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BANKIE'S HOT TAKE #33 - Stick Stickly and "Oh Brother"

I just literally relived my childhood.

Growing up in the 1990s, I watched a BOATLOAD of Nickelodeon. SNICK on Saturday, Nicktoons and Nick Jr. in the mornings, Nick-at-Nite in the evening, and even Mr. Wizard at 6 am. I was a Nickelodeon junkie. Possibly still am.

But in the mid-1990s, there was nothing more powerful to me than getting home from playing outside in the Summer to watch Nick In The Afternoon, starting at 3 PM, so I could tune in and watch my favorite TV host: STICK STICKLY.

And this is where the story begins.

In the ethos of the world, you could never have picked a popsicle stick to be a popular character on the “First Network for Kids”, but Nickelodeon proved everyone wrong.

Stick Stickly was as simple as it came. Two glued on red googly eyes, a yellow jelly bean for a nose, and a piece of string for a mouth on a popsicle stick, and a legend was born.

The character itself was very creative. Voiced by Paul Christie, former New York president of the Screen Actors Guild, Stick was incredibly anxious. Whenever he got riled up, he would always use “Simmer Down” to calm himself to little avail. Stick was at home at his desk, which was, for reasons unexplained, located in front of an electrical outlet.

He also was a jack-of-all-trades, using his own body to be on a spinner wheel to select the next program on Nick In The Afternoon, as well as being a tester of various substances in a segment called “U-Dip”.

The Summer of 1994 saw Stick take off with popularity on the network, becoming integrated with other commercials and programs on Nickelodeon. Over the next four Summers, to kids like me, Stick was the face of afternoons.

Just like me, other kids were so enamored by Mr. Stickly that they would send in their own custom popsicle sticks to sit in the studio audience.

I would torture Mama and Papa Bruce by eating loads of ice cream bars, keeping the sticks, and creating a stick army, all with different designs and characters. I would then mail in my popsicle stick and hope to see it on television. What tortured my parents wasn't the creation of characters; it was leaving them scattered all over the house. Sadly, that never happened. But it didn’t matter - Stick Stickly ruled!

Stick’s popularity was such that he even made the mailing address jingle a classic:

"Write to me, Stick Stickly

P.O. box 963

New York City, New York state,


I still hum that damn jingle.

At the end of the Summer of 1998, Stick Stickly began to fade out from Nickelodeon as the permanent voice of the Summer. As what normally happens with our childhood, a beloved character truthfully faded off into the sunset and to live on in our memories.

However, every now and again, thanks to my ADHD, I frequently look on YouTube and type in content from my past, hoping to find some of that lovely nostalgia. I typed in Stick Stickly and found some old clips of past episodes of Nick In The Afternoon. I went down the rabbit hole.

So when I came across an old Nickelodeon special revolving around Stick trying to find his twin brother Wood Knot, I stopped in my tracks. I put my headphones on and watched it. Let me tell you:


In 1995, Nickelodeon started releasing shorts of Stick Stickly after learning from his mother that he had a twin brother. Stick would travel to New York City and go all over the boroughs, searching. Finally, after a failed search for him at the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Stick was about to give up looking, learning that his twin left the city a few days earlier for a stand-up comedy tour. Suddenly, fate got in the way as he accidentally bumped into him on a street corner! The world was then introduced to his twin brother, Wood Knot.

Nickelodeon wound up taking all of the shorts and turned it into a half hour special for Nick In The Afternoon, called “Oh Brother”.

The Nickelodeon “Adventure” became a cult classic, airing a few times over the next few years during the Summer. I remember always trying to find time to watch and enjoy it, and I always seemed to cherish it fondly, just like now.

“Oh Brother” showcased a few things to me almost thirty years later.

First, the quick wit of the characters. In the spirit of the 90s, Stick’s interactions with Holly B. Wood, his mother, the people of New York, and his brother were sharp and snarky. In my opinion, compared to the majority of kids shows on television and streaming, “Oh Brother” was a tremendous treat.

Second, it was a time capsule of what New York City was before September 11, 2001. I’ve always felt that New York has never been the same since that day, in sense of identity and pride. Looking at how artistic, authentic, and unique Manhattan looked in this special, I actually shed a tear thinking about those days. Also, the Twin Towers - what a piece of beauty.

Finally, the optimism of it all. Giving that good message of “never giving up”, so Stick could find Wood Knot and make an important bond gave the character of Stick Stickly emotional depth. I was invested in seeing Stick get what he wanted; a relationship with his brother.

For a popsicle stick to gain popularity in the 1990s was the pinnacle of Nickelodeon’s powers. I wish that television, in general, would provide off the wall, intelligent, fun programming for the kids of this generation, similar to what I got as a kid. “Oh Brother” was the peak.

I’m grateful for Stick Stickly and Nickelodeon. Thanks to the person that found it. It made me reminisce in the best way possible. Kids, search this out. You’ll be glad you did.


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