You Can't Do That on Television (1979–1990)

TV Series  -   -  Family | Comedy
8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 931 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 2 critic

Sketch TV by young amateur actors in true classic Nick-style. But whatever you do, never admit that you don't know or ask for water.

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 01 Jul 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 07 Jan 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 18 Sep 2013
 
TV
a list of 262 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 5 days ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: You Can't Do That on Television (1979–1990)

You Can't Do That on Television (1979–1990) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of You Can't Do That on Television.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
Unknown   1990   1989   1987   … See all »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hey Dude (1989–1991)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The antics of a colorful group working at the Bar None, a dude ranch. It is owned by Mr. Ernst, a sometimes-too-enthusiastic, but well meaning boss. The staff include sweet Melody, the ... See full summary »

Stars: David Brisbin, Debrah Kalman, Christine Taylor
Eureeka's Castle (1989–1995)
Musical | Family | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The day to day life of the muppet-like inhabitants of a wind-up music box castle. This Castle is named Eureeka's Castle and it's owned by a giant. Of the inhabitants there's Eureeka, a ... See full summary »

Stars: Pam Arciero, Cheryl Blaylock, Johnny Grasso
David the Gnome (TV Series 1985)
Animation | Family | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The fantastic adventures of David and his wife Lisa traveling around the world to save the animals and defeating the trolls.

Stars: José María Cordero, Matilde Conesa, Teófilo Martínez
Lamb Chop's Play-Along (1992–1997)
Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Shari Lewis lives with Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy, and Charlie Horse (all of which she performs as) and they get into all sorts of adventures, as well as Betcha tricks, Knock-Knock Joke segments... See full summary »

Stars: Amy Castle, Brian Ito, Shari Lewis
Double Dare (1986–1988)
Comedy | Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

One in a long-running series of game shows, where two-member teams of children compete to answer questions and complete stunts.

Stars: Lou Ferrigno, Jennifer Malone, 'Weird Al' Yankovic
Today's Special (1981–1987)
Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The night staff of a major department store explore topics for young viewers.

Stars: Jeff Hyslop, Nerene Virgin, Bob Dermer
Pinwheel (TV Series 1979)
Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This children's variety show from Nickelodeon's early days featured puppets interacting with live actors in "Sesame Street"-like situations, along with various animated shorts from overseas... See full summary »

Stars: Elizabeth Abbassi, Dale Engel, George James
Wild & Crazy Kids (1990–2002)
Action | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Sixty-five episodes of this syndicated show were produced in 1990 and 1992. The shows featured children in physical competition using unusual equipment, e.g., go-carts, tennis guns, et ... See full summary »

Stars: Donnie Jeffcoat, Omar Gooding, Jessica Gaynes
Comedy | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Musical comedy with the Canadian children's musical trio.

Stars: Paula Gallivan, Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein
Out of Control (1984–1985)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Stars: Diz McNally, Marty Schiff, David Stenstrom
Welcome Freshmen (1991–1993)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

52 episodes of this show for the teenage set were produced 1991-1993. The show takes place at Hawthorne High School with the bumbling vice principal, Mr. Lippman and his absentminded ... See full summary »

Stars: Kristian Truelsen, Mike Speller, Jill Setter
3-2-1 Contact (1980–1992)
Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A children's show explaining various principles of science and their applications.

Stars: David Quinn, Debra Shapiro, Todd A. Rolle
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Les Lye ...
 Ross Ewich / ... (143 episodes, 1979-1990)
Abby Hagyard ...
 Valerie Prevort / ... (114 episodes, 1982-1990)
Christine McGlade ...
 Christine / ... (86 episodes, 1979-1986)
Lisa Ruddy ...
 Lisa Ruddy / ... (66 episodes, 1979-1985)
Alasdair Gillis ...
 Alasdair Gillis / ... (63 episodes, 1982-1987)
Edit

