Sunday Cinema – “YKDTOTV”

Since this month is MattyV’s birth month, we thought it’d be appropriate to travel through the “watching years” of his life and share some of his favorite movies & television shows!

“You Can’t Do That On Television” was a staple of MattyV’s early teen years, watching episodes after school on Nickelodeon (before they got “sanitized” and became strictly for toddlers/pre-teens). YKDTOTV was a local Canadian(!) children’s show that started in the late-1970’s. In the beginning, it was a 2-hour program modeling itself after America’s “Saturday Night Live” that featured comedy skits, prize giveaways, & live bands. As it developed, they cut out the “localized” content in order to make it more palatable for syndication. In the early 1980’s it had become a staple of after-school television for Nickelodeon, a then-fledgling network geared towards kids (something that had not been done before).

The show was filled with political & social commentary, with just a tinge of gross-out humor that made kids of all ages laugh. From “Barth’s Burgery” (“What’s in the burgers?”) to the evil teacher “Mr. Shitler” (yes, that was his name and yes he sported a mustache similar to the dictator/mass-murderer), we laughed our butts off every afternoon. Interestingly enough, in later seasons one of the cast members (there was a rotation in cast members just like SNL) looked a little familiar, Alanis. Yes, Alanis Morrissette got her start as a member of the YKDTOTV crew!

We really wish that someday the ENTIRE catalog of shows would be released, as well as the television movie pilot, “UFO Kidnapped!” (supposedly the movie was a precursor to a new show starring some of the YKDTOTV cast). But alas, we have to settle for less-than-stellar copies uploaded to the internet for all to relive their own childhood…

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