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Salute Your Shorts (TV Series 1991–1993) Poster

(1991–1993)

Trivia

After the pilot episode was picked up for a full season, all of the actors had to audition for their roles again.
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The series was canceled because the cast didn't want to relocate to Orlando as many were just graduating school and had an established home In Los Angeles. The creator and Nickelodeon could not agree on the shows future or budgets.
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In every episode there is a hidden rubber chicken with a cigarette in its mouth visible.
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Dr. Kahn, the owner of the camp, was never actually seen. His voice was Steve Slavkin, the show's creator.
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The company Reebok sponsored their clothing in Season 1.
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The name of the camp, Anawanna, is a slurred homophone of the phrase "I don't want to," as in: "Kid, how'd you like to go to summer camp this year?" with the muffled response "Anawanna."
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The show had a budget Of $100,0000 per episode.
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The season 2 budget went up From $100,000 per episode To $150,000 per episode because of new contracts.
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The cast had 4 official food fights.
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In the 1990 pilot, Donkeylips is portrayed as the camp bully while Budnick is sidekick and refers to Donkeylips as "Big Guy". By the the time Nickelodeon picked up the series, Danny Cooksey (Budnick) had hit a growth spurt and enjoyed his charisma and re-wrote the script with Budnick being the camp bully and Donkeylips being his henchman.
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Blake Sennett learned how to play guitar from former Eagles guitarist Don Felder.
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All the cabins in the series are models or stages.
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Michael Bower's line "This thing just came apart" in the show's theme song was an accidental improvisation.
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Kirk Bailey kept the fishing hat that his character, Ug, wore.
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Many of the guitar riffs played throughout the series were unused demos from Danny Cooksey's Band "Bad4Good".
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In the episode "Bunk Chief Elections" all scenes with Telly (Venus DeMilo) had to be filmed within two days as Venus DeMilo was taking her high school entrance exam while production was taking place.
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The two part episodes of "Budnick Loves Dina" was to include the Bad4Good song "Devil in the Angel" but because of time constraints it was left out. Danny Cooksey was the lead singer of Bad4Good.
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Ben Stein was originally suppose to provide the voice of Dr. Kahn.
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Michael Bower and Blake Sennett provided background vocals to Danny Cooksey's band Bad4Good's "Refugee" album.
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In "Radio Call In" Budnick is trying to teach Sponge some guitar riffs in case "Giant Jim" asks him about it. Budnick allegedly plays guitar riffs from Metallica, Aerosmith, and Whitesnake but they are all the same riff. The riff was actually from Night Ranger's "Night Machine"
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Danny Cooksey's band Bad4Good was the opening act for Damn Yankees on the west coast in 1992-93.
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"The Environmental Party" was the messiest episode in the series according to Steve Slavkin. He told the kids to just go out there and "Raise Hell". Donkeylips and Michael both throw food at the hard camera as it pans across the room and the cameraman got knocked out from a tennis ball thrown by Telly off camera.
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Budnick wears Cowboy boots in a few episodes in season 2. Danny Cooksey says he's a "Redneck at Heart"
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The Tennis Racket that Telly uses in "Telly's Tennis Match" is a Donnay Pro One OS... that was used by Andre Agassi.
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All of the boys except for Sponge had romantic feelings for Dina or vice versa. Dina liked Michael in "Michael Comes to Camp" and wanted to ask him to the social in "Donkeylips' Crush on Dina" but Michael wasn't interested. She liked Pinsky briefly in "Pinsky Comes to Camp" but by the next episode she had lost interest. Dina had a disdain for Budnick but he immediately developed a crush on her in the two part episodes of "Budnick Loves Dina" and the two are briefly involved romantically. Donkeylips has a huge crush on Dina throughout the series and she is not pleased by it but by unexpected circumstances winds up going to the social with him rather reluctantly in "Donkeylips' Crush on Dina".
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In "Donkeylips and Sponge Weigh In" sound effects of feet stomping were added to the scene where Donkeylips took Michael down with a wrestling hold and the bell ringing was borrowed from the WCW Main Event wrestling intro.
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In the opening credits when the kids are singing the Camp Anawanna theme, Michael Bower tries to "accidentally" punch Venus DeMilo but fails. The two had a spat before filming the opening theme but Kirk Baily was able to mediate the heat and they both settled their differences.
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By 1997 Nickelodeon had reduced to Salute Your Shorts to the weekends only and only aired one episode on Saturday and one on Sunday. By February 1998, the series was officially removed from the programing along with other early 1990's programing. Nickelodeon's new head of the company at the time wanted to change their image to more "Corporate" and "Kid Friendly" and thought that the majority of the 1990's (Salute Your Shorts in particular) were too adult oriented.
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"Ellen Comes to Camp" was the final episode filmed in the series while "Anawanna Inc" is the last official episode.
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Many of the season one episodes were shown out of order on Nickelodeon. The biggest reason for this is the length of Danny Cooksey's hair. By the time the second season aired, Cooksey's hair was at it's longest in the series.
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Throughout the series there are some scenes that shown quickly in three different motions. WWE adopted this idea during their "Attitude" era and still use it to this day on all of their programming.
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In "Pinsky Comes to Camp" Blake Sennett actually had mud stuck in his nose for two days and said he couldn't smell for close to a week. This occurred in the scene where Ug caught Pinsky sneaking into the kitchen to get sodas/snacks for the kids and Ug punished him by making him push an orange in the mud with his nose.
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Trevor Eyster says he picked up smoking from Blake Sennett and Heidi Lucas who both smoked cigarettes at the time.
