TV Character Crush: Nick at Nite Edition 

Getting cable was everything for a kid like myself;  someone completely and utterly obsessed with television. It was and forever will be my favorite form of entertainment, and as a kid, Nickelodeon really did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to cementing that sentiment. I had the joy of cartoons and live-action shows starring kids just like me during the day, and then once 10pm rolled around in came a cascade of shows that aired before I was born, or old enough to comprehend their storylines via Nick at Nite.

This week’s guest, Dustin Holden, was also a big fan of this block of programming that introduced ‘90s kids to classic TV from the previous decades. I’d been familiar with a handful of the shows they had due to syndication on basic cable, but they had so much more. ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ was an instant favorite but we’re not here to talk about my hat-tossed-in-the-air love, but rather some characters that I couldn’t help but crush on a little or a lot as a kid glued to Nick at Nite. 

Darrin Stephens, Bewitched

When I say Darrin, I mean when Dick York played him. Not when they went and tossed new Darrin into the mix. 

Peter Tork, The Monkees

I love to imagine growing up in every decade. What would I have worn, where would I have lived, and most importantly – what boy band would I have been obsessed with. I’m pretty sure if I was 12 in the ‘60s, nothing would’ve kept me from The Monkees. So much cooler than that other foursome at the time, and cuter. Well, Peter Tork. He was cuter than everyone in his group and elsewhere at the time and was the main reason I tuned in whenever their show was on.

Tony Banta, Taxi

I think we can all agree that Tony Danza was a total babe. 

Peter Brady, The Brady Bunch

Maybe it was the fact that he was the middle child and those characters usually become my unintentional favorites, or maybe it was because he really was the cutest of the Brady boys. Nevertheless, I was really into ‘The Brady Bunch‘ a little too much as a kid. 

Jack Tripper, Three’s Company

It’s hard not to crush on John Ritter. 

Gilligan, Gilligan’s Island

I have this theory, and it came up when talking with The Curious Girl Diaries’ Layla, that Bob Denver (the man behind Gilligan) just may have been the Pete Davidson of his time. I won’t explain any further because if you get it, you get it. 

Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years

He was the boy you wished lived on your block as a kid. 

The Fonz, Happy Days

Only in the realm of ‘Happy Days’ could this older man in a leather jacket be seen at the epitome of cool, but in reality – it’d be weird as hell for him to constantly be at the high school hangout spot, right? 

Alex P. Keaton, Family Ties

In the ‘80s Alex P. Keaton was the cutest little conservative you’d ever seen, but if he existed in the 21st century…we all know where he would’ve been on January 6th. 

Sam Malone, Cheers

This is one of the few shows I remember my parents watching together, and I always remember thinking Sam wasn’t bad looking, but as I got older – man, oh man. I came to fully appreciate all that is Sam Malone and wished on a couple of shooting stars to be a 20-something in 1985 just to see if I stood a chance. 


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