Toon-In-Talk Episode 06: Interview with Mathew Klickstein

GameStop, Inc.

Hello and welcome to sixth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  If you grew up in the 1990s, you most likely watched Nickelodeon and were a fan of their Nick Toons.  The 1990s have become known as the Golden Age of Nickelodeon Studios and nostalgia always comes into play when that decade is mentioned.  Mathew Klickstein felt the same way, so he wrote Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age chronicling the adventures of cast, crew, and other cool people from the “only kid’s network.”

Episode 6

Show Notes

• Whitney tells Matt she had been searching Nickelodeon’s history herself. He tells her that a lot of people told him they wanted to write a book on Nick, but they never got around to it. He affirms there are a lot more stories to tell about “the only kid’s network.”
• He recommends reading the academic book Nickelodeon Nation by Heather Hendershot.
• Matt discusses details about how it was published and why he decided to write an oral history of Nickelodeon.
• Whitney asks questions about why Matt formatted the book the way he did, especially when it comes to information about his interviewees.
• Matt interviewed over 250 people for the book. He also had to leave out a lot of material.
• To track people down, it was actually the easiest getting Melissa Joan Hart, Kenan Thompson, and others. It was extremely difficulty getting people who worked on only one show, like Richard Price.
• Six degrees really comes into play for rounding up the interviewees.
• Slimed was more like producing a documentary than writing a book. Matt loves oral history, but he wants his next book to be in prose.
• In the early days, Nickelodeon licensed cartoons to air on the station. Nickelodeon made Looney Tunes popular again. When the licensing came up again, Warner Brothers wanted more money from Nickelodeon.
• We can thank the FCC for putting an end to 30 minute long toy commercials. Networks were also finally allowed to produce their own cartoons.
• The original three cartoons were: Doug, Ren and Stimpy, and Rugrats.
• Nickelodeon found six shows they made pilots for. They found potential shows by literary going to animator’s garage.
• Whitney mentions the yearly Nickelodeon writing and animation contest. Both discuss how Nick has changed its content and yet remained the same.
• Whitney brings up Ren and Stimpy and Matt discusses its heated history.
• The creator John Kricfalusi had an ill reputation, though he is a creative genius.
• Whitney and Matt talk about making something new and original. Neither wants to repeat the creative past.
• Money is a necessary evil. Whitney mentions some of her hopes before she got her book contract. Matt recommends people use a publisher and gives his advice about self-publishing and YouTube.
• Matt’s favorite NickToon is Ren and Stimpy and Whitney’s is Aah! Real Monsters.
• Matt declares the episode over!

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