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The cowboy boots that Ug wears in his "makeover" scene in "Mail Carrier Mona" are the same cowboy boots that Budnick wore in a few episodes of season two.
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The photograph that hangs over the toiled bowl in "Toilet Seat Basketball" hangs up in Steve Slavkin's home office.
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Jan Hammer unofficially supplied many of the musical numbers in the series including the "upbeat" closing theme that is played during the closing credits in most of the episodes.
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Damn Yankees self titled cassette is actually the first taped stacked on top of the others in the boys bunk. Danny Cooksey's band "Bad4Good" was the opening act for Damn Yankees in 1992-93 on the West Coast.
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In "Cinderella Play" Budnick suggests they do "Amazon Girls a Go-Go". "Amazon Girls a Go-Go" was actually a low budget 1970's porn film. Steve Slavkin said he was happy to know that Nickelodeon knew nothing about that.
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In "Budnick Loves Dina Part I" most of the cast are on crutches at some point with Telly & Pinsky remaining on crutches the longest and into the next episode. However Ug, ZZ, Sponge, and Donkeylips are on crutches but by the end of the episode they are all cured.
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The earth earrings that ZZ wears in select episodes where actually earrings that Megan Burwick bought and she said she continued to wear them even into her college days.
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The Boom microphone is visible in 6 episodes.
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The role of Dr. Kahn is often incorrectly credited to Ben Stein, due in no small part to the character having a monotone voice similar to that of Stein.
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The original 1990 pilot had a mostly different cast with only Kirk Baily (Ug) Michael Bower (Donkeylips) and Danny Cooksey (Budnick) returning.
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In the original 1990 pilot, Ug's character is totally different. In the series, Ug (Kirk Baily) is strict, often clueless, and usually the foil of a prank by the kids (though he often shows a soft side and really cares for the kids). The 1990 pilot has Ug as a strong disciplinarian and more serious. By the time series began in 1991, Steve Slavkin changed Ug's character to more of a buffoon and always on the receiving end of a joke or physical slapstick. Kirk Baily said he was much more comfortable with this version of Ug and said the 1990 pilot version was "too boring".
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Donkeylips (Michael Ray Bower) also changed as the series progressed in the first season. The first episodes show Donkeylips as a bully and sidekick to Budnick. As the series progressed, Donkeylips became a more comedic, dimwitted, and friendly character who also developed a close friendship with Sponge. In the original 1990 pilot Donkeylips was the camp bully.
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In the episode "Brownies For Thud Mackie" there is a deleted scene where Ug chastises Mackie and severely punishes him for punching Michael. This scene was originally going to be played at the conclusion of the episode where Michael looks off from afar and says to Telly "Revenge is Sweet". Because of time constraints this scene was deleted and the episode ended with Ug and the kids checking on Michael after he had been punched by Mackie. Steve Slavkin has said that if they were to do this episode today on Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon would demand they show the ending with Mackie being punished by Ug.
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In the episode "Bunk Chief Elections" there is a deleted extended scene where Budnick is trying to persuade Ug to lighten up on their punishment while offering to bribe Ug with a personal lawn chair. The scene in the episode cuts off with Ug being in aw about what Budnick is telling him and later in the episode the boys are ordered to carry Ug around in this lawn chair. The deleted scene has Budnick trying to bribe Ug with the lawn chair in exchange for lighter punishment to which Ug screams "Forget It". This deleted scene turned up on a season 1 blooper real that Michael Bower posted on YouTube.
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Ronnie Pinskey (Blake Sennett) was the oldest cast member among the kids (born 1973). By the time the series debuted in 1991 Sennett had already graduated high school and when he joined the cast in season 2 he was only a few months shy of his Nineteenth birthday.
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There was originally suppose to be a third season but it would be filmed in front of a live studio audience on a soundstage at Universal Studios. Nickelodeon wanted all of their programing to be filmed in Orlando. Steve Slavkin and the rest of the cast were not happy with this as they didn't want to move to Orlando and the kids (except for Blake Sennett) were still in high school.
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"Mail Carrier Mona" has a deleted scene where Mona cracks walnuts with her knees in front of the guys and girls. The episode does show Mona cracking walnuts in front of the girls but not the guys but when the guys find Ug, they tell him that she can crack walnuts with her knees.
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In a press kit released in 1991 Sponge Harris' name is Stuart "Sponge" Harris. Though Stuart was his name in some press kits he's never credited as Stuart and is never called Stuart at all in the series.
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Steve Slavkin's favorite band is ZZ Top and created a character named Zizi.
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An early 1990's Nickelodeon promo has a deleted scene from "Cinderella Play" where the cast are standing in front of the hard camera making hand gestures.
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An early 1990's Nickelodeon promo featuring Donkeylips shows a brief clip from the 1990 pilot with Donkeylips and Budnick. Danny Cooksey (Budnick) is much smaller, sporting short Adidas shorts and his signature mullet while Donkeylips has much longer hair.
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When the series aired in Italy Donkeylips was called "Labbra di cavallo" (Horse Lips).
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In "Anawanna Inc" the futuristic dream sequence was actually filmed on the soundstage that was the girl's bunk. A big white curtain was put up but the beds are still slightly visible in the back.
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In "The Cursed Skull" there were two deleted scenes. The first has the boys admiring the skull but Danny Cooksey accidentally flung the skull up to high and one of the horns sliced Michael Bower. Bower had to be taken to the hospital to get stitched up so this scene was deleted. The other deleted scene shows Budnick ordering Pinsky, Sponge, and Donkeylips to cover themselves with mud and gargle with pudding in their mouth. Pinsky mentions this right before Budnick opens the pillow case and discovers the girls took the skull and replaced it with a melon.
