Nickelodeon had a plethora of amazing content in the 90’s. As they started to branch out with original content early in the decade, they continued to churn out hit after hit. While nearly everyone remembers Pete & Pete or Rugrats, there’s plenty of other shows oft forgotten, but undeservedly so. KaBlam! is one such show. The rapid fire sketch comedy created for SNICK (that’s Saturday Night Nickelodeon) featured some of the most incredibly hilarious and creative sketches I’ve seen in a kids show. Considering it was from the creators of Pete & Pete, I expected no less.
The show’s premise was that of a comic book brought to life. Each segment featured recurring characters in shorts, and some non-recurring like Angela Anaconda, with hosts Henry & June flipping the pages of the comic book for the viewers. Henry & June featured some of the worst animation I’ve ever seen, but that was part of the show’s charm, it’s crude production value. This purposefully style was used to great effect not only with these two, but other segments as well. Some of the other characters became so popular they garnered spin-offs of their own.
First, there was Life with Loopy. Narrated by her brother Larry, this followed the mis-adventures of his little sister, Loopy. For example, once she stopped taking a bath and began growing flora from her person before being declared a national park. The art style featured claymation bodies with cardboard cut out heads with the occasional real person interjected. It was a South Park esque style.
Then there’s Sniz and Fondue. Traditionally animated, this featured a pair of ferret roommates doing, stuff. One wore a chef’s hate, I’ll let you guess which. Nothing much to write home about. This segment failed to last the run of KaBlam! as their production company went to work on Wienerville. The Off-Beats was another segment that didn’t make the entire run. The Off-Beats, originally featured as shorts outside of KaBlam!, featured unpopular school kids against their rivals, “The Populars.” The segment ended due to creator Mo Willems leaving to create Sheep in the Big City for Cartoon Network.
The two most popular shorts on KaBlam! were Prometheus & Bob and Action League Now! Prometheus & Bob had found footage of an alien training a caveman to do everyday things. These lessons usually resulted in failure due to a monkey. A live action version was nearly produced but fell apart due to lack of interest. Action League Now! though, that was the best part of the show.
Using real action figures with the hands moving them occasionally present, Action League Now! was a send up of a superhero team. There was the Flesh, who was super strong and super naked, Thunder Girl, who flies like thunder, Stinky Diver, a former navy commando with an attitude as bad as his odor, and Melt Man, with the power to… melt. This was easily the most popular part of KaBlam! It started as a short on All That before appearing on KaBlam!, then it was spun out into its own show.
KaBlam! featured great, irreverent, off beat humor that was perfect for kids. The purposeful poor quality only added to the humor. Creative comedy like this is great at any age.
Remember KaBlam!? What was your favorite part? Comment below!
Told you it would be KaBlam!