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You Can't Do That on Television
Les Lye played all the adult male parts (Ross, Barth, Blip, etc.).
There were over a hundred kids who appeared on the show at some point. Listed here are the most well-known, all of whom played themselves.
Created by Roger Price and Geoffrey Darby
Christine "Moose" McGlade
Aired on Nick from 1981-1993.
You Can Do That on Nick
You Can't Do That on Television debuted on January 29, 1979, on CJOH Television in Ottawa, Canada. Then it was a low-budget comedy show similar to Saturday Nigh Live, complete with a live studio audience and musical guests. The cast included a large group of unknown child actors, over a hundred of which would come and go over the years. The most well-known one was Christine "Moose" McGlade, who got the job by "accident" when she came to the studio to support a friend.
After the shows first successful season, a spin off was created called Whatever Turns You On, which was exactly the same as You Can't... except that it was taped instead of filmed live. It also included Laugh-In veteran Ruth Buzzi. Unfortunately, this show had terrible ratings, and was canceled after one season, but it did inspire the opposite skits that would later appear on YCDToTV, and also lead to it being taped, instead of being broadcast live.
By 1981, the musical guests and call-in segments were gone, and the show had converted to 100% comedy. It was then that a fledgling kid's network in the United States called Nickelodeon took an interest in YCDToTV. In 1981, YCDToTV debuted on Nick and quickly became their highest rated show. The ratings gradually declined in Canada, but YCDToTV continued to go strong on Nick, where it aired five times a week.
YCDToTV was Nick's biggest hit, and Nick soon began to associate it with the network in every way possible. Nick's famous green slime logo came from YCDToTV (green lime was dumped on everyone's head who said the phrase "I don't know"). Even today, after YCDToTV has been off the air for over a decade, and very few of today's Nick fans have even seen the show (or can't remember it), Nick still uses the phrase "I don't know" to slime celebrities at The Kid's Choice Awards, but gives no credit to YCDToTV.
A line of products was also marketed including green slime shampoo and soap, which was later given away on Nick's hit game show Double Dare which began in 1986.
By 1987, YCDToTV was going through some serious changes. The 1987 season consisted of only five episodes (and the Adoption episode was banned after only one day of airing). Matt Godrey, Doug Ptolemy, Vanessa Lindores, and Adam Reid had all grown too old for the show. Christine McGlade, who was probably the most well-known cast member in the shows history, had departed the previous year. There was no 1988 season, because Roger Price moved to France, and CJOH refused to make new episodes without him. The show resumed production in 1989, but Stephanie Chow elected not to return so that she could concentrate on her piano. The only cast member that anyone could remember was Amyas Godfrey, and thus fans began to refer to the 1989 and 1990 season as "new episodes". Sadly, 1990 was the final season of You Can't Do That on Television. It remained on the air in re-runs until 1993, when Nickelodeon dropped it for good. In 1999, during Nick's 20th anniversary, Nick aired three episodes of You Can't Do That On Television, all of which featured famous singer Alanis Morrisette, who was a minor character on the show.
YCDToTV's presence can be felt on Nick to this day, with the aforementioned sliming at the Kid's Choice Awards, or the green slime geyser that stands at Nickelodeon Studios. Nick does not own the copyrights to YCDToTV, but certainly used it to get to where it is today.
The reason why YCDToTV isn't being ran in re-runs is that if they were, the networks would have to pay everyone who had anything to do with the production of the episodes being reran, and nobody is willing to pay that kind of money. Stay tuned, however, because Les Lye once mentioned that CJOH had contacted him about some projects, and one of those projects was a You Can't Do That on Television reunion movie! Here's hoping that eventually happens.
YCDToTV was best known for it's catch-phrases, which included: "Where does the school board find them, and why do they keep sending them to me?", "Sometimes it's so easy I'm ashamed of myself," "Blue skies.. Barthy Burgers..Girls", "Don't encourage him!", "Duhhh I heard that!", "Who do you think's in the burger?".
YCDToTV also had many scenes, including: the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, the front porch, the dining room, the classroom, detention, hallway, the locker room (where they told their jokes), the studio, the school bus, the firing squad, the dungeon, Barth's Burger, the library, the basketball dugout, the doctor's office, the dentist's office, the car, the church, Blip's Arcade, the summer camp, and many more.
YCDToTV is a show that is sorely missed. Keep your fingers crossed for that reunion movie!