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In "Mail Carrier Mona" Kirk Baily (Ug) broke his eardrum when falling into the water to chase after Mona. He mentioned at the 2012 Kamikaze reunion that he still has trouble hearing out of his left ear.
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Although "Anawanna Inc" is the final episode "Ellen Comes to Camp" was the final episode filmed.
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Danny Cooksey and Michael Bower are both huge wrestling fans in real life and Budnick is reading a 1979 copy of "Inside Wrestling" in "Zeke the Plumber".
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Michael Bower said his favorite episode is "Donkeylips' Crush on Dina". Throughout the series Donkeylips makes it obvious he has a crush on Dina while Dina is not too thrilled about it.
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Danny Cooksey said he kept it a secret that when he was filming Salute Your Shorts he wouldn't let his cast mates know he listened to country and western music. Cooksey also formed the band Bad4Good while filming the final season of Salute Your Shorts.
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"Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" is the only episode in the series where Ug doesn't wear his signature fishing hat and it's the only episode in the series where he refers to Donkeylips by his last name (Gelfen) first.
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Erik MacArthur (Michael Stein) left the series after the first season to take a break and focus on school. Rather than hire another actor to be Michael, Steve Slavkin created a more charismatic jovial character named Ronny Pinsky played by Blake Sennett. Sennett was originally going to play Scotty Rex in "Telly's Tennis Match" but when MacArthur left the series, several rewrites were made.
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In real life Megan Burwick (ZiZi) became a social and political activist just like ZiZi Ziff was in the series. Burwick said that there really isn't much difference between her and her character on the show.
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Kirk Baily and Danny Cooksey did an acoustic version of Extreme's "More Than Words" and it was to be shown on a Nickelodeon special but never aired. "More Than Words" is Baily's favorite song.
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Heidi Lucas says she is nothing like her character Dina Alexander in real life. She said she felt bad many times with her characters snide comments towards Donkeylips and Budnick.
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In "Michael Comes To Camp" right after Budnick says "Grab His Bags" you can clearly see Michael push the bag over to Donkeylips.
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There was an instrumental piano theme of the Salute Your Shorts theme that aired at the conclusion of a few episodes in season one. That theme would also be used as the intro music to an episode or used later on in an episode. The extended theme had a Native American theme to it and sometimes just the Native American theme is heard in some episodes. Jam Hammer created a more upbeat closing theme that would air at the beginning of some episodes and would be used as the closing theme for the majority of the series.
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Christine Cavagnaugh (Mona) is best remembered for her work as the voice of Chuckie Finster in another Nickelodeon series "Rugrats". Production for "Park Ranger Mona" had to be put on hold while Cavagnaugh was still doing voice-overs for Rugrats' second season.
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In Bad4Good's video press kit shown on MTV in 1992, Danny Cooksey is wearing the same shirt he wore in "Donkeylips and Sponge Weigh In".
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In "Bunk Chief Elecetions" the scene where ZiZi scored a goal on the soccer field had to be taken over thirty times as Megan Burwick (ZiZi) said she's not very athletic and has week feet. Originally the extra who played the goalkeeper was to dive for the ball but was starting to get annoyed at diving for the ball while ZiZi couldn't make the shot. The final shot shown in the episode shows the extra just merely letting the ball go in.
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Although Blake Soper (Sennett) is listed in the opening credits to "Telly's Tennis Match" he does not appear in the episode. This was the first episode filmed for season 2 and since Erik MacArthur left the series, Steve Slavkin had to do several rewrites. Sennett was originally slated to play Scotty Rex (Telly's Opponent) in the episode.
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Henry W. Laster (Kent Flankman) is unofficially the only other recurring character in the series next to Mona (Christine Cavagnuahg). Flankman appears in the first and last episode as well as in "Counselor Budnick". "Anawanna Inc" is the only episode in which he has a small speaking role.
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Major League Baseball player Andrew McCutchen credits Salute Your Shorts as his favorite show as a kid.
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Trevor Eyster has gone on record saying that in the real world Sponge Harris would be Vice President of Apple or Microsoft. Ironically enough the Sponge character is somewhat based on Bill Gates and Gates looked very much like Eyster when he was twelve.
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In "Cinderella Play" Ug and Sponge make reference that the play is 98 pages long and suppose to have a huge cast but when the play is performed, it only lasts about 5 minutes and has a very small cast of 5.
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In season 3, Kent Flankman was to be a protege of Sponge but the series was cancelled before production began.
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"Capture The Flag" was suppose to have a part where Donkeylips says "They drew first blood" but was taken out as Steve Slavkin thought it would be too violent for a children's show.
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The Lodge also served as the mess hall, arts and crafts, and where Jamie Mallott Jr performed his concert.
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The only time Budnick wears shorts in the series is in "The Enviornmental Party". In the 1990 pilot he wears Adidas gym shorts.
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The phrase "Roasted, Toasted, and Burnt to a Crisp" is only heard in "Michael Comes to Camp" "Toilet Seat Basketball" and "Donkeylips and Sponge Weigh In".
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In the first season the lodge/mess hall had folding chairs under the tables. In the second season the tables now have wooden benches under them.
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In "Donkeylips' Crush on Dina" ZZ mentions that she and Telly have dates but when they are at the social, they don't have dates as they spend the whole time making sure Dina doesn't run away.
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Kirk Baily made several unccredited cameos on many soap operas in the 1980's that were filmed in New York.
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"Donkeylips' Crush on Dina" is the only episode in the series where Ug is not the victim of a prank or is clueless to what's around him. However he does act the fool during the dancing scene in the closing credits.
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Ug pays tribute to General Douglas MacArthur with helmet, sunglasses, and cob pipe in "Capture the Flag".
