I am in my late twenties. And as someone in my late twenties, I was raised by the loving hands of cable television, Nickelodeon in particular. For those of you who are unaware, ’90s Nickelodeon was the fucking tits.
Do you even know how truly fascinating the world of ’90s Nickelodeon truly is? Yeah, we all know that Michelle Trachtenberg, Ben Stiller’s wife and the Rilo Kiley guy got their starts there (though I choose to remember him properly — hanging out with Adam Scott and Ethan Suplee at John Adams High). But do you even know how many awesome people guested on “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”? Did you know that the crippled doctor from “ER” wrote episodes of “Hey Dude”? Because she did, you guys. She did.
In honor of the magic that is The ’90s Are All That, the TeenNick midnight block of awesome presently filling my DVR and making me long for Dunkaroos and Surge, I would like to present you this list.
Submitted for the approval of the Pajiba Midnight Society, I call this story the 8 Modern Day Stars Who Started Out On Nickelodeon. Featuring Zeke the Plumber in the role of a lifetime.
8. Jewel Staite, “Space Cases”
Before she was Kaylee, she was Catalina. Full disclosure, I did not watch this show. I had an early sci-fi snobbery and felt kids’ shows demeaned the genre. I was kind of the worst.
7. James Van Der Beek, “Clarissa Explains It All”
Apparently no footage exists of this. Only in my memory does it exist. But I will personally record it when it airs as part of the midnight block, that I can promise you. He portrayed the love interest of Clarissa’s Joan Jett-y alter ego Jade. So there you go.
6. Billy West, “Doug,” “Ren & Stimpy”
This may seem strange among the others on this list, but seriously, it is quite easy to only think of Billy West as Philip J. Fry. And, yeah, everyone knows he is also Stimpson J. Cat. But it wasn’t until I started watching it again in the TeenNick block that I realized he also portrayed Doug Y. (as in Yancy) Funnie. Billy West was the MVP of ’90s youth. Who knew?
5. Jessica Alba, “The Secret World of Alex Mack”
Even at 13, she was kind of a twat. (Video has no sound. It’s probably for the best.)
4. Julie Benz, “Hi Honey, I’m Home”
It’s been 20 years. I can still sing this theme song in its entirety. Not bad for a completely forgotten show that only made thirteen episodes.
3. Vik Sahay, aka, Lester Patel, “You Can’t Do That On Television”
Everyone knows Alanis Morrissette cut her teeth on this Canadian variety show. But little did you know that the beginnings of Jeffster were there as well, covered in slime. Did you know? Say “I don’t know.” DO IT.
Yes, this entry was an excuse to post that video.
2. Ryan Reynolds, “Fifteen”
He had not yet grown into his face.
1. Ryan Gosling, “Are You Afraid of the Dark”
He also appeared on “Ready or Not” and “Flash Forward” like the goodly Canadian he is, but those were both Disney and therefore have no place on this orange couched list. Baby Baby Goose also appeared in the televised version of the Goosebumps book “Say Cheese and Die” which, while strong, was no “Be Careful What You Wish For.”