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Welcome to another exciting installment of musings on 90s Nickelodeon, brought to you by me and my comedic partner in crime, Andy Shaw. We've had a criminally fun time putting these together and strolling down memory lane to recall just how much TV used to rot our brains as children. Hopefully you'll enjoy these memory-stirrers as much as we enjoy goofing around in the blogosphere writing these posts.
We're doing things a little differently this time around. You can scroll down to see our conversation about Clarissa Explains it All and Double Dare, and visit Andy's blog to read our memories and plea to the Nickelodeon people to add Hey Dude to their rotating TeenNick 90s is All That lineup. Be sure to check out both posts and of course, let us know via email, twitter (@childrenof90s and @wildarschase) or in the comments section what other shows you'd like to see in the series.
And of course, don't forget to check out parts 1 and 2, here and here!
Clarissa Explains it All
Children of the 90s: Never have I ever had a style and fashion icon quite like Clarissa Darling. Even watching the reruns on TeenNick, I can’t help wondering where she got her oversized Keith Haring t-shirt or checkerboard bike shorts. As a child, I used to dream of the day when my mom would let me wear a crop top, mini skirt, and pink tights like Clarissa does in the intro. Unfortunately, that day never came. Actually, I think I’m still waiting. Mom, what do you think of the crop top? Still no?
Clarissa was just pure cool. She was quirky but likable, and her granola family, nerdy brother, and floppy-haired window-climbing neighbor made for great situation comedy. She was smart and funny and totally unique. I watch the show now and still find myself wishing I could assemble ironic and interesting decor items like Clarissa. Hubcaps? Giant Swatch watch? Russian matryoshka dolls? Check, check, and check.h
WildARSChase: I wonder why she never really hooked up with Sam. He made it cool to use a ladder to get into a room.
My favorite aspect of the show was the computer games she’d have available. Remember, this was before people really had any such thing, so every game looked amazing. Probably how people marveled at that newfangled Facebooks all the kids are doing these days.
She also had that annoying younger brother, Ferguson, who was in love with Dan Quayle and was destined to grow up rich, connected and divorced by 42.
Fun fact: James Van Der Beek was a guest star.
Children of the 90s: Oh, I was a big Sam fan. He had that great 90s hair, where they shaved it underneath and let it go floppy on top. Swoon. I did like her sometimes-boyfriend, Clifford Spleenhurfer. He was a bully, but also a softie and totally whipped for Clarissa by the end of their relationship.
Ferguson loved Dan Quayle? I don’t remember that specifically, but it seems to fit right in with his general ambitious nerdiness. I stumbled upon a picture of what Ferguson looks like today and I couldn’t believe it. I just always think of him as the nerdy kid brother, and that picture is definitely a bona fide grown up (read:bald). Other fun fact: he’s now a theater director in Portland.
WildARSChase: And he also testified to Congress about the benefits of passing out free condoms. Neither here nor there. I’d just like to say that the world would all be better if everyone would break the fourth wall.
Children of the 90s: How awesome would it be if we could opt to defer difficult situations in our real lives by selecting a physical challenge? Just picture it: you’re at big meeting at work, all eyes in the boardroom on you, the boss puts you on the spot to defend your numbers, and you...choose instead to catapult a pie into your coworker’s pants. It just seems like a generally awesome alternative to dealing with the pressure of not knowing the correct answer.
You can’t talk about Double Dare without bringing up the ultimate irony of the show: host Marc Summers suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Now, I’m no psychology expert, but I imagine most treatments of the disorder--even the most head-on, encounter-therapy style ones--do not recommend auditioning to be the host of a show with the words “Super Sloppy” in the title. It just seems like common sense.
WildARSChase: I misread your last sentence as “Sloppy Seconds,” and thought, “That’s not good for anyone, let alone someone with OCD.”
Double Dare taught us all that when in doubt, you can get anywhere in life by accepting a challenge and filling a glass of milk glued to a helmet. To this day, when I hear, “On your mark, get set, GO” I start ferociously eating pies.
I always wondered if the dads on the show would get mad at their freeloading kids forcing them to go for the challenge rather than the better bet of answering a question and winning money to pay for the godforsaken trip to Orlando when all he wants to do is play some golf and drink some beer but no of course not he had to go on a game show and make a fool of himself in front of everyone and now he’s losing money to some bratty kids and ...
Children of the 90s: I hope that someday when I have a family of my own, we too can resolve problems by filling glasses of milk and mounting them on helmets. Heck, I don’t even care if we have a problem or not. I’m just going to make those helmets. They just seem like an awesome accessory to have on hand, assuming you like to drink over a tarp.
I too was pretty impressed by the parents on this show, they really gave it their all. I’m not sure I can imagine my family getting quite so behind a mission that involves sliding headfirst into the Gak geiser. On the plus side, though, I’m sure it made for some pretty awesome souvenir videos to drag out during a lull in the next family reunion: “Oh, and here’s where mom dove into the mashed potato vat to get the last orange flag! Rewind that so we can watch it in slow-mo, will you, Johnny?”
WildARSChase: I wish they would’ve shown some really dysfunctional families (more reality TV style) who would berate each other and screw each other over. That would’ve added a whole new dimension.
That's all we've got for you today, folks! Don't forget to stop by Andy's blog to see our Hey Dude post, too!