26 episodes, 1972-1973)
Roderick Shaw as Kevin Gordon – (51 episodes, 1972-1974)
Stacy Dorning as Jenny Gordon – (25 episodes, 1973-1974)
Kenneth Thornett as Police Constable Dickins – (16 episodes, 1972-1974)
Tony Maiden as Albert Clifton – (14 episodes, 1972-1974)
Stephen Garlick as Ned Lewis – (11 episodes, 1973-1974)

Main Cast – New Adventures of Black Beauty
Dr. Jenny Denning – Stacy Dorning (26 episodes, 1990-1991)
Manfred Groenwald – Gedeon Burkhard (26 episodes, 1990-1991)
Dr. James Gordon – William Lucas (26 episodes, 1990-1991)
Victoria 'Vicky' Denning – Amber McWilliams (26 episodes, 1990-1991)
Frank Coats – David Bradshaw (24 episodes, 1990-1991)
Hilda Burton – Ilona Rodgers (24 episodes, 1990-1991)
Samuel Burton – Bill Kerr (24 episodes, 1990-1991)
Isambard –  Claire Chitham (9 episodes, 1990)
Constable Carmody – Andrew Robertt (5 episodes, 1990-1991)
Lewis Duncan – Timothy Raby (3 episodes, 1990)
Farmer – Bruce Hopkins (3 episodes, 1990-1991)
Lord Fordham – Frederick Treves (2 episodes, 1990)

Nigel – Christian Burgess (2 episodes, 1990)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

In Search of Saturday

Welcome to “In Search of Saturdays" an advertising space I’ve designed to help our members find those long-lost movies, cartoons, TV shows, toys, games and anything else that we’ve all been looking for, for a very long time.

The instructions are simple. Post your personal “looking for” list in the comments and we’ll all see if we can help you find what you’re looking for. - This will be a group effort please.

If you can’t remember the name of a show or toy that’s alright, post what you can remember and maybe someone here will be able to tell you what it is. Also, please remember that if you are listing television shows or movies please let us know if you are looking to purchase these shows or if you just want to watch them online. Then we, the members of the group, will help try to help each other and go “in search of” those items for our fellow members.

A good place to start our searches is iOffer which, in my opinion, is better than eBay b/c you can find lots of shows there that you can’t find anywhere else.

This is a list of the Classic Nickelodeon programs that I’m looking for to purchase. Please note that I am a private collector who does not copy and resell my collection. The videos and DVDs that I collect are for my own private viewing here in my home or my Mother’s house where I originally watched them. If you have any of these and would like to sell me copies – for my private viewing – please contact me at Also, IF YOU CONTACT ME VIA EMAIL PLEASE PUT THE NAME OF THE SHOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE. Thank you.

Muppets Magazine 1982
People Magazine – no date available – Marc Summers’ car accident article
Any '80’s women’s or children’s magazines
Early to Mid-1980’s TV Guides

Dusty's Treehouse
Hocus Focus
Kids’ Writes (other than the 6 episodes on youtube)
Nick Rocks Video to Go
Spread Your Wings
Standby...Lights! Camera! Action!
Studio See

The Adventures of the Mole
Bunny in the Suitcase
Emily (my favorite)
Hattytown Tales
Magic Coco
The Magic Roundabout

Beware, Beware My Beauty Fair
Clarence & The Ottaway (staring Billy Hufsey)
Kids’ Writes (have 6 episodes but would like more)

Silver City (The Righteous Apples special)

Classic Nick Rocks

The Goodies – Funky Gibbon

A Chorus Line – Natalie Cortez – Nothing

Kool and the Gang – Celebration

Survivor – Burning Heart

Romantics – Talking In Your Sleep

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Special Delivery – Dusty’s Treehouse

A much-loved classic among early Nickelodeon fans is Dusty’s Treehouse in which Mr. Stu Rosen, as Dusty, taught life lessons to young children in a fun and easy to understand format. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I with this series would finally be put on to proper DVD and sold commercially. In today’s world children could use this type of quality, family friendly, and not to mention educational, programming.

Dusty’s Treehouse (clip)

Dusty's Treehouse – An Anniversary Episode Behind The Scenes Starring Stu Rosen

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Classic Nick Wed.– Pinwheel

Last week I told you a bit about the history of the Nickelodeon Network, this week I would like to tell you about one of their longest running and one of the most popular programs “Pinwheel”.

