You Can't Do That on Television (partially lost Canadian TV series; 1979-1990)

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The show's title card.

Status: Partially Lost

You Can't Do That On Television was a Canadian sketch comedy that first aired on CTV on February 3rd, 1979 and then premiered in the United States on Nickelodeon on January 2nd, 1982 until it's end on May 25th, 1990 for 144 episodes and two specials. It was created by British producer Roger Price (who previously created the children's sci-fi series The Tomorrow People) and the show was the fourth iteration of the format that first debuted on the British sketch comedy series You Must Be Joking! (also created by Price).

The show mainly features comedy sketches performed by a mostly preteen cast that relate to the episodes topic. The show would also feature the use of green slime and water dumped on the cast, the slime would go onto be a Nickelodeon trademark and continues to be the channel's trademark to this day. The cast would sometimes feature future rock musician Alanis Morissette, filmmaker Patrick Mills, and The Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady.

The show would become a ratings success in Canada and would later score even bigger ratings once the show started airing on Nickelodeon. After the show's end, the latter would rerun the show until early 1994 and would air one episode, 1986's "Enemies & Paranoia" as part of the channel's "Old School Pick" in 2004 but was pulled halfway through the airing. Similar to what happened to an episode of The TNT Show in 2009, the episode contain jokes on then president Ronald Reagan and Reagan's death made headlines during the episode's airing and was replaced with an episode of The Fairly Oddparents[1]. The show would briefly be reran in 2015 on the TeenNick block "The Splat" before disappearing from the air altogether. A reboot of the show was announced in 2017 with Price involved[2] but was canned two years later due to rights disputes[3].

While the show is well remembered for the time it aired on Nickelodeon, episodes are hard to come by, and many of the masters for the episodes are rumored to have been destroyed.

Episodes[edit | edit source]

Season 1[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
1 Live! Found
2 A CJOH Shoestring Production Found
3 Nickel and Dime Found
4 Peanuts Found
5 Repeat Partially Found Video glitches out at 3:29, even when downloading the file.
6 Ottawa Director Found
7 St. Patrick's Day Found
8 Backstage Found
9 A Staff Privvy/Executive Washrooms Production Found
10 Boring Found
11 Straitjackets Found
12 Local Show Found
13 Sore Foot Found
14 End of the Line Found

Season 2[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
15 Work Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
16 Transportation Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
17 Strike Now Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
18 Dating Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
19 Fitness Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
20 Safety First Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
21 Sexual Equality Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
22 Personal Hygiene Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
23 Smoking Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
24 Crime and Vandalism Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
25 Drugs Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
26 Nutrition Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
27 Peer Pressure Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +

Season 3[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
28 Cosmetics Found (Subscription Required) Available on Paramount +
29 Addictions Found
30 Popularity Found
31 Fads and Fashion Found
32 Vacations Found
33 Rip-Offs Found
34 Bullying Found
35 Culture Junk Found
36 Television Found
37 Sports Found
38 Heroes Found
39 The Not-So-Fair-Show Found
40 Growing Up Found

Season 4[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
41 Media Found
42 Pets Found
43 Medicine Found
44 Rules & Regulations Found
45 Future World Found
46 Nature Found
47 Cooking Found
48 Inequality: Kids vs. Adults Found
49 Rumors Found
50 Classical Music Found
51 Manners Found
52 Fame Found
53 Priorites Found

Season 5[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
54 Courage Found
55 Friends Found
56 Ambition Lost Screenshots exist
57 Hobbies Found
58 ESP, Magic and Astrology Found
59 Literature Lost Screenshots exist
60 Clubs Lost Screenshots exist
61 Foreign Countries Lost Screenshots exist
62 Marketing Found
63 History Found
64 Body Parts Found
65 Technology Lost Screenshots exist
66 Moving Lost Screenshots exist
67 Halloween Lost Screenshots exist
68 Christmas Found
69 Holidays Found
70 Colleges Lost Screenshots exist
71 Politics Found
72 Science Lost Screenshots exist
73 Divorce Lost Screenshots exist
74 Families Found
75 Malls (Hangouts) Found
76 Seasons (Weather) Found
77 War Lost Screenshots exist
78 Jealousy Found
79 Wealth Found

