Nickelodeon Weinerville is an American television program on Nickelodeon that was produced in 1993 and 1994, aired in re-runs until 1997. The show was based around a giant puppet stage which was designed to look like a city, called Weinerville. The show was hosted by Marc Weiner.
Marc Weiner teamed up with Nickelodeon with the premiere of Nickelodeon Weinerville, a half-hour variety show using classic elements of kids programming, including puppeteering and interaction with a live studio audience, to entertain kids and their parents. Since its premiere, Weinerville has drawn the attention of such shows as Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America and The Early Show for being television's first and only half-man/half-puppet variety show where kids are transformed into puppet citizens.
The show has also received numerous award nominations, including two CableACE Award nominations, and has received acclaim from: The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, the Daily News, the New York Post, Newsday, TV Guide and the Los Angeles Times.
The show premiered on July 11, 1993. During the first season, all episodes ran in a two-hour marathon every Sunday. However, Weinerville quickly gained popularity: in the middle of the first season Nickelodeon began running the show on weekday afternoons. For the second season, which premiered on May 2, 1994, the episodes aired daily. The show aired on Nickelodeon until June 30, 1997, although the Chanukah special re-ran on December 21, 1997.
Nickelodeon Weinerville was filmed at Nickelodeon Studios in Universal Studios Orlando Florida, it was an audience participation comedy show focused on Weiner and his puppets and about them making a show. The first few episodes did not have much of a plot or story line, but during the rest of the first season the show broke out story lines and plots, especially in the second season.
- Marc Weiner - The host who is always forced to solve most of Dottie's problems. In season one, Marc wears an unbuttoned Weinerville baseball jersey with a green undershirt. In season two, the color of his undershirt changes.
- Kevin Elemeno P. (pronounced: "L-M-N-O-P") - The "executive producer" on the show, who makes three appearances (only in season 2). The character, played by an older child, is a play on the name of the real executive producer of the program, current MTV Networks executive Kevin Kay.
- Dottie - The Mayor of Weinerville. She has a sidekick/assistant named "Zip", who is constantly getting knocked and kicked around his boss (usually by accident). And is recognized by his constant misfortune and agonizing scream.
- Baby Jeffrey - He would usually introduces Marc at the beginning of each episode and always makes a mess.
- Big Pops - The owner of the Diner, and usually does a lot with his nose, either picking it, or playing the kazoo. He only appeared in Season One.
- Schnitzel - Marc's fresh/sassy, parrot sidekick. He only appeared in Season One.
- Commander Ozone - A space traveler who defends evil and saves the universe with his sidekick Wilson (who sounds like Scotty of Star Trek fame). However in Season 1, his name was "Captain Ozone", and Wilson did not sound like Scotty but had a squeaky voice like "Zip".
- Eric Von Firstensecond - Commander Ozone's evil enemy. He always tries to figure out an evil scheme to take over Weinerville, or to marry Dottie. He only appeared in Season 2.
- Cocktail Frank - The bandleader of the house band of the show "Cocktail Frank And His Weenies." Frank is the lead singer/guitarist.
- Joey Deluxe - The big shot manager and powerful TV show agent.
- Soup Tureen - The 'That's not Fair' game show host. Only in Season 2.
All of the above characters feature Weiner's head and a puppet body. The ones listed below are puppet characters
- Professor Phosphate - A Muppet-like puppet with green hair who can only be seen from the waist up. Phosphate is the owner of Weinerville Labs, and often causes explosions. Despite this, he often solves problems. He only appeared in Season 2.
- Boney - An obvious parody of Barney, he is a dinosaur skeleton who is beloved by children but hates them (the "theme song" to his show consisted of said puppet singing "Now get outta here! I'm Boney, I'm Boney, leave me aloney!"). According to the 1995 summer issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, Boney is Weiner's favorite puppet.
- Zip - Dottie's helper, who always gets himself into trouble, makes his famous trademark scream and crashes into the wall.
- Pops - Known on season 1 as "Little Pops". He is the local chef who argues and sometimes starts stuff with Louie.
- Louie - The local laundromat owner who always argues with Pops.
- Socko - An inverted hand puppet who likes to kick Marc, performed with his own props, and made sarcastic gestures when things did not go right.
