What do I Need More Allowance, Banging on the Trash Can and Quale-Man all have in common? They’re all awesome, and they were all a part of a very deliberate move by Nickelodeon, to give the network a more interracial feeling.
In the upcoming book Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age, the executive producer of Doug, a popular cartoon on the network at the time, details the way in which the creator of the show, Jim Jinkins wanted to reach across the aisle to viewers of all colors. According to Doug Campbell, Jinkins was adamant about portraying people of all colors quoting him as saying,
“Look, we’re not black people, we’re not Mexican, but we want the cartoon to speak to all groups… Let’s try coloring them all different colors.”
Overall, the idea is completely intriguing, as we here at enConnected can confirm it worked, though the fact that Skeeter was meant to be a stand-in for the African American experience wasn’t exactly the best kept secret since we found out the true identity of Smash Adams. WhatCulture! also has a seriously detailed look at the first kids television network as well.