Remember That Time Phil Moore DIDN'T Host 'Nick Arcade?'

'Nick Arcade' wasn't always as awesome as you remember it being.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

No, you probably don't. 

For every young gamer, one of Nickelodeon's finest '90s achievements was Nick Arcade, a game show dedicated to gamers being gamers. While the main event was the winning team being (crudely) green-screened into a video game, young gamers were able to flex their video game skills in the Video Challenge rather quickly to get ahead. Oddly enough, this used to be a thing; shows with a similar premise like Video Power were on around the same time, while Starcade​ had kids (and grown adults!) battling it out on video games back in the early '80s.

The show was hosted by Phil Moore, a Baltimore native who also has credits in Rosewood, an episode of Malcolm & Eddie, and a couple of other Nick products. During a time when there weren't that many black faces on Nickelodeon (a void that was filled by Alfie, Goo, and their squad), it was dope to see an energetic black guy on TV, especially for a young gamer like myself.

Except that wasn't always the case.

Up above, you'll find the unaired pilot episode from Nick Arcade, which was shot in 1991 and as Kotaku noted, is '90s af. While Phil Moore did have a bit of a corny factor, the pilot was hosted by Neil Sherman...and it's NO surprise that he didn't catch on. Dude just didn't have the zany personality that Phil Moore had on stage.

It's also interesting to see how low-rent some aspects were. Instead of the arcade machines (which, you know, are a central representation of what Nick Arcade should look like), they just had TVs set up on boxes with characters from the game. And while Mikey was still there during the question-and-answer portion, the actual animations of the games feel like they were lightyears behind the Mikey games from the actual show.

Guess that's why you need pilots.

One of the most interesting notes happens around 6:50 in the video, where the boy Jody gets to play Sonic the Hedgehog in what's said to be one of the first public showings of the most iconic Sega Genesis game ever. (With Sonic being released in America in June of 1991, this would place the taping of this episode sometime around then). 

If everything '90s (from awkwardly awesome t-shirts to classic video games and Nickelodeon game shows) is what you need today, take a trip back via the full pilot up above (no DeLorean needed), primarily because the show that the creators (and Phil Moore) tried to Kickstart ended up not being backed. Praise the Wizard for YouTube.

Latest in Pop Culture