Season 6[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
80 Outer Space Lost Screenshots exist
81 Wildlife and Animals Lost Screenshots exist
82 World Records Lost Screenshots exist
83 Identity Crisis Lost Screenshots exist
84 Pessimism/Optimism Lost Screenshots exist
85 Romance and Dating Lost Screenshots exist
86 Fears, Worries, and Anxiety Lost Screenshots exist
87 Relatives Lost Screenshots exist
88 Revenge Lost Screenshots exist
89 Movies Lost Screenshots exist

Season 7[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
90 Fairy Tales, Myths, and Legends Lost Screenshots exist
91 Pop Music Lost Screenshots exist
92 Know-It-Alls Lost Screenshots exist
93 Parties Lost Screenshots exist
94 Garbage Lost Screenshots exist
95 TV Commercials Found
96 Country Lost Screenshots exist
97 Back to School Lost Screenshots exist
98 Illness Lost Screenshots exist
99 Enemies and Paranoia Found
100 Contests Lost Screenshots exist
101 Censorship Found
102 Poverty and Unemployment Lost Screenshots exist
103 Part-Time Jobs Lost Screenshots exist
104 Discipline Lost Screenshots exist
105 Sleep Lost Screenshots exist
106 Home Lost Screenshots exist
107 Mysteries and Crimes Lost Screenshots exist
108 Luck Lost Screenshots exist
109 Savings Lost Screenshots exist

Season 8[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
110 Books and Reading Lost Screenshots exist
111 Adoption Partially Lost Nickelodeon pulled the episode after two airings. Two versions exists.[4]
112 City Life Lost Screenshots exist
113 Anniversaries Lost Screenshots exist
114 Smells Partially Lost Screenshots exist

Season 9[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
115 Choice Lost Screenshots exist
116 Chores Lost Screenshots exist
117 Communication Lost Screenshots exist
118 Fitness Lost Screenshots exist
119 Malfunctions Lost Screenshots exist
120 Cleanliness Lost Screenshots exist
121 Security Lost Screenshots exist
122 Pollution Lost Screenshots exist
123 Fantasies Lost Screenshots exist
124 Time Lost Screenshots exist
125 Mistakes Lost Screenshots exist
126 Punishment Lost Screenshots exist
127 Beliefs Lost Screenshots exist
128 Age Lost Screenshots exist
129 Excess Lost Screenshots exist
130 Looking Cool Lost Screenshots exist
131 Losing Things Lost Screenshots exist
132 Failure Lost Screenshots exist
133 First Times Lost Screenshots exist
134 Celebrations Lost Screenshots exist
135 Effort Lost Screenshots exist
136 Sports Lost Screenshots exist
137 Smoking Lost Screenshots exist
138 Generosity Lost Screenshots exist
139 Embarrassment Lost Screenshots exist

Season 10[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status Notes
140 Blame Lost Screenshots exist
141 Secrets Lost Screenshots exist
142 Learning Found
143 Privileges Lost Screenshots exist
144 Inventions Lost Screenshots exist

[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Of the 144 episodes that were produced and aired, only under half of the show's run exists in broadcast quality. A home media release of the show never materialized due to royalties and various streaming releases have popped up in the past decade. The first season of the show is considered by many to be the hardest season to find as the season only aired in Canada and never aired on Nickelodeon, many of the season's masters are considered missing and are rumored to have been erased since it was a common practice at the time. In 2013, Price uploaded off-air copies of the entire first season of the show to YouTube, but were since been taken down; however, they resurfaced on Archive.org on October 10th, 2021, courtesy of Lost Media Wiki user, "Droog," who claims they have had it on their hard drive for years prior to the resurfacing. Twenty one episodes from the show's second and third season were available on Amazon Prime but have since been unavailable.[17][18][19] In March 2021, those same episodes were added to Paramount + and can still be viewed as of the writing of this article (though it requires a subscription to service before the episodes can be viewed)[20]. The rest of the series have resurfaced online thanks to home recordings from Nickelodeon airings. Due to the ongoing rights issues with the show, it's unlikely the rest of You Can't Do That On Television will ever surface.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Poparena's Nick Knacks You Can't Do That On Television episode.


References[edit | edit source]