Storyline

Sketch TV by young amateur actors in true classic Nick-style. But whatever you do, never admit that you don't know or ask for water.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Family | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-Y

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1979 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

You Can't Do That on TV  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(144 episodes)

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Whenever someone said "I don't know" they got slime dumped on their head. Whenever someone said "water" they got water dumped on their head. See more »

Quotes

Christine: Hi, and welcome to You Can't Do That on Television. Another in a long series of sour notes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Nickcoms (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Do That On Television Theme
Performed by the National Press Club and Allied Workers Jazz Band, Ink.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Before Kids TV became P.C.
9 May 2005 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

You take a look at kids' television today, and it's amazing that this show saw the light of day. Consider the following aspects of "You Can't Do That On Television"....

  • Kids are chained up and put in front of a firing squad in a third


world country. They usually trick their captor into getting shot himself, but occasionally the kids themselves end up being fired upon. Today, the show would be criticized for depicting violence against children, as well as perpetuating negative stereotypes against foreigners.

  • "Ross", the supposed director of the show, tortures the kids and


treats them as slave labor. Today, the show would be attacked for glorifying exploitation of children.

  • Blip, the owner of the local arcade, finds whatever ways he can to


cheat the video-game obsessed youth that frequent his business. Today, the show would be protested for making light of adults cheating children out of money.

  • The "family" scenes depict parents as lazy, poor role models, or just


plain cruel. Today, the show would be boycotted for making a joke of dysfunctional families.

  • The two most frequently featured female characters (Moose and Lisa)


are constantly taunted about their weight. This is despite the fact that, while not thin, neither girl is really all that fat. Today, parents would fear the show could cause eating disorders.

  • Even the theme show of the song depicts children being ground up into


hamburger meat (or is it hot dog meat -- I forget). I won't even touch this one! While outrageous shows depicting children exist today (i.e. "South Park"), these are aimed at ADULTS, and are given TV-MA ratings. You Can't Do That On Television was aimed at (and watched almost exclusively by) kids. That's the amazing part. You'll never see another kids show like it again.

This wasn't a show with educational or cultural value. It had value in other ways, though, which are harder to quantify.

It was funny and entertaining. It was outrageous enough to be interesting, but never so over-the-top to where it could be considered a true danger to anyone. I don't know anyone who had nightmares about being in front of a South American firing squad. Somehow we all got the sick humor in that, and didn't really see it as real violence.

The kids seemed real. They weren't beautiful, didn't seem precocious, and in fact all used their real names on the show. Alasdair, Kevin, Lisa, Moose, and the bunch seemed like the rest of us. This made the characters easy to like and relate to.

The show tapped into the minds of kids in the '80s. We were all obsessed with arcades, yet all knew the pain of losing quarters in malfunctioning games with "no refunds". We all dealt with controlling and irrational teachers, difficult parents, and incompetent/obnoxious bus drivers.

The show wasn't brilliantly written or produced, but it was fun, and it grew on you over time. Too often growing up I found that kids' shows were talking down to me, and I didn't like it. This was one show that wasn't guilty of that, and set out to entertain me, rather than preach to me or teach me a lesson. I didn't realize it back then, but that was perhaps the aspect of it that I appreciated the most.

Sadly, children's fare of today is over-scrutinized, and any program that can be deemed a bad influence is deepsixed. Just the weight jokes alone would put this show in the 2005 trash can. The fact that we have gotten to this point is indeed a tragedy.

Les Lye did a fine job with all of the different characters he played. I remember being amazed as a kid when I realized that he played every single adult character on the show. He's 80 years old now -- can you believe it?


28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Classics are Back! cyber_pulse
What was the funniest thing you remember on this show? milam98
why did this show suck so bad? bojanmiller31
Can you remember any SPECIFIC funny scenes?? Noformica
Gay overtones?!? murrdog1
Episodes not shown . . . . jasonmaier
Discuss You Can't Do That on Television (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?