Officially launched in 1979, Nickelodeon sought to be a channel that appealed strictly to children, both young and headed towards the adolescent age (pre-teens or “tweens”). Piggybacking on the success of Canadian import You Can’t Do That on Television (starring a very young and less angry Alanis Morrisette), it continued its expansion to more homes through out the '80s. By the beginning of the '90s, over 50 million homes had the channel, but something seemed to be missing — original animation.
It seems like a no-brainer now, but it wasn’t until 1990 that Nickelodeon began the process of creating original cartoon series. They opened Nickelodeon Studios in Florida and began work on what would later be known as “Nicktoons.”
In August of 1991, the fruits of their labor debuted to a rousing success, changing the fortunes of the station and making them a legitimate player in the lucrative animation market. Shows like Ren and Stimpy and Rugrats captivated children of all ages — and they were good, don’t get me wrong. This is not about them though. This is about the third in the original Nicktoons 3 known as Doug.
Created by Jim Jenkins, Doug followed the life of Doug Funnie, a grade schooler who has recently moved with his family (father Phil, mother Theda, his quirky artsy sister Judy, and his dog Porkchop) to the fictional town of Bluffington from a fictional town called Bloatsburg. The show chronicles Doug’s life in the form of a first person narration. Doug Funnie, a blogger before blogging was cool, chronicles his life in a journal and every episode began with the signature line “Dear Journal…” Each episode would comprise two different stories.
Doug’s main dealings occur with his friends and authority figures. His best friend Skeeter Valentine was a loopy dude with a penchant for skateboards and honking at random intervals. Roger Klotz, a trailer park kid, was a notorious bully with a very secret heart of gold. Vice Principal Bone was the authoritarian of the show, regularly doling out punishment except for a brief period of amnesia that regressed him back to being 11 again. Mr. Dink, Doug’s next door neighbor, was a kooky fellow who loved showing off his latest gadgets. The most important character in Doug was Patty Mayonnaise. From the instant Doug lays eyes on her, he is in love and his attempts to win her heart form the crux of the story.