The show also featured several non-puppet characters played by Weiner himself:
- Captain Bob - A sea pirate in yellow rain gear that constantly cracks puns. On many shows, an audience member would be invited to climb aboard Captain Bob's pirate ship, where the host would fling water on him before the "tidal wave" (a bucket of water, or, in some cases, slime, thrown by a stage hand) soaked the participant. Captain Bob first appeared on Saturday Night Live, when Weiner was a writer in the early 1980s.
- The Weinerville General Store - Members of the audience were also called down to participate in various activities during the main part of the show, such as helping to demonstrate items in the Weinerville General Store. A recurring joke on the show took place in the General Store, in which Weiner would sell comedic props similar to those of Carrot Top. Nearly everything in the store sold for $13.50. (only in season 1)
- Running Joke - Occasionally, the "$13.50" gag was used in other segments. For example: on the "Talent Show" episode the winners won with 1,350 points; on the "DTV" episode, DTV was on channel 1350; and on the General Store and Captain Bob skits, that would be the price when Marc would hand the participant anything.
- That's Not Fair! - A game show where a kid and an adult played for points answering questions. Usually the kids win. It was only featured in Season 2. According to an interview with Marc Weiner, "That's Not Fair" was a pilot he made for Comedy Central in 1991, after it was tested the network said its good for kids, so Nickelodeon got a hold of it and the pilot became "Weinerville".
- Playland - These participants then competed in one of various games in "Playland" that tested the skill of operating their puppet bodies. The runner-up received the "Silver Hot Dog", with the winner receiving the "Golden Hot Dog" as well as the "Special Topping" (a small amount of green slime dumped onto the player's head.) If a malfunction occurred or both players tied they both get the "Golden Hot Dog". Occasionally, both players received the Special Topping (especially in the second season), and if the game involved pies, both contestants would be hit with pies themselves instead of anyone getting the Special Topping. The Playland stage was enlarged and revamped the second season to incorporate more elaborate stunts; these frequently had the contestants facing each other and squirting water or whipped cream at some target, usually soaking the other contestant in the process. Season one was a carnival-style, and on the second season it was a radio-active style.
The show always ended with Weiner; choosing two people from the audience to get "Weinerized" (turned into puppets). The participants entered a contraption called the "Weinerizer", which appeared to then shrink them to the puppet size (it did so by having the contestants place their heads into a hole above a miniature puppet body). Although the audience members were ostensibly chosen at random, Matt Day (VII) (who at the time was working on another Nickelodeon show, Clarissa Explains It All) revealed that participants were sometimes selected beforehand.
All episodes aired out of sequence in no particular order.
|Season One: 1993||Episode title|
|01||Marc's Mother Visits|
|05||Zip In Space|
|11||Zip Stuck In VCR|
|25||Zip's Family Treasure|
|26||Ziggy Zag Concert|
|Season Two: 1994||Episode title|
|32||Weinerville For Sale|
|33||Eric Von Firstenseconds' Spell|
|34||60 Seconds News|
|37||The Puppet's Court|
|40||Louie Becomes a Citizen|
|42||S.G. Dottie's Cousin|
|46||The Time-Slot War|
|47||Dottie's High School Reunion|
|52||Variety Show or Sitcom|
|56||Zip Runs Away|
|57||Dottie’s Dating Game|
|58||Weinerville: The Movie|
|59||Marc's Lost Memory|
|60||Back to the Past from a Look into the Future|
|62||XR-3 Space Shuttle Game (Series Finale)|
|TV Specials & Air Dates:|
|Special 1: December 31, 1993||The Weinerville New Year's Eve Party|
|Special 2: December 14, 1995||Chanukah Special|
|Special 3: January 1, 1996||New Year's Special: Lost in the Big Apple|
|Special 4: February 17, 1996||Election Special: From Washington B.C.|
NOTE: All times are eastern
|July 1993 - November 1996||Sunday, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Sunday Marathon)|
|October 1993 - May 1994||Monday-Friday, 3:30 - 4:00 p.m.|
|May 1994 - August 1996||Monday-Friday, 3:00 - 3:30 p.m.|
|August 1996 - June 1997||Monday-Friday, 7:00 - 7:30 a.m.|
- Marc Summers of Family Double Dare is referenced regularly, made a cameo on the "Giant Spider" episode, "Chanukah Special", and the "New Year's Special"
- Pro Wrestler Kevin Nash on the "Chanukah Special"
- Phil Moore of Nick Arcade on the "Variety Show or Sitcom" episode
- Dr. Joyce Brothers on the "XR-3 Space Shuttle Game" episode
- Moira Quirk of Nickelodeon GUTS, on the "Variety Show or Sitcom" episode
- Huey Lewis on the "Louie's Crush" episode
- The cast of Clarissa Explains It All on the "DTV" episode
- Melissa Joan Hart on the New Year's, and Election special, and on the "DTV" episode
- Mike Maronna of The Adventures of Pete & Pete made a cameo on the New Year's special
- Paul Shaffer made a cameo on the New Year's special
- Bill Maher on the Election Special
- Joe Lieberman on the Election Special
- Andy Lawrence
- Harry Smith
- On the set, the street light read, "Max" and "Rebecca", Marc's children.