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The war film that Ug sees on the television in "Capture The Flag" is a World War II newsreel. Kirk Baily's father served in World War II.
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Steve Slavkin wanted the cast not to wear sandals if possible.
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Michael Bower auditioned for Frankie in Boy Meets World but Blake Sennet had already landed the role of Joey the Rat. The Boy Meets World producers didn't want two members from a rival network airing on their own network as Boy Meets World was aired on ABC which was partners with Disney.
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Michael Bower chipped a tooth when he ate his "macaroni" in "Michael Comes to Camp".
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In "Sponge and Pinsky Go to the Movies" Telly reads a newspaper article describing the Lakers needing a new point guard. This was filmed around the time Magic Johnson said he had HIV and retired from the NBA.
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A backstop and custom scoreboard were added to the "baseball" field at Griffith's Boys Park where the series was filmed.
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Danny Cooksey, Michael Bower, Heidi Lucas, and Megan Burwick all appeared on the Nickelodeon game show NICK Arcade. The original airing had a promo for Danny Cooksey's band Bad4Good's debut album "Refugee".
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Heidi Lucas (Dina Alexander) quit acting altogether in the min 1990's to live a normal life. She's currently an Attorney for the Public Defender in Maricopa County Arizona.
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The original 1990 Pilot was filmed in the fall of 1989 at Griffith's Boy Camp where the series was filmed. However the 1990 pilot didn't use a soundstage and the bunks/lodge that were shown in the original were the actually bunks and lodge on the campground.
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Michael Bower has said that Nickelodeon most likely destroyed the hard copy of the 1990 pilot and says "It's not worth watching". This is mostly because of fans of the series ever see it they'll see he and Budnick (Danny Cooksey) differently as their roles are reversed and they had yet to reach puberty and Danny Cooksey admitted he looked "awful" wearing royal blue Adidas Gym Shorts and an XL yellow t-shirt.
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When Blake Sennett landed the role of Joey the Rat on Boy Meets World, he was already in his early twenties. He was the oldest cast member among the kids in the series.
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The photograph of Sierra Madre is actually a male production assistant dressed in drag.
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Michael Bower and Kirk Baily were groomsmen in Danny Cooksey's Wedding.
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There were two cast reunions. The first one came from the 2012 Comicon Convention in September 2012. Megan Burwick could not attend but did send a video message to all her castmates. Heidi Lucas and Blake Sennett were invited but declined to attend.

The second reunion came in Portland,OR in July 2015 with Burwick and Lucas being present. Danny Cooksey did not attend as he was recording with country and western band Shelter Dogs debut album "Take Me Home" which Cooksey contributed vocals and helped produce. Once again Sennett was invited but refused to attend.
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The sodas that the kids drink are various flavors of Shasta. Steve Slavkin said they were on a budget and couldn't afford name brand sodas.
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In "Michael Comes to Camp" Kirk Baily (Ug) actually got feathers stuck in his throat when he fell victim to the trap in the girls bunk. Baily said it took a long time to get the feathers out of his throat and had to have the Heimlich maneuver performed on him.
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Although Budnick is an accomplished guitarist in the series he never played guitar in any of his bands and was only a vocalist.
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Michael Bower, Danny Cooksey, and Venus DeMilo guest starred on another Nickelodeon series "Wild and Crazy Kids".
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In the opening credits when the kids are singing the Camp Anawanna theme, Trevor Eyster puts his arm on Danny Cooksey's shoulder then Cooksey pushes Eyster's arm off. That was totally ad libbed and Eyster has a look on his face of surprise and said later he thought Cooksey would kill him for it.
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The opening credits of season 2 where Ug (Kirk Baily) says "It's 'I Hope We Never Part' now get it right or the pay the price" is the same footage from the opening of season one as Erik MacArthur's feet are behind him.
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During the opening credits when Ug corrects Budnick on the camp lyrics, he moves his left hand but the piano is still playing in the background as Ug is allegedly playing the piano.
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In "Sponge and Donkeylips Weigh In" Telly orders Donkeylips to run around the camp 20 times while Sponge has to eat 20 bananas. Donkeylips only "runs around the camp" once but camera cuts were made to give the impression that he ran a full mile. Trevor Eyster (Sponge) said he got sick as he did eat overt twenty bananas and then threw up just before Donkeylips was suppose to come back in.
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In "Donkeylips and Sponge Weigh In" when Donkeylips rings the bell for the last time, Sponge purposely moves into him giving the impression that Donkeylips fell on top of him.
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Michael Bower says Lemon Meringue is favorite pie in real life because his late grandmother would make him one every year for his birthday and it's also his father's favorite pie. In the series, Donkeylips mentions how much he loves lemon meringue.
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Danny Cooksey actually plays the guitar solo in "The Environmental Party". The guitar solo is similar to Metallica's "Damage INC."
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"Telly's Tennis Match" is the only episode in the series where it shows campers purchasing items from the "account" store. The account store that is run by Ug is actually the kitchen and the swinging doors were taken out.
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Michael Bower is the godfather to Danny Cookey's daughter Zoe.
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Ronnie Pinsky's favorite NBA team is the Boston Celtics and Larry Bird is his favorite player.
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Michael Jordan is Telly's favorite basketball player and "calls him" in "Sponge and Pinsky Go to the Movies".
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Michaels' favorite band is Bon Jovi, ZZ's favorite band is INXS while Budnick's favorite bands are Metallica, Whitesnake, Aerosmith, and Poison.
