Some Nickelodeon Stars Loved Their Time There And Some Really Hated It

·10 min read

Back in the day, Nickelodeon introduced us to some of the biggest stars that are still dominating music and movies today.

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Their time on the network paved the way to stardom, but not everyone actually loved it.

Here are the mixed reactions to being A Nick Kid, straight from the sources.

1.Loved it: Nathan Kress

Nathan Kress at a Nickelodeon event in 2014

Nathan Kress played Freddie Benson on iCarly and has reprised the role in the show's Paramount+ reboot.

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Kress credited the role and the fans he got from it for keeping him on the straight and narrow. "Even from an early age, I felt a certain amount of responsibility. A lot of that is due to the fact that I was getting letters from people saying, ‘Hey, man, I really look up to you. I appreciate the choices that you’re making and the things that you’re doing, but also the things that you’re not doing,'" Kress tells EUPHORIA. "I was getting that feedback very early on from a lot of different sources and that kind of made me want to keep it going. So, I guess I slipped into dad mode sort of inherently."

Nathan Kress poses backstage with the award for Favorite Family TV Show at the Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards 2022
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for Nickelodeon

2.It's Complicated: Miranda Cosgrove

Miranda Cosgrove at a Nickelodeon event in 2010

Miranda had guest gigs on Zoey 101 and Unfabulous before scoring a role as Megan Parker on Drake & Josh. She went on to play iCarly's Carly Shay, a role she's currently reprising.

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"I think one of the most challenging things growing up making iCarly, I went through my awkward phase and completely grew up on the show," Cosgrove told People. "So when I look back at all the episodes, even though I remember the fun times and I can laugh, sometimes when I see the outfits I'm wearing, I just know how I felt during those moments in some of the episodes. It's so weird to think that when you're a kid growing up on TV, people are watching you go through all that awkward stuff and figuring out who you are."

Miranda Cosgrove attends Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on March 13, 2021
Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Nickelodeon

3.Hated it: Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy at an event in 2011

Jennette McCurdy played Samantha Puckett on iCarly and Sam + Cat.

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"It's a difficult thing to say because the shows that I was on were so loved by so many people and so many kids. I hear constantly that, 'You made my childhood,' and I think it's great that they had that experience but that just was not my experience," she told the Empty Inside podcast. "It just was hellish, I think, is not too intense of a word. Nobody really knew me. I was very different from the character I was playing. I'm known as a thing that I'm not."

Jennettte McCurdy attends the premiere of Magnolia Pictures' "Damsel" at ArcLight Hollywood
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4.It's Complicated: Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande at a Nickelodeon event in 2014

Ariana played Cat Valentine on Victorious and Sam + Cat before becoming a certified pop diva.

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"It was a blessing and one of my childhood dreams come true," she told People about the experience in 2014. " For a long time, I was attached to a character that was nothing like myself. It was a little frustrating.

Ariana Grande on 'The Voice'
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5.Loved it: Jamie Lynn Spears

Jamie Lynn Spears at a Nickelodeon event in 2004

Jamie Lynn Spears was on the All That reboot in the early 2000s before starring in Zoey 101 from 2005 to 2008.

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In an Instagram Story in 2021, Jamie Lynn thanked fans online who were calling for a Zoey 101 reboot and tried to dispel the rumor the show ended because of her pregnancy. "So thankful for this show and everyone who loved and supported it," Spears wrote. "I grew up on this show, so it was pretty much my childhood also. Love y'all."

Jamie Lynn Spears attends the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena
John Shearer / WireImage / Getty Images

6.It's Complicated: Marc Summers

Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

Marc Summers hosted pretty much every iteration of Double Dare.

Marc didn't have a nice thing to say about his former network in a 2013 interview. "Their network is going in the dumper. Disney beats it. They have no idea what they’re doing," he said. "They put on a bunch of cartoons and stuffed animals instead of real human beings that other people can associate with... the creative people are gone. It's become a ‘how much money can we make from this merchandise’ and ‘how many tours can we put out and steal money from the parents.’"

Marc Summers attends the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2018 at Barker Hangar on July 19, 2018
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

7.Loved it: Melissa Joan Hart

Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

Melissa Joan Hart played Clarissa Darling on Clarissa Explains It All.

Though she noted living away from her family in New York while filming in Orlando was hard, Hart also had a lot of positive things to say about the experience. "Clarissa taught me a lot — if she could stand up to a bully or date the bully, break boundaries and stand up for what she believed in and be smart, sassy, and likable, then I could be those things too," she told Variety. "I was feeling a lot of peer pressure and feeling like I didn’t fit in — you know, all those kid things — but working with adults I found that the adults don’t care if you wear what’s trendy, they only care if you’re nice to them and you’re fun to talk to. So I kind of developed my social skills."

Melissa Joan Hart posing in front of a fate at Disney World
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8.Hated it: Alasdair Gillis

Alasdair Gillis on a panel at the 92nd Street Y

Alasdair Gillis was on You Can't Do That On Television from 1982–1987.

92nd Street Y / Via youtube.com

During a panel discussing his time on Nickelodeon, Alasdair Gillis said that it was fun in the moment, but didn't age well. "There are some things I might question in retrospect — fat jokes... probably not the healthiest thing for kids," he said.

Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

9.Loved it: Mike O'Malley

Nickelodeon / Via gfycat.com

Mike O'Malley hosted Nick game show, Get The Picture, before moving on to hosting sports competition shows GUTS and Global GUTS. He also appeared a number of times on Figure It Out.

"I took the job very seriously," he told Entertainment Tonight, in reference to hosting GUTS. O’Malley, 50, was 24 years old when he landed the job. "I looked at the part like I was playing the role of an older brother. Like a cool camp counselor. I loved working with the kids."

Mike O'Malley attends the STARZ premiere of new series "Heels"
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10.Hated it: Ashley Argota

Ashley Argota at a Nickelodeon event in 2009

Ashley Argota was on True Jackson, VP, and Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures before moving on to some Disney gigs.

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When someone tweeted asking why they hadn't heard her voice prior to her Disney days, she shadily replied, " The other network never gave me the opportunity."

Actress Ashley Argota attends the "The Spitfire Grill" Opening Night Performance at Garry Marshall Theatre
Paul Archuleta / Getty Images

11.Loved it: Larisa Oleynik

Larisa Oleynik during The 11th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards at UCLA Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, California

Larisa Oleynik starred as Alex Mack in The Secret World of Alex Mack from 1994 to 1998.

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

Oleynik says that she's grateful she was a child star on the network when she was. " Oh gosh, I mean, I'm so glad that none of this stuff existed when I was doing press. I mean, I barely know how to handle it now. But I totally don't understand how you figure that out and how you deal with the pressure of likes and things like that," she told E! News. "I was able to completely remove myself and just go on with my regular kid life. It's different now."

Larisa Oleynik attends the unauthorized musical parody of '10 Things I Hate About You' at Rockwell Table and Stage
Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images

12.It's Complicated: Steve Burns

Steve Burns at a Nickelodeon event with a stuffed Blue

Steve Burns was Blue's human sidekick on Blue's Clues.

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Steve loved playing Blue's buddy but worried it would be a downhill battle when he started balding. "I kind of looked around and I'm like — the people who decided that I should wear these pants are not going to choose a wig with any dignity for me. It's just not going to happen," he told The Daily Mail.

close up of steve in a suit
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13.Loved it: Lori Beth Denberg

Lori Beth Denberg during 1998 Kid's Choice Awards

Lori Beth was on All That and Figure It Out before moving on from the network in 1998.

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Lori Beth was the oldest of her castmates on All That and told Huffington Post she has fond memories of that time. "I know how much television meant to me as a kid ― I was watching everything and studying it," she said. "So to know that I was on a show that brought something positive to other kids really means a lot. I get and give a lot of hugs."

Lori Beth Denberg speaks at The Splat: All That Reunion At New York Comic-Con
Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Nickelodeon

14.It's Complicated: Nat Wolff

Nat Wolff signing autographs at a Nickelodeon event

Nat Wolff played a fictionalized version of himself on The Naked Brothers Band.

L. Busacca / WireImage / Getty Images

While he didn't think super highly of the network, he enjoyed the experience overall. "I think as a Nickelodeon actor, I kind of got more respect as a musician ... The Nickelodeon show was an amazing learning place, because it was all my best friends in real life and it was a lot of improv. [The Naked Brothers Band] is actually a pretty good show," he told Vanity Fair. "Most of the Nickelodeon shows are pretty bad, but that show is good! Cool people randomly come up to me, who I never thought would watch the show, to say that they watch it. Like Judd Apatow came up to me and told me how much he loved the show. It’s cooler than most kids’ shows."

Actor Nat Wolff at Nickelodeon's 2017 Kids' Choice Awards at USC Galen Center
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15.Loved it: Kenan Thompson

Kenan Thompson on All That

Kenan Thompson was on All That before he got his own show alongside Kel Mitchell, Kenan & Kel.

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Kenan appreciates his time at the network for helping him prepare for everything he takes on today. "I gotta give Nickelodeon their credit because it trained me for exactly what’s happening in my life right now. I went from a sketch show to a sitcom."

Kenan Thompson attends 2021 Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for Nickelodeon

16.It's Complicated: Devon Werkheiser

Devon Werkheiser during Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play

Devon Werkheiser played Ned Bigby at Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide from 2004 to 2007.

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

He didn't altogether hate the experience, but he does feel like the show didn't get the attention it deserved. "I thought they could have promoted our show more compared to the other shows that got more attention," he said in a Reddit AMA. I also would have liked to have been used more by them, for the award shows and stuff like that.

Actor Devon Werkheiser arrives at Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards
Larry Busacca/KCA2010 / Getty Images for KCA

17.Loved it: Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer during Nickelodeon's 20th Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Orange Carpet

Keke Palmer starred as True Jackson on True Jackson, VP from 2008 to 2011.

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Keke has come to appreciate her time as True more over the years. "As I've gotten older, I didn't realize how much of an influence that character had on young Black women, young millennials, young kids, just everybody, because it's like, yo, this is a young person living their dream," she said.

Keke Palmer poses for a picture at A Sip with Issa Rae and Keke Palmer during the HOORAE x Kennedy Center Weekend Takeover
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