1. 14. The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo
Unfortunately, this promo more or less summarizes the quality of humor, the quality of acting, as well as the premise of the show. Pat Morita (of The Karate Kid fame) who played Shelby’s grandfather wasn’t enough to redeem it.
2. 13. Space Cases
Easily the weirdest show on the list, which is saying a lot, because this list is full of weird entries. A group of misfit kids (each one from a different planet…and each possessing a superpower…from…that…planet? Rosie, from Mercury can produce a lot of heat. Makes sense, right?) stowaway on a ship that launches them into the far reaches of space and they’re trying to make it back home, all while learning (because a teacher managed to come along too) and learning to get along (alien racism, man). It was too poorly acted to be important. But look, it’s the Black Ranger!
3. 12. The Journey of Allen Strange
The story of Allen Strange, the alien from a faraway planet who lands on earth, is better acted than Space Cases and Shelby Woo, and better handles race issues with its episodes than either of the former. Wait! Allen? Alien! ALIEN STRANGE!
4. 11. Roundhouse
Before there was All That, the kids watching SNICK had Roundhouse. A group of triple threats (actor-singer-dancers) produced a half hour of sketch comedy revolving around a theme interspersed with dance breaks and songs. The cast was young and energetic, but the comedy wast mostly hit-or-miss. Perhaps ahead of its time, perhaps a little too clever for a late-night Saturday show, Roundhouse would rank higher if it had made a bigger impact.
5. 10. Kenan & Kel
For all their talents, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell were misused in a sitcom environment. They made their name playing insane characters, and the show limited them to playing themselves. Oh my god, COOLIO!?
6. 9. Animorphs
Nick needed an answer to Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles. And unfortunately, all we had was Animorphs. That said, they made it into quite an exciting show, with better looking animals than Twilight’s werewolves.
7. 8. The Ren & Stimpy Show
They could very well be the most polarizing pair on this list, but think about this way: if not for Ren Höek and Stimpson J. Cat, we wouldn’t have South Park, King of the Hill, probably even Archer, Adventure Time, and anything else truly weird or pushing the envelope. Ren and Stimpy were surreal, relentless, and traumatizing. And amazing.
8. 7. The Secret World of Alex Mack
It had all the secrets and strange powers of Allen Strange, the government run-ins of Animorphs, with better actors and better writing. Plus, the protagonist is Larisa Oleynik, and I had a major crush on her in the ’90s.
9. 6. All That
It was our SNL, and the memorable sketches are numerous. Good Burger, Repairman (manmanman), Ishbu, Superdude, Randy and Mandy, Detective Dan, Vital Information… The list goes on. The show’s only mistake came 10 years later when they decided to “reboot” the show with a younger cast and more juvenile sketches. But we’re only talking about the first era, which is by all standards, pretty great!
10. 5. Rugrats
One of the three Original Nicktoons was brought in to bolster the late-era line-up. We already knew they were amazing because they’d been around already. The adventures of the four babies taught us to be brave, stand up for what’s right, and always have a screwdriver hidden somewhere.
11. 4.) KaBlam!
The cartoon variety show that gave rise to Action League Now, Angela Anaconda, Prometheus and Bob, and The Off-Beats. Henry and June managed to overtake their veteran Nicktoons counterparts in the SNICK line-up and represent the overall tone and style of the Saturday night block.
12. 3. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this…one of the coolest shows from SNICK. Not everything was scary, some of it was quite funny (though Goosebumps was funnier for how bad it was) but it was always entertaining. When I was younger, I remember if I got to the end of the night, and saw that empty boat in the water in the intro, it was make or break time: am I gonna have the BALLS to watch tonight!? AHHH!
13. 2. Clarissa Explains It All
We all loved the girl who talked straight into the camera, with the weirdest parents on Earth, a neighbor (Sam) who did not believe in using doors, and Ferguson: possibly the only annoying character who could give Joffrey from Game of Thrones a run for his money.
14. 1. The Adventures of Pete & Pete
Ellen. Petunia. Mom’s metal plate that picked up radio. Artie, the strongest man in the world. The Nightcrawlers. Rolling Thunder. Eisenhower marshmallow. Inspector 34. And there’s so many more reasons to name this the greatest show on SNICK, and one of the greatest to come out of Nickelodeon in general. The characters were somehow familiar, but still lived in a world of crazy possibilities, and we loved every minute of it.