If you were a Nick kid in the early 1990s, chances are you were watching Hey Dude, Nickelodeon’s first foray into scripted series. The sitcom set on a dude ranch ran for five seasons up until 1991 and still holds a special place in the hearts of fans.
Former cast members David Lascher and Christine Taylor, who played Ted McGriff and Melody Hanson, know that firsthand. It’s why they decided to saddle up on a nostalgic trip back to a beloved decade for their podcast Hey Dude…The 90’s Called!
Here the pair talk about reuniting all these years later, their famous spouses, and share memories from their times on some of the most iconic TV shows ever.
You recently made news when you revealed you had dated during Hey Dude. Did you expect such a strong reaction?
Christine Taylor: Who knew it was even headline-making? I think for us it was really, to be honest, something we didn’t think people really cared that much about. It certainly wasn’t something David and I talked about publicly or together after all these years really. We came back together after knowing each other in L.A. as friends and then when we did the reunion nine years ago for the 25th anniversary of Hey Dude where we all reconnected. We didn’t even talk about it even then. We had no idea.
David Lascher: Christine said, “Let’s talk about everything. Let’s be open and honest. This is our platform now.” We started with just the two of us and then we start with the Hey Dude cast reunion and one of our head writers. Then we are going to do a Brady Bunch Movie cast reunion, a White Squall cast reunion. We’ll start to move broader into the decade of the ‘90s.
Have you been watching Hey Dude episodes back? If so, what has the experience been like?
Christine: I did go back to watch one episode because my daughter’s roommate knew someone in a theatrical production who said he was in an episode on Hey Dude. I couldn’t believe it, so I looked up the guy and looked up the episode. It was an episode where Melody has a crush on a guest, an older guy. It turns out that guy just worked in production with my daughter’s roommate. That forced me to go back and look. I think now the more we talked about it, I’m curious to revisit it, especially after the reunion episode.
David. It’s interesting because at the time being on a cable show is not what it is today. Christine was recounting when we went to do the Kids Choice Awards that we felt like the uninvited guest or the stepchildren. It was not like Selena Gomez and Wizards of Waverly Place, I’m here. It was stumbling in and realizing people were watching the show. The show grew so organically.
It must be interesting for you to look at the show through today’s lens.
Christine: I have a son who is 17 and a daughter who is almost 21. Everything is available on a streamer, so my daughter has gone and watched a number of shows. Gilmore Girls and things that were made in the ‘90s that she watches today. There is a fascination with this younger generation about how the ‘90s were when it comes to clothes. a lot of that is making a comeback. You’ll never see me in it, but my daughter is dressing in high-waisted jeans. David, you’re calling them mom jeans. For us to revisit the ‘90s from our firsthand lens and then spin it to what our kids’ experience now and their interests in it. It spans many generations, which would be an interesting way of looking at it.
Do your respective spouses Ben [Stiller] or Jill [London] watch the show?
Christine: They were too old to watch back then. They are both older than us, so they were not watching the show when it was on.
David: I remember Jill had no idea what Hey Dude was until, time and time again, people came over to talk about Hey Dude. Now it’s in her universe.
What’s the role you were surprised people recognized you for at, say, the supermarket?
Christine: For me, the 1990s, specifically The Brady Bunch and Marsha Brady of it all for me is something I’m most recognized for. But I can not escape the episodes I did on Friends because I was bald and played the bald girl. I’ve done a lot of 25-year-plus anniversary reunions for projects I did in the ‘90s like The Craft, The Wedding Singer, and Seinfield and Friends. People want to hear those stories. I think they really made an imprint on people’s lives. I love to say I was part of those quintessential ‘90s projects. They were iconic.
David: I did these episodes for 90210 that first summer when it really blew up like anything I’ve ever seen before. Luke [Perry] and Jason [Priestley] and Shannen [Doherty] were on the cover of Rolling Stone. It all happened really quickly. 90210 was the thing that blew me away with how broad the audience was. The Hey Dude fans are the most passionate fans I have ever seen too. It was their show.
David, did you have a lot of people who come up to you for Sabrina the Teenage Witch giving their two cents that Sabrina should be with Harvey and not Josh?
David: I came on and took Harvey’s place for the last three seasons. People took their stance on which boyfriend they preferred for her. That show also had a strong fanbase.
Christine, you also did an episode of Blossom. Were you both on set at the same time?
Christine: David, you were in the episode. I remember because it was one of my first jobs moving to L.A. We weren’t in scenes together. I was in the storyline with the father and brother. The “B” storyline.
David: I got to confess right now that I was still in this angry phase with you and our breakup. I was so freakin’ unwelcoming. I remember feeling immediately like how did I not make her feel welcome on this set when she is one of my oldest friends. I was so immature.
Christine: I think it might have been six or seven months after Hey Dude ended or less. There were still bitter grapes probably
David: Well I apologize now for not being more of a friend.
Christine: I did meet some great people on set who were guest stars and still to this day my closes friends. It was a great experience for me. Don’t worry about it.
In this age of revivals and reboots, do you have a movie or show that you would want to see get a second wind?
David: We were saying if they remade Hey Dude it would be a Riverdale situation where there were murderers and drugs that were really edgy.
Christine: It’s hard to think of a reboot but they are doing it with so many shows. What was great, and this was the 2000s, but I was in the early seasons of Arrested Development and that got a reboot 10 years later. I do think there are a lot of shows that didn’t take at a time, but there is still an audience for them.
Where do you think your Hey Dude characters would be today?
David: I feel like Ted might have bought the ranch from Mr. Ernst. He was so into it and loved the lifestyle. Maybe ended up with Brad or Melody. I think Ted would still be out there.
Christine: I feel like Melody would be heading toward kids. She was great with Buddy. She had a knack for it. Melody was the one who wanted everyone to be okay. She had a maternal instinct. She probably got married and had babies. I think if Ted ended up with anyone it would have been Brad.
David: But Melody was the nice one. I would have hoped he would go for the nice girl.
Hey Dude… The 90’s Called! is an iHeartPodcast available on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are heard.
Hey Dude, Seasons 1-5, Paramount Plus