The Nickelodeon sitcom, despite only having two seasons, was very popular. Salute Your ShortsSince its debut 31 years ago, it has been a cult favorite.
The show follows a group of teenagers, as well as their strict counselor Kevin “Ug” Lee (Kirk Baily), who are spending their summers at Camp Anawana. The ensemble cast featured camp bully Bobby Budnick (Danny Cooksey), boy genius Sponge Harris (Tim Eyster), tomboy Telly Radford (Venus DeMilo Thomas), nature lover Z.Z. Ziff (Megan Berwick), snobby princess Dina Alexander (Heidi Lucas) and comic relief Eddie C. “Donkeylips” Gelfand (Michael Bower).
Steve SlavkinThe adaptation was adapted by, who appeared as Dr. Kahn on the show. Salute Your ShortsPilot from his 1986 book of that name. Interview with PopSugarSlavkin claimed that the show was his biggest break.
“This is the first big project I ever did. I was 26 when the show was sold to Nickelodeon. I’d written a book called Salute Your ShortsWith my friend Tom Hill — he and I had met at summer camp together. So he and I wrote a humor book together, and then we sold it to Nickelodeon,” he explained.
He said that he knew he was taking an unconventional approach to creating sitcoms. “I tried to jam-pack as much as I possibly could into each episode. I had just finished film school. I wanted something different. I wanted it to be different. I wanted to use the camera in different places and tell stories in a new way. Kids’ television at the time was mostly sitcoms, so we were going to do comedy a different way. We were going to do jump cuts, make little movies, and do it without a laugh track,” he said.
Cooksey spoke with PopSugarSlavkin also commented on his relationship during filming with his costars. “Everybody got along really well. It was a lot more fun than it sounds. We were in a little bubble of our own existence. We were in L.A., and most of Nickelodeon’s stuff was [filmed]Florida. We were in our own little cocoon,” he told the outlet.
After the series ended some Salute Your ShortsThe alums remained close to each other. Baily and Bower were both groomsmen in Cooksey’s 1998 wedding. The majority of the cast — including Slavkin, Baily and Bower — reunited in 2015 for Portland’s Everything is Fine festival. They even sang the show’s memorable theme song together during their panel at the pop culture convention. Tragically, Baily, a 59-year-old man with lung cancer, died in February 2022.
Scroll down to see the cast of Salute Your ShortsIs doing now: