Saturday, May 23, 2020

Was Nickelodeon's Iconic Green Slime Created By Accident?

In the latest TV Legends Revealed, discover the surprising secret behind the creation of the green slime on You Can't Do That On Television!


TV URBAN LEGEND: The green slime on You Can't Do That On Television came about due to a mistake.

You Can't Do That On Television was a sketch comedy/variety series that ran on Canadian television and on Nickelodeon throughout the 1980s (it started in 1979 and ended in 1990, with a couple of gap years, so ten total seasons). It's famous for introducing slime to Nickelodeon.

The show was originally intended to be basically Saturday Night Live, only with teens and pre-teens - a forerunner to All That.


Actor Les Lye played multiple roles in the series and the kids would change from year to year. Every episode would be about a particular theme and the sketches would somehow involve that theme.

The sketches were almost all just recurring bits, like one set in a dungeon (with Lye playing a dungeon master)...


or a firing squad (with Lye playing the guy who says "Ready! Aim! Fire!")...


or a burger joint (with Lye playing Barth, the owner of the burger joint)...


or a disheveled Senator at home (played by Lye)...


The show is best known today, though, for its green slime, which would be dropped on any one who says "I don't know."


Everyone got hit by the stuff, even short-lived cast member, Alanis Morissette!


Even long after You Can't Do That On Television stopped airing on Nickelodeon, the green slime had become so iconic that it remained as a symbol of the network and its Kids' Choice Awards. Here's John Cena being slimed...


Being slimed is highly regarded as Nickelodeon's highest honor.

What's amazing, though, is that the green slime was invented by mistake!

One of You Can't Do That On Television's creators, Geoffrey Darby, was interviewed by Mathew Klickstein for Vulture, and Darby revealed the surprising secret origin of the green slime...

"How did you end up creating green slime?

Slime was an accident. Honestly, it was an accident.

We used to save stuff like pies and water until the end of the day so that we wouldn’t be waiting around with an expensive crew while we waited for the kid to get showered and cleaned up.

We were in the dungeon set and what happened was we had this joke, which was, “Whatever you do, kids, don’t pull on that chain.”

We went to the cafeteria and got them to give us a bucket of slop.

We said, “We want you to take all the stuff that’s left on plates over the whole day and put it in this bucket.” And then we were going to dump it on the kid so that it looked like if he pulled the chain, sewage would come out.

We didn’t get around to shooting the scene because you can’t go into overtime with children. It’s against the law. If you don’t get the scene, you don’t get the scene. We didn’t get it shot.

So we put the set up again the following week to shoot that one scene…

The prop man came to me – literally, this is a completely true story – and said, “There’s a problem.” The problem was that he didn’t get a new bucket of slop. He just kept the old one back stage. There was about eight to ten inches of green crud. Growing. It had grown on the top of this bucket of… stuff. There was mold.

So, we had to get the scene, right? We couldn’t get more slop, because we couldn’t! I said, “Dump… it… on… the… kid… anyway.”

And that’s how green slime was invented.

Wait, there was no concern about health issues here?!

No, not really. You [the kid] just needed to keep [his] mouth closed [literally, not figuratively] and go into a shower afterwards.

The first slime was real, then?

It was really evil. And, God, did it smell!

And the kid’s name who it was dumped on [Green Slime Victim #1!] was Tim Douglas [who also acted in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life]. And that’s actually how slime happened.

And it got such a positive response from the audience, that then we wrote a show with nothing but slime in it. [Geoffrey asked me not to tell anybody the ingredients of slime, but did confirm it was all edible and non-toxic.]"

That's amazing. Ah, the 1980s, when there were no safety rules!

The legend is...

STATUS: True

Thanks to Mathew Klickstein and Geoffrey Darby for the great quote!

Be sure to check out the TV Legends Revealed archive for more urban legends about the world of TV.

More Nick: Nickelodeon and Paramount to Bring 'Rugrats' Back for the Next Generation of Kids!

Original source: CBR.com.
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