- Episodes aired out of sequence, on July 11 the show premiered with "Zip Stuck In VCR", and on May 2 the second season premiered with the "XR-3 Space Shuttle Game" episode.
- Dottie's hair (Marc's wig) changed from season one, two, and the specials; season one it was a curly hair wig, season two was shoulder-length straight hair. As for the specials the wig was still straight hair but brunette instead of the blond wig used on the show. On a radio interview, Marc said that the first Dottie wig was his mothers.
- You can tell "Balloon Zip" was the pilot because, there was not that much of a story, except a short 'General Store' skit and in 'Playland' the puppet bodies did not have the trademark 'Weinerville' logo on them, and at the end Marc and Dottie say, "Goodbye" which is in no other episode except this one.
- First season episodes were different than season two, not just set changes but in early season one episodes it was short skits and quick segues to cartoons, so it was mostly a cartoon show, except towards the middle of the first season; story lines were written and it gave Weiner's characters some definition; especially in the second season some topics would include: becoming citizens of Weinerville, Dottie working on spin off TV shows, fire safety, saving the planet from pollution, and etc.
- Marc's 'Weinerville' jersey changed season one was white XL with the "Weinerville" logo on the front right and on the back in yellow letters read "Weiner 1", and in season two was L white and sometimes grey with the "Nickelodeon" hot dog logo on the front right, and the "Weinerville" logo on the back. However on the "XR-3 Space Shuttle Game" episode in one scene where Marc and Sacko are gagged and tied up, Marc is wearing his season one jersey.
Before Weinerville made its debut, Nickelodeon ran the cartoons by themselves on a half hour block called "Cartoon Kablooey".
- Season 1 (1993) / Sunday Marathon (1993–1996): Classic Paramount (like Modern Madcaps), and UPA cartoons (like "Mr. Magoo")
- Season 2 (1994–1995): Segments from The Alvin Show (1961)
- Re-runs (1995–1997): Throughout 1995 the shorts were all shuffled, but in 1996 they began exclusively showing Batfink, and Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse
After the show finished its run, in 1996 Marc took the show on a live tour, and added a new segment called "The Comedy Challenge". In 2001 Marc started the show again in the United Kingdom more live shows were done throughout the years. checkout the official site for information, merchandise, video clips, and contact information.
January 23, 2011 Marc Weiner and his son Max launched a YouTube Channel where Weiner will bring his puppet characters back to life in new short videos, exclusively on YouTube. Under the channel name WeinervilleTV The channel launched its first video February 1, a video of Boney announcing the big news as "We're Back!!". To get a following Eric Weiner and Max created a Weinerville Facebook page, and Marc opened a Twitter account.
On July 22, 2011, it was announced that reruns of the original Weinerville series were set to be included in Nickelodeon's classic 1990s block, The '90s Are All That, at an unspecified future date.
A preschool spinoff of Weinerville, which premiered on Nick Jr. on weekday mornings in 1998. Marc would bring puppets and children to teach words, and help with vocabulary, with skits and his well known big head/little body puppets. Marc’s son, Max Weiner, designed Sara, the Weinerette-style hand puppet, and the sun.
There was also a 13-minute educational VHS video made for the National Dairy Council called E.A.G.A.H.B.E.D The title stands for "Eat A Good And Healthy Breakfast Every Day" and is done in the style of an abbreviated Weinerville episode, with the usual characters and sets but without the Playland segment, this episode got made into a DVD; this is known as the only official Weinerville DVD at this time.