Nickelodeon had a bona fide hit with The Amanda Show, but the show came to an abrupt end in 2002 after only three seasons. Amanda Bynes said of her departure, ”I knew I didn’t want to be a Nickelodeon kid when I was 30. I was having fun but at 15, you don’t want to be doing what you did when you were 12.” The child star quickly transitioned to a successful film career, with hits like Big Fat Liar, She’s The Man, and the 2007 film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical, Hairspray.
Amanda Bynes’ personal life since her years as Nickelodeon’s preteen Carol Burnett has been very publicly marred by substance abuse and mental health issues, resulting in an almost decade long conservatorship that just ended this past March. Between Bynes’ struggles, Dan Schneider’s murky pattern of misbehavior, and Drake Bell’s admitted crimes, the legacy of The Amanda Show is disappointingly sordid considering what an important piece of television the series was for so many kids of the millennial generation.
But the memories that those of us who loved The Amanda Show have of our first experience with sketch comedy shouldn’t have to be sullied by the seedier side of children’s entertainment. We can choose to remember “Judge Trudy”, “Who Wants To Win Five Dollars?”, and “Blockblister” for what they were at the time – an accessible window into the world of sketch and satire that showed kids how to engage with pop culture in a stupid, silly, and sarcastic new way. The Amanda Show and its predecessor All That should be remembered as important pieces in the history of sketch comedy for the way they allowed a new generation to take part in the fun.
I mean, Saturday Night Live doesn’t have dancing lobsters.
Top Image: Nickelodeon Productions
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