There was a time in my life when Nickelodeon was this magical channel my family just could not afford to have. I think we got it around the time I was in second or third grade and from that point on, I was enamored. No more waiting for Saturday mornings to indulge in programming tailor-made for me. Nor did I have to take it all in for a few hours after school before the evening news took over. Nickelodeon changed the way not only I, but a whole ass generation of kids took in TV. So I could go on and on about the channel as a whole but to coincide with Steve Madole, cohost of ‘The Notes McGotes Podcast’ and his Nickelodeon crush, I will in fact share one of my many, many and that is none other than the football-shaped head boy with the coolest room on earth – Arnold from ‘Hey Arnold!’
Yes, there was definitely something that went wrong in Arnold’s genetic makeup to grant him that head but it wasn’t so much that Arnold was a looker. I mean, no kid at P.S. 118 looked like anyone you’d see in real life. Alas, a crush on Arnold was based on not only his stunning personality but what he embodied, and that was the all-around crush we all shared growing up. Who among us was not a little bit like Helga when it came to crushing on someone at that age? Playing it off with anger and resentment but then turning around and fawning over a pencil they dropped that you just so happened to pick up and cherish for the remainder of the year?
I remember watching ‘Hey Arnold!’ and thinking, of course, Arnold is the IT guy. He’s not only one of the most endearing cartoon characters to grace TV screens in the ‘90s but he also led a pretty amazing life. He lived in a building that would’ve been THE spot to hang out after school just because it’d never not be entertaining, but again – that room. Okay, perhaps my crush is like 75% based on that room because if you don’t already know…I live for a room that showcases personality and that room showed all of us that Arnold was always thinking ahead, and a badass.
Going back to the idea that he was the typical crush we all had though, he was. Every classroom across America at that time had a boy like Arnold. Not all of them looked like him, a white, blond kid with a little hat, but they all had the same sort of..swag…am I using that terminology right? That cool factor, that main character energy that made every girl take notice. Made every girl stress over what Valentine’s Day card to give him because it couldn’t be too forward but it had to get the point across enough that perhaps he’d look your way.
Arnold was and is forever that boy and because of that, one of my many, many Nickelodeon crushes.