Making sense of the odd skin tones, bizarre inventions, and fictional celebrities on Doug was part of what made it such an enjoyable show for anyone whose eyes were glued to Nickelodeon in the early '90s. The show, a staple of Nickelodeon programming at that time, followed its eponymous hero through any number of pre-teen fears, from fending off a bully to asking a girl to dance to bagging that elusive Neematoad. But while the plots were (mostly) relatable to your average adolescent, the world was anything but. Kaleidoscopic in color and off-kilter in terms of logic, the town of Bluffington was truly a funhouse mirror reflection of our own world.
On Doug, celebrities often served to both broaden the world and tie it back to our own. The big-screen bigwigs, politicians, and rock bands that soared in and out of Bluffington nearly all had real-world inspirations, though the ones that didn't might be even more interesting that those that did. Which celebrities from the world of Doug do you recall most fondly? Vote them up below!
Mash up The Beatles, The Monkees, and The Who and you've got The Beets, a kaleidoscopic foursome whose music seems preoccupied with health food ("Killer Tofu"), bodily functions ("I Sneezed on My Face"), and adolescent angst ("I Need More Allowance").
Originally called The Pickled Beets, the band is comprised of Monroe Yoder, Clyde "Chap" Lipman, Wendy Nespah, and Flounder, all of whom speak with a Liverpudlian lilt that's a direct nod to the Fab Four. They're the favorite band of pretty much every kid in Bluffington, and numerous episodes find Doug and Skeeter trying (and sometimes failing) to see them in concert. As Doug can tell you, The Beets aren't above shredding a little air guitar with their fans in the wild.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was at the height of his silver screen stardom during Doug's run in the early '90s, so it makes sense that Bluffington would have its own version of the muscled movie star. Ronald Weisenheimer looks, walks, and talks just like The Governator, but seems more concerned with fitness than stardom. He first appears as a guest at a local fitness event, but resurfaces a few seasons later when Doug buys some of his workout tapes to try to drop some pounds. "Come on, fatty," he urges in the video. "Your blubber disgusts me!"
Being the man behind a city's trove of sweets is bound to make you a local celebrity, and there's no doubt Mr. Swirly is exactly that. With swirly hair that evokes the top of an ice cream cone, the dessert magnate seems thoroughly invested in his work, so much so that he bids his wife adieu by wishing her a "swirly day." A consistent presence in the Doug universe, Mr. Swirly is buoyant and jovial, though perhaps not the best business owner. Who lets cement get into a vat of chocolate, anyway?
Sky Davis is the superstar basketball player behind Air Jets - the Air Jordans of Bluffington. See, in this episode, shoes were a new kind of cultural currency; you weren't cool unless you had a sweet (and expensive) pair of shoes. Doug, ashamed of his longtime sneakers, sets out to buy some Jets but is too broke to snag a pair. Crestfallen, Doug is invigorated by a visit from Davis himself, who reveals to Doug that his favorite sneakers are the everyday kicks he's worn since he was young. Before he leaves, Doug asks him to sign his shoes; Davis does, then asks Doug to do the same. After all, they are "sole brothers."