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Bad4Good's "Devil in the Angel" is based on Dina Alexander and was to be used in "Budnick Loves Dina Part I" but was taken out due to time constraints. Danny Cooksey wrote the song with Steve Vai and the lyrics do make reference to the Dina character ("Her daddy is a billionaire and I'm a filthy white poor boy").
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Blake Sennett said one of his reasons for getting out of acting was because he was generally typecast as a high school kid which he played in Salute Your Shorts and Boy Meets World. When he was on Boy Meets World he was well into his early twenties.
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By the late 1990's "Zeke the Plumber" and "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" were edited on the network because of their adult themes. "Zeke the Plumber" was deemed to "scary" as they were looking to go more corporate and mainstream (which they did by the 2000's). "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" was also edited on the old Nickelodeon Gas Channel in 2003. The scenes of Donkeylips making reference to a machine on the wall that sells balloons and the scene where Donekylips is to have given a police officer "Half of a Peace Sign" were taken out.
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The Spanish film that Michael and Budnick watch in "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" was actually an episode from "The Cisco Kid" dubbed in Spanish.
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The police officer in "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" was a real life off duty cop who had made friends with Steve Slavkin over dinner the night before filming began.
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"Anawanna Inc." is the only episode in the series where Dr. Khan's voice isn't heard.
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In "Brownies For Thud Mackie" Michael makes mention of his grandfather being a marine during the Korean Conflict. In real life Erik MacArthur's grandfather served in the Korean Conflict but as a member of the Navy.
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The unaccredited actor who plays Jesse Bartlett was so terrified of speaking on camera that his lines had to be written out and his character was changed to a quiet assassin.
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"Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" was the quickest episode filmed in the series as it was filmed within two days.
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The food fight in "Environmental Party" was all taken in one shot though there were plenty of shots taken out because of time constraints. Steve Slavkin left in the part where Michael and Donkeylips throw food at the hard camera.
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Many episodes have scenes that mimicked real movies and some episodes were either satirized or tribute to a real movie or an event in pop culture.

"Capture The Flag" was a play on "Platoon" and Donkeylips was originally going to be a Rambo style character but was taken out because Nickelodeon deemed it to violent.

"Sponge-Pinsky Gazette" was a nod to "Citizen Kane" with references to "Rosebud" and Pinsky taking over the paper.

"Telly's Tennis Match" was satire of the real life Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs. There's also a scene where Budnick is dressed to mimic Marlon Brando in "The Godfather"

"Pinsky Comes to Camp" has Pinsky mimic Ferris Bueler.

"Zeke The Plumber" is a satire of a 1970's B level horror films.

"Donkeylips and Sponge Weigh In" is a tribute to both "Rocky" and "Bloodsport" in the training montage.

"Ellen Comes to Camp" was a sign of things to come with the Ellen character representing a change in all of Nickelodeon programing that was more "Mainstream" and "Corporate" with shows like "iCarly" "Drake and Josh" "Zoey 101" which those shows were heavily criticized by critics and adults who grew up as children in the 1990's.
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In "Counselor Budnick" the Anawanna swimming pool is seen for the only time. Budnick is ordering the kids and Ug to fill the pool which is empty. It was actually the real swimming pool at Griffith Boys Camp but the episode was filmed in the late Winter/early Spring 1992.
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The cave that girls go to in "The Cursed Skull" was actually a booth from a nearby flea market and all of the "junk" that was in there was merchandise sold by the occupants of the booth. The scenes with the girls were filmed during the week when the flea market wasn't open.
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Michael Bower actually had a crush on the girl that Budnick has his arm around in "Donkeylips' Crush on Dina". When Bower tried talking to the girl, she was supposedly cold to him while Danny Cooksey, Heidi Lucas, and Megan Burwick actually chastised the girl for being rude. Steve Slavkin also wasn't too thrilled with her attitude and asked her not to come again to appear as an extra in other episodes.
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Filming for Season One began in late 1990 and concluded in the Spring of 1991. Filming for Season Two was filmed in late Winter/early Spring 1992.
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In some episodes the kids wear jackets/hoodies/long sleeved shirts which would be deemed unrealistic for summer time. The reason for this was because the episodes were filmed in the late Winter or early Spring.
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In "Counselor Budnick" when ZZ comes to the lodge with Wartbreath to talk talk to Budnick she mentions that she'll get a night out on the town if she wins. With everyone in the cabin after the prank on Budnick, Sponge mentions that ZZ will get a night on the town if she wins but she's totally surprised and didn't know anything about but just a few minutes earlier she already knew.
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Danny Cooksey, Michael Bower, and Blake Sennett put a band together in the late 1990's called "Sheriff" but were unable to land a record deal.
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"Donkeylips' Crush on Dina" is the only episode in the series where someone calls Donkeylips by his real name (Eddie).
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In "Capture the Flag" when Donkeylips falls in the kiddie pool with water, an assistant off camera actually threw water on Ug giving the impression that Donkeylips falling into the water splashed Ug.
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The puzzle that Michael & Budnick work on in "Michael & Budnick Fake Being Sick" is actually puzzle pieces thrown into a Converse shoe box. The same shoe box is visible in the boys bunk for the bunk of the second season.
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The music equipment in "Dina & The Rock Star" was actually set up by Danny Cooksey and Steve Vai.
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Danny Cooksey has said demo copies of his late 90's band Sheriff are easier to find than Bad4Good's "Refugee Album". Blake Sennett and Michael Bower were also in Sheriff with Cooksey.
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Samantha Jordan played Ellen in "Ellen Comes to Camp" and struggled to get much work after her appearance. She later found quite a successful career in the adult film industry under the name "Samantha Ryan".