If you will remember Nickelodeon Network began life as the Pinwheel Network then in 1981 the network re-launched as Nickelodeon – The Young People’s Satellite Network. The name “Pinwheel” was taken from a children’s television show by the same name and aired every morning in 3-5 hour time slots and ran from 1979–1999.

Like the Sesame Street program Pinwheel featured both human and puppet actors interacting with each other to teach basic everyday good manors as well as teaching children how to use their imagination, play games and so forth. One of the most beloved and well-remembered games to come from Pinwheel was the “Gottcha Last” game played by (puppets) Plus & Minus. Much like “tag” one would tap the other and say “gottcha last” and run off while the other tries to catch him to “get him last”, back and forth they’d go all through Pinwheel House and the garden. What a fun game for children of all ages to play.

Other puppet actors who lived at Pinwheel House were Aurelia, a gypsy who lived and ran the house and used a special phone to dial the "Opposite City Operator". Then there was Silas the Snail who had an elderly-looking face and took an entire episode to go from one end of the garden to the other. He was a kind and gentle character who was forever on his way to the snails' convention but never made it on time.

Just the oposite could be said about the house’s green-faced equivalent to Sesame Street's "Oscar the Grouch", Ebeneezer T. Squint who was failthful to tend to his garden of weeds and whose one goal in life was to be on the front page of the Daily Noodle which was run by Sal & Smitty – but more on them in just a minute.

Then there was Luigi O'Brien who came from Italy and who ran a talking fruit & veggie stand. Molly O’Mole was an elderly mole who lived in a tree in the backyard. She was kind and made the most wonderful Root Tea. And last but certainly not last there were the Hobo Bugs Herbert and Lulu, we’re not sure what Hobo Bugs are or where they come from but these lovely creatures were a joy with their lovely little faces and bright smiles. (They’re two of my personal faves.)

As previously mentioned Pinwheel Puppets interacted with a variety of human characters as well, they included. A kind and very talented African-American young man named “Jake.” He collected small boxes which emitted various sound effects, he also played the guitar and sang. He was played by George James from 1981-1989 and helped write many of the songs sung on the show. I would also like to mention that Mr. James was kind enough to let me interview him for this blog. Read his interview here. 

One of the most remembered characters from the show was Coco the Mime but what most people do not know is that two different actresses played her. C.C. Loveheart originated the role in 1979 and played her until 1981 then from 1982-1989 she was played by Lindanell Rivera. Both actresses had the same makeup, white base with red lips and hearts on their cheeks, the only way to tell these ladies apart is that Ms. Loveheart had straight shorter hair and Ms. Rivera had curly hair. (See picture above.)

Early I mentioned Sal and Smitty the elderly couple who ran a newspaper called "The Daily Noodle"; they were played by Dale Engel (Smitty) and Betty Rozek (Sal). Too me it seemed as if they were everyone grandparents and lovelier grandparents you could not have found.

In every home there is always an artist and Pinwheel House was no different, their resident artist was Kim (played by Arline Miyazaki). A young Asian woman who was perhaps in ther early 20’s (about Jake’s age) who was always creating very beautiful paintings. Another fact about Kim that most people do not realize is that she also Aurelia’s niece. This fact was confirmed in the “Pinwheel Songbook” video which was released on VHS video and can be found on youtube, or click below.

Pinwheel was also famous for the variety of foreign cartoons and stop-motion puppet shorts which aired regularly though out the shows run. After many, many long hours of research here is a list of the Pinwheel Cartoons.

The Adventures of the Mole, Alfie Atkins, Bagpuss (maybe), Bod, Bugs, Bunny in the Suitcase, Charlie's Climbing Tree, Chapi and Chapo, Crystal Tipps and Alister, Curious George, Emily (Emilie), Flower Stories, Gumby, Hattytown Tales, Jim & Jam, King Rollo, Lilliputput, Madeline, Magic Coco, The Magic Roundabout, Mixometric, Mouse On Mars, Musti, Paddington Bear, Picture Pages, The Pilis, Professor Balthazar, Peelie and Poolie , Schnoodle, Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings, Teeny Little Super Guy, Tip and Tap

The last point I would like to touch on is the shows theme song, which was written by Jay Lee (music) with lyrics by Janet Gardner:

Pinwheel, pinwheel, spinning around.
Look at my Pinwheel and see what I've found.
Pinwheel, pinwheel, where have you been?
Hello, how are you, and may I come in?
Pinwheel, pinwheel spinning around.
Look at my Pinwheel and see what I found.
Pinwheel, pinwheel, breezy and bright.

Spin me good morning, spin me good night.