Logotype for the series, used on promotional materials and news advertisements.
|Presented by||John Moschitta Jr.|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Bill Riley|
|Producer(s)||John Moschitta Jr.|
|Running time||1 hour|
NTSC (host segments)
|Original release||April 1979– November 1980|
Nickel Flicks (also known as Nick Flicks) is a children's television series that premiered on Nickelodeon in 1979 as one of the network's inaugural programs. It showcased serials from the 1920s–40s, in addition to early comic one-reelers and silent short films. It was hosted by producer John Moschitta, who later became famous as the "World's Fastest Talker" in commercials for FedEx. This was Moschitta's first on-camera television role. Nickel Flicks was notably the first Nickelodeon show to be cancelled and the shortest-lived out of Nickelodeon's inaugural series.
Since the features on Nickel Flicks had been created prior to the advance of color television, most of the program was presented in black and white. The only exception were the segments featuring Moschitta, which were taped in color at Nickelodeon's original headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. The program aired three times every day from April 1979 until March 1980, with sporadic reruns remaining until November 1980. All showings throughout 1980 were reruns of previous episodes, making Nickel Flicks the only show on the network not to last beyond the 1970s and the first Nickelodeon program to end.
Slapstick comedy serials made up the majority of the content on Nickel Flicks. Comic violence, which was rare in children's programming at the time, was not edited out of most of the films that were shown; it was even advertised as kids' programming "with no sugar-coating." The series' executive producer Bill Riley stated that "any violence [on the program] is either less intense than that found on commercial television or is clearly intended as comedy." Dated suspense films aimed at a family audience were occasionally shown as well. The show was not just a showcase but a "public affairs program as well." During Moschitta's host segments, public affairs issues related to the plots or stars of the showcased films were discussed.
The following artists' works were featured on the program:
- Buster Crabbe (as Flash Gordon in the eponymous serial)
- Tom Mix (as Tom Morgan in The Miracle Rider)
- Roscoe Arbuckle
- Gene Autry
- Charlie Chaplin
- Bela Lugosi
- Roy Rogers
- John Wayne
- "Television cable hides under the lawn". Courier-Post. Cherry Hill, New Jersey: Gannett Company. November 20, 1980.
- "Programs for kids with no sugar-coating". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa: Gannett Company. July 1, 1979.
- "Television Tidbits: Nickelodeon". The Times. Shreveport, Louisiana: Gannett Company. August 12, 1979.
- "Better shows for youngsters?". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Media Network. December 14, 1978.
- "At Last: Children's Programming That's Fit for Children!". Times-Union. Google News. October 12, 1979. Retrieved December 22, 2013.