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It is never explained in the series what kind of doctor Dr. Khan is. Kirk Baily said that Dr. Khan was an oral surgeon in the off season at the 2012 ComiCon convention.
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Kirk Bailey (Ug) says he spent the majority of off screen time with the kids in order to build relationships, mentor the kids in the acting business, as well as be a chaperone. To this day Baily has strong relationships with most of the cast members including Danny Cooksey (Budnick).
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The series had a crew and cast of 39 people.
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For the first season, there was no official press or Nickelodeon photography done.
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The cast had gone to Florida to visit Nickelodeon Studios.
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Throughout the series, Donkeylips says Lemon Meringue is his favorite pie/cake. In real life Michael Bower's mother made him a Lemon Meringue cake for him.
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In 2003 the old Nickelodeon Gas channel re aired all 26 episodes but only showed "Zeke the Plumber" and "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" once. The reason for this is because of the adult themes in "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick". The adult themes included Donkeylips telling Sponge "They got this thing on the wall that sells balloons" (a reference to condoms) and Donkeylips giving a police officer "Half of a Peace Sign"
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Kent Flankman (Henry W. Laster) was told to eat as many ice lollies as possible in order to appear sick.
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Henry W. Laster (who played Kent Flankman) used a pseudo name due to a family history of abuse.
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In "Telly's Tennis Match" Steve Slavkin originally wanted to use Bill Conti's "Going The Distance" but because of how much the royalties and licensing would cost the idea was scrapped. Instead Slavkin used an unused "Rocky" knockoff that Jam Hammer didn't want.
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In "Dina and the Rock Star" there suppose to be a scene where Jamie Mallott Jr and Budnick's band play a live song while Ug continues to chastise and punish Dina. Although the episode ends with this, the original ending was suppose to be longer and feature Jamie saying "Paybacks are sweet" and then have Dina show a fit of rage.
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"Telly's Tennis Match" was originally to include Bill Cont's "Going the Distance" (Theme From Rocky) but Steve Slavkin said the royalties would cost Nickelodeon too much so Jam Hammer gave Slavkin permission to use and original "Rocky" style instrumental for episode.
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There was an alternate ending in "Toilet Seat Basketball" in which Budnick makes the winning shot and Telly finally acknowledges Budnick's leadership skills even though she may not care for his bravado. Steve Slavkin was going to use that as the original ending but thought of a better solution of Budnick being selfish and missing the shot and the kids losing picture shown over an empty toilet seat in the lodge.
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"Bunk Chief Elections" is the only episode in which extended kitchen sets are seen.
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"The Sponge/Pinsky Gazette" was a nod to "Citizen Kane" with Pinsky taking over the Camp Newspaper and saying "They'll think what I tell them to think" and the ending reference to "Rosebud" which Ug doesn't understand but "it fits".
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Many of the adult extras who appear in the series were production crew assistants.
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Thud Mackie was to make an appearance in season 2 but the idea was dropped before filming began.
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The baseball cards that are on the wall in the boys bunk is from the Topps 1989 set.
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Telly has a real autographed picture of James Worthy above her bed in the girls bunk.
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"Zeke the Plumber" was Kirk Baily's favorite episode in the series but hated that he had to be hung upside down for over 35 minutes for nighttime shots and another 35 minutes for the early morning shots.
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Trevor Eyster (Sponge) said he threw up when he had to eat twelve bananas in a training scene in "Donkeylips and Sponge Weigh In"
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Dr. Kahn's nice Ellen was originally supposed to be a new character introduced in the third season per Nickelodeon's request but the series was cancelled when the cast and crew refused to move to Orlando and film in front of a live studio audience.
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The computer that Sponge uses in the boys bunk is a 1989 Macintosh Portable. Trevor Eyester said the thing didn't work and there some shots in the series where Sponge was typing and the screen wasn't even turned on.
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"Telly's Tennis Match" was the first episode filmed for the second season and Blake Sennett (Soper) is still credited in the opening credits.
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"Telly's Tennis Match" has a scene where Budnick is dressed like Marlon Brando in "The Godfather".
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The radio DJ in "Radio Call In" is the same DJ that is heard in "Dina and the Rock Star" though in "Radio Call In" he's referred to as "Giant Jim" and psyches Sponge into staying up all night for the $1,000 question.
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In "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" Michael and Budnick are making their concoction in a New York Mets batting helmet. The New York Mets are Kirk Baily's favorite baseball team and he used to attend many Mets games with his dad at Shea Stadium.
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In "Anawanna Inc." Ug makes reference to a "silly old shirt" that he and Sponge see in the time capsule. Ironically enough Ug wore that "silly old shirt" a few episodes.
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The movie theater scene in "Sponge and Pinksy Go To The Movies" was built mostly of cardboard and fell over quite a few times while filming. Steve Slavkin and his production crew had to use several bricks and tape to keep the set up.
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Captain and Tennille is another one of Steve Slavkin' favorite artists and there a few episodes which make reference to Captain and Tennille. In "Donkeylips' Crush on Dina" when Spongs holds up the Captain and Tennille record, the original plot was to have to kids "boo" but Telly threw a tennis ball at it instead and Slavkin liked that idea better and added sound effects to it and used it as the final shot.
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In "Capture The Flag" Steve Slavkin had another plot to the episode where Donkeylips would be more like a "Rambo" character but thought it would be too over the top. There was also a line written in where Donkeylips would say "The drew first blood" but later took that line out as it was deemed to violent for a kids show.
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In "Budnick Loves Dina Part II" there was a deleted scene where Donkeylips, Sponge, and Pinsky try to persuade Budnick to break up with Dina but was taken out do to time constraints.
