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Dishing Dirt on Nickelodeon

Stars and creators of some of your favorite ’90s shows — ”Rugrats,” ”Double Dare” — spill surprising secrets about Nick’s heyday in Mathew Klickstein’s ”Slimed!”

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1. The behind-the-scenes drama at Nicktoons wasn’t kids’ stuff.
John Kricfalusi, the notoriously touchy creator of Ren & Stimpy, was allegedly fired from the show after missed deadlines, dramatic rifts among staff, and differences with the network about the show’s violence and adult themes, including ”bl–job jokes.”

2. Nickelodeon’s iconic ”slime” had truly disgusting beginnings.
Slime was eventually made of gelatin and green food coloring, but it started as actual filth. Producers of You Can’t Do That on Television planned to dump a bucket of kitchen scraps on a child actor, but the garbage had been sitting out for too long and poured out as foul-smelling green sludge.

3. The Clarissa crew had to rein in a mom.
Clarissa Explains It All showrunner Mitchell Kriegman said Melissa Joan Hart’s mother — described as ”difficult” and a ”show mom” — was the driving force behind Hart’s controversial 1999 Maxim cover.

4. Parents on Family Double Dare got litigious.
A mom who was pied in the face by host Marc Summers sued the network, claiming ”she can’t have sex anymore.” Viacom paid her $25,000. Lawyers’ kids were barred from participating on the show after one contestant broke his arm.

5. Censors swarmed Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Producer D.J. MacHale said the writers had to find literary antecedents for scary story lines in case of complaints, so they could argue, ”This is Edgar Allan Poe!… This is classic stuff!” The series was never allowed to show children lighting the campfire because they ”didn’t want to teach kids how to strike matches.”