Lost Signals: Nickelodeon Weinerville (1993)
Created and hosted by comedian and puppeteer Marc Weiner, Nickelodeon Weinerville (or just Weinerville) stands out as one of the more creepy, yet fun, memories I have of Nickelodeon’s heyday back in the 90s. It was a decade where shows like Ren & Stimpy ruled the boob-tube alongside The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Salute Your Shorts.
As a variety show, Weinerville was a whirlwind of original content– puppetry, strange skits, cartoons, and giant human-headed puppets. The entire premise of the show was set in the fictional burg of Weinerville (naturally) and its crazy citizens such as the Mayor Dottie, Baby Jeffrey, Captain Bob, Socko, and Boney– a mean-spirited dinosaur hand puppet whose catchphrases “I’m Boney, I’m Boney, leave me aloney!” and “Now get outta here!” are two of the things I remember most about the show.
Another cool gimmick that the show had was “weinerizing” where members of the audience would be selected to be “transformed” into human-headed puppets for a chance to play games in Playland. Each contestant would have to compete against each other in all sorts of messy and weird stunts for a chance to win various hot dog-themed trophies are be slimed (whatever happened to Nickelodeon sliming people anyway?).
The show only lasted two seasons, but in hindsight it had a pretty good run– Marc’s characters were fun and wacky in a way that only a 90s kids show could have been. Unfortunately, it also seems to be one of the shows forgotten by fans and Nickelodeon alike with no official DVD ever released and YouTube videos being pretty scarce. Thanks to Strange Kids Clubmember Devin Conners, however, I did learn that Marc is back at it with Weinerville. Apparently he has WeinervilleTV on YouTube with some first looks at the upcoming web series as well as a Twitter account.