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Season 3 was to continue the business partnership between Donkeylips and Jesse Bartlett with the other kids begging to join the company as well.
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As of 2017 there has been no official DVD release from Nickelodeon though there are several fan made copies converted from old VHS tapes on eBay.
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It's never officially mentioned what Ug does for a real job outside Camp Anawanna though he has made mention of having several semesters of Atheltic training under his belt and Budnick makes reference to Ug "Flunking out of Gym Teacher's College".
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In "Radio Call In" Ug is talking to his girlfriend on the phone and in "Mail Carrier Mona" he is dumped by his girlfriend but tells the boys he only saw her once.
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"Cinderella Play" shows Ug as the play's director. In real life Kirk Baily was a Theater teacher and directed many theatrical plays in New York before moving to Los Angeles in the late 1980's.
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"Counselor Budnick" has a deleted scene where Ug and the kids have a shaving cream and toothpaste fight.
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"Cinderella Play" has a deleted scene where Dina is laying in bed listening to Def Leppard's "Stage Fright" but had to be taken out because of licensing.
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The kid who played Thud Mackie auditioned for Donkeylips in the 1990 pilot.
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The "Blue" on Ug's face changes twice in "Radio Call In". When Ug confronts the kids about who snuck out of the bunk to use the phone, his face now has a "Whiter Blue" where as when he first confronts Budnick and returns to tell the kids the correct answer, his face is more "Carolina Blue".
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The "Theater" stage was used for "Cinderella Play", a storage room where Pinsky and Jamie Mallott Jr hang out in "Dina and the Rock Star" and an arts and supply room in "Anawanna Inc".
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Although Reebok was the official sponsor in season 1, Michael and Telly are both wearing Converse "Weapon" shoes and ZiZi is wearing basic white NIKE tennis shoes in season 1 and in some episodes of season 2.
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After season one concluded, Michael Bower, Danny Cooksey, Heidi Lucas, Megan Burwick, and Krik Baily came to Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando for fan fest and signed thousands of autographs for kids visiting the park.
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Before the series began Kirk Baily played a small role in the film Voo Doo Dawn. Ironically enough his character in that film was called Kevin (Ug's First Name).
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"Counselor Budnick" is the only episode in the series where they show the Anawanna swimming pool.
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There is a fan in both the boys and girls bunks. Because they were both filmed on a soundstage the additional lights and cameras made the soundstage very uncomfortable as Steve Slavkin said that that the air conditioning in the soundstage was not very good.
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It's never officially explained what an "Awful Waffle" is but it involves syrup, a tennis racket, whip cream, and a leaf blower.
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The tennis racket that Budnick gives Telly was also hanging over his bed in season one and in one episode of season two it's next to Donkeylips and Pinsky's bunk.
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The only other leading character that Kirk Baily had in any film was Tony a playwright in "Alexa: A Prostitute's Story".
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The "song" that Budnick and Jamie Mallott Jr. "Perform" was an instrumental that obviously had no guitar parts though Budnick and Jamie are "playing" guitar. The same song appears in a montage in "Sponge-Pinsky Gazette".
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Budnick (Danny Cooksey) is left handed though he throws right handed and plays guitar right handed.
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Throughout the series Ug wears brown hiking boots or black hiking boots but does wear dress shoes in scenes where he's dressed up. In "Counselor Budnick" he wears black Reebok shoes. Reebok was the official sponsor in season one.
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Only Dina and Ug's hometowns are mentioned in the series. Dina is from New York while Ug is from Costa Mesa. It's assumed that the other kids are from California with Donkeylips, Budnick, Telly, and ZZ coming from the L.A. suburbs while Michael is from San Diego, Sponge is from San Jose, and Pinsky is from Sacramento.
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Donkeylips wears different styles of Reebok in season one and wears both NIKE and Adidas in season two.
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Both Michael and Pinsky wear the same green striped shirt over their own t-shirts throughout the series.
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There's a deleted scene from "Ellen Comes To Camp" where the audience finally gets to see the Camp Anawanna office and the door of Dr. Kahn's office but the scene was taken out due to time constraints.
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In "Treasure of Sierra Madre" several mounds of dirt were stacked on top of one another giving the impression that Donkeylips and Budnick had dug a huge whole.
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Throughout the series the kids are forced into instructional swim but there was never any scenes of any campers swimming.
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The telephone in the lodge was an old payphone that Southwestern Bell gave to Steve Slavkin to use as a prop.
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The newspaper room in "Sponge-Pinsky Gazette" was the same soundstage that was used as the extended kitchen in "Bunk Chief Elections".
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The Lone Ranger theme "WIlliam Tell Overture" is used in "Environmental Party" and in "Pinsky Comes to Camp". Steve Slavkin was glad to use the theme because it's public domain. Also in "Cinderella Play" Michael shouts the Lone Ranger's signature "Hi-O Silver"
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Nurse Julie is mentioned often throughout the series but her only appearance was in "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick".
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The camcorder that Sponge uses in season one was Steve Slavkin's actual camcorder.
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Michael and Pinsky both wear a striped green shirt throughout the series with Pinsky wearing it more often than Michael.
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Ug wears white and black Reebok shoes in "Bunkchief Elections" and standard black Reebok shoes in "Counselor Budnick". Ug usually wore brown or black hiking boots in the series.
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When Dina tells Sponge to get lost in the lodge in "Michael Comes to Camp" he actually looks at the hard camera and walks off the soundstage.
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Heidi Lucas said she was bullied in high school when she got out of acting and felt so bad that she had to be home schooled her last year of high school.
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Ug and ZZ are the only characters in the series not to have either of their names in an episode title.
