You Can’t Do That On Television
You Can’t Do That On Television was the show our parents hated for us to watch. The kids on this show yelled, they made fart jokes, and they dumped slime on anyone who said the words, “I don’t know.” It was like Saturday Night Live for the pre-teen set.
It was a Canadian sketch show that began airing locally in 1979, but landed on the for-kids network, Nickelodeon, in the early ’80s. At the time, there weren’t a lot of programs for young people that weren’t Saturday morning cartoons. Its popularity grew from the fact that it was mildly naughty and parents hated it so much. Plus, it’s target audience skewed a little older, making it popular among tweens – even though that word and consumer set didn’t really exist yet.
It also launched the career of Alanis Morrissette and writer Bill Party, who would go on to write and produce shows like The Big Bang Theory, Gilmore Girls and Dharma and Greg. It also helped create a brand for the then-burgeoning Nickelodeon network. If you ever wonder why celebrities get slime dumped on them at the Kids’ Choice Awards, wonder no more. It’s a direct nod to the show that helped launch a network.