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Weinerville title card, as seen on the show's opening sequence.
||Marc Weiner, & various actors
|Country of origin
|| United States
|No. of seasons
|No. of episodes
||Universal Studios Florida
||30 minutes per episode (including commercials)
||July 11, 1993 – 1994
Nickelodeon Weinerville was 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 September 5, 1994, the episodes aired daily. The show aired on Nickelodeon until June 30, 1997, although the Chanukah special re-ran on December 21, 1997. Weinerville was Nickelodeon's #1 show five weeks in a row in 1993.
Overview and characters
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 undershirts changes.
- Kevin 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 had a sidekick/assistant named "Zip", who's constantly getting knocked and kicked around his boss (usually by accident). And is recognized by his constant misfortune and agonizing scream.
- Baby Jeffrey, who introduces Marc at the beginning of each episode and always makes a mess.
- Big Pops, who is the owner of the Diner, and usually does a lot with his nose, either picking it, or playing the kazoo (only in season 1).
- Schnitzel, Marc's fresh/sassy, parrot sidekick (only in season 1).
- 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 didn't 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 (only 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 Dream, 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.)
- 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 (only 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 "I'm Boney, I'm Boney, leave me aloney, now get out of here!"). 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"), 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 didn't 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 thrown by a stage hand) soaked the participant. Captain Bob first appeared on Saturday Night Live, when Weiner was a writer in the early 80s.
- 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. (only 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.) 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.
|Season One: 1993
||Marc's Mother Visits
||Zip In Space
||Zip Stuck In VCR
||Balloon Zip (Pilot) *
||Zip's Family Treasure
||Ziggy Zag Concert
|Season Two: 1994
||Weinerville For Sale
||Eric Von Firstenseconds' Spell
||60 Seconds News
||The Puppet's Court
||Louie Becomes a Citizen
||S.G. Dottie's Cousin
||The Time-Slot War
||Dottie's High School Reunion
||Variety Show or Sitcom
||Zip Runs Away
||Dottie’s Dating Game
||Weinerville: The Movie
||Marc's Lost Memory
||Back to the Past from a Look into the Future
||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
|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.
Nickelodeon Broadcast History
NOTE: All times are eastern
- On the set, the street light read, "Max" and "Rebecca", Marc's children.
- You can tell "Balloon Zip" was the pilot because, there wasn't that much of a story, except a short 'General Store' skit and in 'Playland' the puppet bodies didn't 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 then 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, cousins visiting, Dottie working on spin off TV shows, Marc losing his memory so the puppets have to help host the show, saving the planet from pollution, and ect.
- 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 tided up, Marc is wearing his season one jersey.
The Cartoon Shorts
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, and UPA cartoons
Marc Weiner's Weinerville Live
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 through out the years. checkout the official site for information, merchandise, video clips, and contact information.
Wordville: with Marc Weiner and Friends
A preschool spinoff of Weinerville, which premiered on Nick Jr. on weekday mornings in 1998-1999 Marc would bring puppets and children to teach words, with skits and his well known big head/little body puppets. Wordville: with Marc Weiner and Friends contained only 28 episodes, and wasn't aired again after the show ended in 1999 due to lack of ideas for new episodes.
There was also a 13-minute educational VHS video made for the National Dairy Council called E.A.G.A.H.B.E.D.D. The title stands for "Eat A Good And Healthy Breakfast Every Day Day" and is done in the style of an abbreviated Weinerville episode, with the usual characters and sets but without the Playland segment.