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In "Environmental Party" when the kids re doing the "Can Stomp" dance, Budnick is supposedly playing guitar but the background music sounds nothing at all like a guitar.
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In "Michael Comes to Camp" there are two additional beds in the bunk. By the next episode those beds were gone.
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The 1990 pilot had more boys and girls in their respective bunks as opposed to the main cast members. The reason for this was because the 1990 pilot was filmed in the bunks on the Griffith Camp Boys camp but once Nickelodeon wanted to make a full time series out of it, the bunk shots were filmed on a soundstage.
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Trevor Eyster said he struggled with school and was nothing at all like his character Sponge who was the smartest kid in camp.
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The magazine that Budnick allegedly swiped from Dr. Khan's office in "Budnick Loves Dina Part II" is actually an issue of People's Magazine. Dina is reading the same magazine in "Sponge and Pinsky Go to the Movies".
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In "Pinsky Comes To Camp" Pinsky is playing the piano in the lodge but the camera shows his hands aren't even touching the piano keys though piano music is playing in the background.
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In "Cinderella Play" there is a deleted scene where the cast members are standing in front of the hard camera making gestures. This scene was taken out due to time constraints but did show up on an early 1990's Nickelodeon bumper commercial.
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The cast of season 1 were featured on a Japanese magazine article and there was a photo from the 1990 pilot with a much younger Michael Bower and Danny Cooksey.
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Michael Bower is a Lakers fan in real life but his character Donkeylips is a Chicago Bulls fan.
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In "Cinderella Play" Donkeylips plays a rapping mouse. In real life Michael Bower made several rap singles but never released an album. His rap singles were instead released on MySpace and YouTube.
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In "Pinsky Comes To Camp" Budnick doesn't like Pinsky but by the next episode and as the series progressed Budnick and Pinsky became close friends and their friendship was tighter than the one Budnick had with Michael in season one.
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Before the series officially premiered in 1991, Nickelodeon filmed a promo with Telly (Venus DeMilo) and Dina (Heidi Lucas) in character to promote the show.
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"Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" is the only episode in the series were the nurses office is seen.
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The Camp Vans in the series were Vans that belonged to Griffith Boys Park. For the series, Griffith Boys Camp was taken off of the Vans.
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The School bus in "Michael Comes to Camp" was owned by the Griffith Boys Camp and all shots with the bus had to be filmed in a fast moving motion since the bus actually said "Griffith Boys Camp".
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"Michael Comes to Camp" is the only episode in the series where someone goes out the backdoor in the boys bunk. By the next episode, the door is gone.
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"Bunk Chief Elections" originally had an extended scene where Ug is being sarcastic as the boys are cleaning in the kitchen. The final shot in the episode picks up with Ug already in mid sentence when Dina and Telly enter.
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"Capture The Flag" is also a minor parity of the film "Platoon" as Budnick fails as a leader.
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While Blake Sennett is the oldest cast member among the kids, Megan Burwick was the youngest.
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Pinsky wears the same Converse "Weapon" that Michael wore in the first season but in some episodes he wears Nike.
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An originally screening for "Zeke the Plumber" has the episode open with the opening of John Waite's "Missing You" after the opening credits but in the final print it had to be taken out for copyright issues.
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While Telly (Venus DeMilo) is the best athlete on the series, in real life it was reported that Erik MacArthur was the best athlete off the set and in real life MacArthur was a decent baseball player who was looked at by real life Major League scouts.
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In "Radio Call In" Telly shows Sponge a magazine article on Hank Aaron but the photograph in the article is actually a picture of Darryl Stawberry.
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Ug wear several colors of zinc on his nose throughout the series. He wears blue, sky blue, turquoise, orange, red, purple, and white.
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"Counselor Budnick" is the only episode in the series where Ug wears blue jeans.
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Ug actually wears two fishing hats in the series. He sometimes wears a blue fishing hat in some episodes instead of his signature gray one. Ug also wears a Yellow mesh truckers hat in a few episodes. In "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" he wears a white sun sombrero and it's the only episode in the series in which he doesn't wear his fishing hat.
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In "Budnick Loves Dina Part II" the part where Budnick kisses Dina's hand at the end of the episode was ad libbed.
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The unaccredited actor who plays the role of Tudgeman in "Telly's Tennis Match" was actually a graduate student from Stanford working on the production staff.
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Blake Sennett was considered to be a part of Danny Cooksey's band Bad4Good but Steve Vai was happy with the quartet he had already put together. Ironically enough, a few years later Cooksey, Sennett, and Michael Bower had a band called Sheriff but couldn't get a record deal.
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The tennis court shots in "Telly's Tennis Match" were actually filmed at a private country club in North Hollywood.
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The tape deck that Michael and Sponge set up in "Donkeylips' Crush on Dina" is the same tape deck that's in the boys bunk.
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In "Budnick Loves Dina Part I" Sponge is supposedly playing a key-tar while Budnick is singing to Dina however the key-tar that sponge is using is actually a toy keyboard with no batteries and you can clearly see that his isn't even moving his hands on it.
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When Ug is talking to the kids on the baseball field in "Michael Comes to Camp" there is a closeup of Michael against the fence. That shot was actually from his punishment scene which showed up a few minutes later.
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Pinsky is the only cast member not to wear a Camp Anawanna t shirt often in the series.
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"Treasure of Sara Madre" and "Michael and Budnick Fake Being Sick" feature the 1990 entrance theme for wrestling tag team The Rock N Roll Express.
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Venus de Milo still has the autographed picture of James Worthy that hung over her bed in the series.
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The episode "Cinderella Play" is the only episode in which a character is wearing sandals. Michael is wearing a pair of Teva sandals during a rehearsal session.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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