Kids’ Choice Awards’ slime so sublime

Highlights from the kiddocast

They’re called the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, but plenty of adults have enjoyed the kiddocast through its 20-year history. Enjoy these highlights — and don’t let the slime hit you on the way out.

With a gazillion gallons of goo everywhere by show’s end, how is it cleaned? “If you look at our stage,” says KCA exec producer Marjorie Cohn, “it’s built with grates all over it, and there are receptacles to catch (the slime), and (crews) go out with giant squeegees.”

The KCA signature slime arrived under another banner. Way back in 1979, performers on Canadian sketch comedy “You Can’t Do That on Television,” which Nick later imported to become the network’s first original production, would get slimed if they said a trigger phrase such as “I don’t know.” Slime proved such a delight that it quickly emerged as a Nick trademark.

In Hollywood, careers rise and fall, success comes and goes, but no one, absolutely no one, can take away the 1989 KCA for Favorite TV Actor from ALF.

Nick broadened its celebration of grossness with the inaugural Burp Award, held in 2001 and won by Cameron Diaz. “I chugged a Diet Coke before I went onstage,” Diaz says, “and it was like, ‘Bwaaapp.’ ” Subsequent gastrointestinal gurus have included Jessica Alba, Steve Irwin, Hugh Jackman and two-time best burper Justin Timberlake, host of the 2007 awards.

The next frontier was crossed when Scooby-Doo and Kangaroo Jack easily nosed out the competition to win Favorite Fart in a Movie honors in ’03 and ’04. Illustrating the show’s lofty principles, Cohn notes that the KCAs will not issue the award in a year that lacks worthy flatulence.

Donald Trump’s signature “You’re fired” took on new meaning at the 2005 KCAs when it triggered a human cannonball launch into a slime-enhanced net. Providing TV commentary on the stunt was, who else, rapper-actor Nick Cannon.

Beginning in 2002, it wasn’t enough to fling slime at someone: Someone had to be flung into slime. First, BMX biker Dave Mirra double-back-flipped into a 4,000-gallon tank of slime, followed in ensuing years by Tony Hawk skateboarding into 11,000 gooey gallons, BMXer Mat Hoffman skydiving with his bike into a lake of green and Olympic freestyle skier Ryan St. Onge leaping from the slopes into 10,000 gallons of gunk.

They can laugh about it now, but at the time, it was one of the most painful moments in KCA history — the time a gambit didn’t work. Producers designed a miniature golf shot — rigged so it couldn’t fail — that would trigger the presentation of an award, but the ball just wouldn’t go in the hole.

For years, the KCAs have attracted name talent, and so the roll call of celebrity slimees slides right along: Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Sean Combs, Rosie O’Donnell, James Earl Jones, Queen Latifah, Pink (with pink slime), Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Robin Williams.

With kids clamoring to be part of the action, the KCAs now offer an official mosh pit where you can be sure you’ll get slimed. But being outside the pit won’t necessarily protect you. “Sometimes our slime splashes over the mosh pit into the audience, and there have been some surprise slimings of very important people,” says Cohn (also Nick exec veep of development and original programming). “When you’ve got Robin Williams onstage with a hose, he’s not exactly being careful about who he shoots.”

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