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Nickelodeon Weinerville was filmed at Nickelodeon Studios in Universal Studios Orlando Florida, it was an audience participation comedy show featuring Marc Weiner and his head-puppets and about them making a show. It was produced in 1992-1994, 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 created and 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 puppets, interaction with a live studio audience, and showing classic cartoons. 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 and adults are transformed into puppet citizens.

The show has also received numerous award nominations, including two Cable Ace award nominations, and has received acclaim from: The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, the Daily News, the New York Post, Newsday, 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.

Overview and characters

Puppets

  • Dottie, the Mayor of Weinerville. Played by Marc Weiner.

  • ZIP, Dottie's sidekick/assistant, who's constantly getting knocked and kicked around his boss (usually by accident). And is recognized by his constant misfortune and agonizing scream. Played by Scott Fellows

  • Baby Jeffrey, who introduces Marc at the beginning of each episode and always makes a mess. Played by Marc Weiner

  • Schnitzel, Marc's fresh/sassy, parrot sidekick (only in season 1). (Marc)

  • Commander Ozone, a space traveler who defends against evil and saves the universe with his sidekick, Wilson, (Played by Scott Fellows) 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" (played by Marc) 

  • 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). (Played by Marc)

  • Cocktail Frank, the bandleader of the house band of the show "Cocktail Frank And His Weenies." Frank is the lead singer/guitarist. (Played by Marc)

  • Joey Deluxe, The big shot manager/ and powerful TV show agent. Played by Marc Weiner.

      (Most of the above characters feature Weiner's head on a puppet body.)

  

  • Professor Phosphate, a Muppet-like puppet with green hair who can only be seen from the waist up. Phospate is the owner of Weinerville Labs, and often causes explosions. Despite this, he often solves problems (only in season 2). (Played by Scott Fellows and David Jordon)

  • Boney, is a dinosaur  skeleton who is beloved by children but doesn't like to be bothered by 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!"). 

  • Pops, who is the owner of the Diner-(Played by Scott Fellows)

  • Louie, the local dry cleaner owner who always argues with Pops. (Played by head writer and world famous actor Ray Abruzzo)

  • Socko, an inverted hand puppet (Weinerette style puppet) who likes to kick Marc.(Operated by Marc) 

Other sketches

The show also featured several non-puppet characters played by Weiner himself:

  • Captain Bob, is loveable and crazy sea Captain who wears yellow rain gear and constantly cracks puns. On many shows, an audience member would be invited to climb aboard Captain Bob's ship. Captain Bob would always yell "Tidal wave" and a bucket of water thrown by a stage hand would soaked the participants. Marc's Captain Bob character first appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1981. 

  • 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.  Nearly everything in the store sold for $13.50. 

  • 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 this became "Weinerville".

  • Playland, Every show two lucky audience members where selected to get "Weinerized" (put into the "Weinerizer" and would shrink them down into a half human and half puppet). 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" (green slime dumped onto the player's head.)  The Playland stage was enlarged and revamped the second season to incorporate more elaborate stunts and the "Creamerizer".  The contestants facing each other and squirting whipped cream at some target in the middle, usually soaking the other contestant in the process.  

  • Episodes

 

Season One: 1993Episode title

01Marc's Mother Visits

02Tooth Hurty

03Humidity

04Cleaning Day

05Zip In Space

06Missing Cartoon

07Giant Spider

08Haunted

09Weight Loss

10Football

11Zip Stuck In VCR

12Magic Episode

13Bubblegum

14Talent Show

15Dottie's Birthday

16Spaghetti

17Bake Off

18Balloon Zip (Pilot) *

19Baseball

20Budget Cutbacks

21Popcorn

22Recycling

23Snow Day

24Train Ride

25Zip's Family Treasure

26Ziggy Zag Concert

27Show #27

28Show #28

29Show #29

 

Season Two: 1994Episode title

30Ratville

31Dottie's Replacement

32Weinerville For Sale

33Eric Von Firstenseconds' Spell

3460 Seconds News

35Fire Safety

36Magic Lamp

37The Puppet's Court

38Broken Weinerizer

39Network Censors

40Louie Becomes a Citizen

41Louie's Crush

42S.G. Dottie's Cousin

43Brain Switch

44Paralle Universe

45Boney's Spell

46The Time-Slot War

47Dottie's High School Reunion

48Loca-Cola

49Weinervilla

50Ego Crazy

51Marc's Arians

52Variety Show or Sitcom

53DTV

54Socko Framed

55Royal Dottie

56Zip Runs Away

57Dottie’s Dating Game

58Weinerville: The Movie

59Marc's Lost Memory

60Back to the Past from a Look into the Future

61Pollution

62XR-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 Chanukah Special

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 Weinerville's Broadcast History

NOTE: All times are eastern

 

DateTime slot

July 1993 - November 1996
Sunday, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Sunday Marathon)

October 1993 - September 1994
Monday-Friday, 3:30 - 4:00 p.m.

September 1994 - August 1996
Monday-Friday, 3:00 - 3:30 p.m.

August 1996 - June 1997
Monday-Friday, 7:00 - 7:30 a.m.

[edit] Guest stars

  

Special thank you to Manny Orames for creating the Weinerville Wikipedia/Episode Guide

 

Special Thanks to:

Manger- Lee Kernis

Executive Producer- Kevin Kay

Head of Nick Jr.- Brown Johnson

Head of Development of Nick Jr.- Gwen Billings

Producers- Neil Olshansky 1993

              Jeanne Simon    1994

Head writer Ray Abruzzo.

Production Designer- Byron Taylor

Scott Fellows- writer

David Jordon-puppet master

Sandy Weiner- writer

And all the wonderful people who were involved in making Weinerville.

Brian Berns- Actor, acting coach and friend. Brian has since past on. May G-d bless him and his family. Thank you Brian for contributing so much Weinerville, we love you.

 

Mel Weiner- My beloved father and mentor past away on June 5, 2010. He helped me create and develop Weinerville. He also helped me build Weinerville Live and tour with us and he called the show's music and lights. He was an amazing man who helped me pursue my dreams. He will be deeply missed. I love you dad. May my beloved father rest in peace, however, knowing my dad, he is probably helping and mentoring all the other angels in heaven.

Adele Weiner- My beloved mother and mentor past away.  My mother dressed me up in a wig and dress as a young boy for Halloween because she thought it was funny, Dottie was born. She instilled the idea of the big head on the small body when she created a banner for her boys (Jonas, Marc, and Jess) to carry at Banner day at a Mets game when we were young boys. Thank you mother for your creativity, humor and love. She is deeply missed and adored. May my beloved mother rest in peace, however, knowing my mom, she is probably making all the other angels in heaven laugh.