Mental Floss

The Quick 10: 10 Stars Who Started on Nickelodeon

Stacy Conradt
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We all know that Amanda Bynes and Nick Cannon had self-titled shows on Nickelodeon, and SNL's Kenan Thompson got his big break on the network as well (thanks so much for Good Burger, Kenan. But a few other stars started honing their skills on the network that brought you green slime and Stick Stickley"¦

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2. Alanis Morissette. You Can't Do That on Television was a Canadian show, but when Nickelodeon picked up the show for their then-fledgling network in 1981, it took off stateside as well. Alanis was a regular on the show. It's also where Nickelodeon picked up their obsession with green slime "“ the cast of YCDTOT got hosed with the stuff whenever they uttered the phrase "I Don't Know."

3. Julie Benz. Most recently known as Rita on Dexter and Robin on Desperate Housewives, Julie's first big role was on Nick's Hi Honey, I'm Home! It was a show about a family from a 1950s sitcom whose show got canceled, booting them into the "real world." Julie played Babs Nielsen, the teenage daughter of the family.

4. Blake Sennett/Soper. Before Blake was rocking in the band Rilo Kiley, he appeared as Ronnie Pinsky in the hilarious (at least, I thought it was) sitcom about summer camp, Salute Your Shorts. He went by Blake Soper by then, and followed up his stint on Nickelodeon with a supporting role on Boy Meets World as Joey "The Rat" Epstein.

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6. Rachel Blanchard. Rachel took over for Alicia Silverstone as Cher when Clueless was adapted for the small screen; she also played Sally from the Flight of the Conchords song "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" (the whole wide room). Prior to those roles, she was scaring the crap out of me as part of the Midnight Society on Are You Afraid of the Dark from 1991-1993.

7. Elisha Cuthbert. When Are You Afraid of the Dark was revived in the late "˜90s, Elisha Cuthbert took up the mantle of creeping kids out just before they headed off to bed on Saturday nights. She's had lots of roles in movies since then, but I bet most people now know her best as Jack Bauer's daughter on 24.

8. Ryan Reynolds. ScarJo's husband has always starred as the dreamy hunk "“ his first show was on the Canadian teen soap opera Hillside, which Nickelodeon bought and repackaged as Fifteen.

9. Mike O'Malley. Even some adults started out on kids' shows. O'Malley's big break came at the age of 25 when he was cast to host the game show Get the Picture in 1991, and then GUTS the following year. I loved GUTS. It was like American Gladiators for kids. How could you not enjoy that? O'Malley has had no shortage of projects since then, including Yes Dear and My Name is Earl, but I like him best as Kurt's dad on Glee.

10. R.L. Stine. Well, you can't say this was his "big break," since Stine had already published several teen horror novels by this time, but from 1989-1995 he served as the head writer for the kids' puppet show Eureeka's Castle. Not only that, Stine actually co-created the series.

Do you have an old Nickelodeon favorite? Let's reminisce in the comments.

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