For many ’90s kids, the Nickelodeon lineup was crucial to their everyday routine. A standout in the stream of animated TV shows was the series about Doug Funnie, an awkward preteen who journaled, talked to his dog and sometimes dressed up with his underwear over his pants.
From Honker Burger to the nematode swamps, the world of Doug is likely familiar to anyone who had access to Nick, and later Disney, in their youth. While the long-running animated series ended in 1999 with Doug’s 1st Movie, its creator Jim Jinkins is still pushing for a comeback: “I am far from done with Doug in my own mind.” Same here, Jim. Same here.
Anyway, check out some interesting things that you might not have known about the series before it makes that (hopeful) comeback.
The Bluffington residents’ weird and varied skin colors were thanks to a “margarita stupor.”
As fans of the show age, the Internet has been flooded with conversation about the various and unique skin tones of Doug’s neighbors and classmates. Jinkins insists it’s not a commentary on race, however. In fact, green-toned Roger and blue Skeeter were simply the products of a few too many tropical beverages.
While at a New York City Mexican restaurant with co-creator David Campbell, Jinkins said they conceptualized the tones over a “margarita stupor.”
Jinkins said that after realizing he had complete control over his character’s coloring, he really went wild.
“Now it’s time to color in the people, so you grab your eight shades of skin, you put them in your hand and start,” he told The Huffington Post. “But then I looked back up at my full set of 200 design markers and thought, ‘I’m making this up. I can do what I want to do, why stop here.’ ”
But why is the lead white? There’s no meaning behind it other than he was the first to be drawn, so his complete look was finished before Jinkins had even accepted the possibilities. “Patti is a little more thoughtful, I wanted her to have dark skin, so I picked a flesh-range color, and that can be a great tan or ethnicity, but it all just started out as an experiment in how that could go,” he told HuffPo.
And for the haters – Jinkins said he’d even go back and happily make Doug something eccentric – even magenta.
“People are certain that Skeeter is an African-American guy,” he added. “I’m like, ‘well, he’s blue!’ You put together that he’s the music guy and he does some rap stuff or several other things, great. If that’s how you see him, that’s great. It’s not a bad thing, but I never planned it. Skeeter is blue and he’s Doug’s friend.”