Here’s a bunch of episodes of “You Can’t Do That On Television”

You Can’t Do That On Television is a sketch-comedy TV series that was made in Canada and aired in the U.S. on Nickelodeon in the 1980s. The show starred character actor Les Lye, who played all of the adult male roles – and there were dozens of them. Abby Hagyard played all of the adult female roles. At least five children appeared in each episode, and they always played themselves. Some of the children were on the show long term and appeared in many episodes over the years (such as  Christine McGlade, Lisa Ruddy, Alasdair Gillis, Adam Reid, Vanessa Lindores, and Doug Ptolemy) – others appeared in only a few (such as Alanis Morissette, who appears below in the episodes “Pop Music” and “Enemies and Paranoia”). The show portrays many of its adult authority figures as worthy of being mocked, whether it be because they’re incompetent, evil, corrupt, or power hungry. Anyone who said “I don’t know” would have green slime fall on them, and anyone who said “water” would have water fall on them. The series was created by Roger Price, who wrote the script for every episode.

The show has lived up to its title, as it has not been regularly shown on TV since the early 1990s.  I’m not sure if this is due to copyright issues, or perhaps because the people in charge of running TV today consider the show to be offensive (one of the regular sketches consisted of a south-American military official who took immense pleasure in executing children in front of a firing squad). I will say that I grew up watching this show, and it has not had any negative effects on me. On the contrary, it made me think about important issues (as is shown in the titles of the episodes, such as “Sexual Equality,” “Smoking,” “Bullying,” “War,” and “Divorce”), and gave me an appreciation for what the medium of television is capable of when it’s done at its very finest. The fact that the show was so incredibly low budget (all of the children wore their own clothes from home) shows that one not need spend huge sums of money in order to create gut-busting humor.

Unfortunately, the show has never been released on DVD. The website currently lists it at as being the 8th most requested show among all shows that have never been released on DVD, as well as being the 78th most requested show of all time, so we can’t blame lack of demand for its non-release. Hopefully this situation will be rectified.

“Transportation” – 1981

“Dating” – 1981

“Sexual Equality” – 1981

“Personal Hygeine” – 1981

“Smoking” – 1981

“Addictions” – 1982

“Bullying” – 1982

“Heroes” – 1982

“Fears and Growing Up” – 1982

“Pets” – 1983

“Rules and Regulations” – 1983

“Manners or Bad Habits” – 1983

“Medicine” – 1983

“Future World” – 1983

“Nature” – 1983

“Body Parts” – 1984

“Literature” – 1984

“Holidays” – 1984

“Politics” – 1984

“War” – 1984

“Divorce” – 1984

“Wildlife and Animals” – 1985

“Outer Space” – 1985

“Fairy Tales, Myths, and Legends” – 1986

“Pop Music” – 1986

“Country” – 1986

“Enemies and Paranoia” – 1986

“Censorship” – 1986

“Poverty and Unemployment” – 1986

“Adoption” – 1987

July 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Television.


  1. V.E.G. replied:

    Abby Hagyard was born in 1950.

  2. V.E.G. replied:

    Les Lye:
    May his memory be eternal!

  3. V.E.G. replied:

    Abby Hagyard was born on April 16, 1950 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Some sources say, 1951. She still lives in Canada.

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