Roughly around last week was the 4th of July. When you think about that day, what immediately comes to your mind? Well, a lot of things, but certainly not skateboarding or a group of kids getting into messy games. If you were a Nickelodeon kid in 1990, two shows debuted on that same day that made you go insane. Those two shows were SK8-TV and Wild and Crazy Kids. Let’s first talk about SK8-TV.


As you know, skateboarding started roughly around the late 40’s or early 50’s when surfers from California wanted to “surf” on the streets when the waves were too flat. But it wasn’t until the 70’s when skateboarding became this popular sport for teens. Amazing skateboarding guys were popping out from out of nowhere doing insanely crazy tricks from empty pools, which eventually became the precursor to vert skateboarding. The most well known were the Z-Boys from California consisting of people like Jay Adams, Hamish Albany, Tony Alva, Jim Muir, Bob Biniak, Peggy Oki, and so much more. There were competitions, magazines, skate parks, and skate shops that focused on skateboarding. It was truly becoming a huge sports phenomenon. Around the 80’s, the popularity of skateboarding declined.

In 1990, skateboarding had a huge comeback. A brand new generation of talented skateboarders came out of nowhere and performed new tricks never seen before. Also there was a huge craze of doing insane tricks on sidewalks, street hills, and walkways doing kickflips, ollies, and grinding on rails. This was known as street skating. With the huge upcoming popularity of skateboarding, Nickelodeon decided to dedicate a show to those skateboard loving kids. It was a show by skateboard lovers for skateboard lovers.

The show was hosted by Skatemaster Tate and Matthew Lynn. They would interview many teenagers and talk about how their love of skateboarding came about and show off their crazy tricks. Many of these teens would eventually become famous skaters such as Jeremy Klein, Mike McGill, Jim Thiebaud, and Tony Hawk.

They also would discuss about other skateboarding topics such as different types of boards, different types of wheels, board rails, the skateboarding museum, and skateboarding graffiti artists.

The show didn’t last very long. It was cancelled in only a few months after it aired. It’s a real shame in my opinion because later on, skateboarding would become a even bigger phenomenon when a huge sporting event called the X-Games would debut a few years later. Those teens that SK8-TV interviewed would become even more well-known to millions of people. Maybe the show was released at the wrong time.

The people who were involved with SK8-TV went on to do different things: Stacy Perelta, a famous California surfer and skateboarder who directed SK8-TV, went on to direct a documentary about the infamous Z-Boys called Dogtown and Z-Boys. He also did another documentary about surfers called Riding Giants.

 

Matthew Lynn, whose real name was Matthew Lillard, became a more well known actor with roles such as Scream, SLC Punk, Scooby-Doo, and The Descendants.

 

Overall, if you were a huge skateboarding fan in the 90’s, then this show was for you. However, it was completely overshadowed by our next show: Wild and Crazy Kids.

 

The show was about three teenage hosts named Annette Chavez, Omar Gooding, and Donnie Jeffcoat who would emcee a game consisting of teams playing against each other in a crazy sport or a messy obstacle. The sports games would be mostly tweaked to not only give it a new twist to the teams playing them, but it would also create a bigger challenge for them to accomplish. If these teams wanted to win the game, they needed to rely on quick thinking, teamwork, and strategy. 

Or better yet, screw the strategy and give us the games that involve with getting messy. Due to the success of Double Dare, the messier the games, the better. In fact, in one episode, they even decided to put them together by having them go against each other. It was a kid’s dream come true!

Eventually around the second season, Annette Chavez was replaced by another female host named Jessica Gaynes. She stuck around until the end. She became better known for Wild and Crazy Kids than Annette was: a lot more memorable to the people who grew up with the show. The second season was when the popularity of the show grew.

The show even had celebrity guest appearances competing with the kids such as Lark Voorhies from Saved By The Bell, Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement, Alfonso Ribero from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Michael Bower, Venus DeMilo, and Danny Cooksey from Salute Your Shorts.

 

 

 

The show lasted for two seasons ending its run on December 1, 1992. After that, the hosts went on to do different things.

Omar Gooding, the younger brother of Cuba Gooding Jr. became a more famous actor and rapper. He had a few TV and movie roles over the years such as Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Smart Guy, Ghost Dad, Baby Boy, Deadwood, Barbershop: The Series, One on One, and Miami Medical.


Donnie (now Don) Jeffcoat became a well known actor having TV and movie roles such as One Life to Live, 7th Heaven, CSI: NY, Bones, Shark, and Desperate Housewives. 


Overall, looking back at this show, it’s okay. Sure, it was one of my favorite shows as a kid, but there are a few things about it that just make it okay. The way it was shot makes it look like it was done by a home video camera instead of a high quality camera in other game shows at the time. Double Dare looked sharper and cleaner than Wild and Crazy Kids and that show was on for 4 years before. You might argue that the show mostly took place outside, but even in the indoor games like the ones at the mall or the theater, it still looked a little blurry and homemade. You could tell that it hasn’t aged well when it comes to the cinematography. We’ve come a long way when it comes to video cameras. There are even better qualities on cameras on people’s cell phones.

Also, the hosts were okay, not as truly memorable as say Marc Summers from Double Dare. The games look like they were trying to cash in on Double Dare’s popularity. The most well known aspects of Wild and Crazy Kids were the slimy, messy games. The games that Double Dare did. It was trying to present itself like “Hey, we’re just like Double Dare, except we’re bigger and messier.” I did like that it mostly takes place outside and that more than two kids per team can compete against more teams, but every time I saw them play a messy game, it just made me think of Double Dare. I don’t know why, but I think that Double Dare achieved it a whole lot better. I think that the show is okay. Nothing too special about it, just okay. It hasn’t aged very well. It’s not a classic, but it’s enjoyable. Truly not as memorable as Double Dare.


That’s all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane. Thanks for reading.

-Patricia

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