Before CoComelon and “Baby Shark” were streaming on demand, Nickelodeon was one of the few sources for content specifically aimed at kids. Millennials who grew up during the network’s “heyday” in the 1980s and ‘90s are likely familiar with the most popular shows from the era. If they watched enough television, they may even have the channel’s early bumpers committed to memory.
In broadcasting, a bumper is a short clip promoting the channel that plays between the regular programming and the commercial break. In many cases they’re unremarkable, but Nickelodeon took the airspace as an opportunity to showcase its unique voice.
The video above from Matthew Zamora compiles several bumpers from the network’s early years. The animated segments bring to life colorful scenes in the span of a few seconds, with dinosaurs, aliens, and singing fruit introducing the iconic orange logo. The cartoon shorts are always accompanied by Nickelodeon’s jingle, which was sung by the doo-wop group The Jive Five in a playful nod to the channel’s retro name.
In addition to its famous jingle and logo, early Nick was known for drenching kids (and the occasional adult celebrity) in slime. The neon green goo that debuted on You Can't Do That on Television may have looked toxic, but it really consisted of Cream of Wheat, green food coloring, and Johnson's baby shampoo. Here are more facts about Nickelodeon’s golden age you should know.