Hey Dude TV Poster Image

Hey Dude

Classic Nick sitcom is cheesy but has merit for kids.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate, but there are some good messages about tolerance and making good decisions.

Positive messages

Viewers learn life lessons about friendship, honesty, humility, and relating to others as they watch the characters work through everyday troubles.

Positive role models

With few adults around, the teens usually are forced to solve their own problems. It's not a flawless process, but they do learn their lessons and make the right choices in the end. The show is light on diversity in its cast, but it does have a Native American teen in a leading role, and he occasionally references aspects of his heritage like traditional meals. Female characters are self-confident and able to hold their own among the guys on the farm.

Violence & scariness

Some cliffhangers hint at peril (a slow-motion scene shows a teen nearly getting trampled by a horse, for instance), but there are no violence or injuries.

Sexy stuff

Teens engage in obvious flirting.


Very rare use of names like "idiot."


The show is inspired by a long-running international game show called Fort Boyard, which features adult competitors.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's nothing about this '90s Nickelodeon sitcom that's a concern for kids, although most of them are more likely to notice the show's very dated feel and significant cheese factor before they pick up on what it offers them in the way of content. The characters' antics are full of comical pitfalls, but they always have positive messages for viewers about getting along with others, making good decisions, and taking responsibility for your actions. Expect some pretty heavy flirting from some smooth-talking guys, and fair models in the teen girls, who usually see through their would-be suitors' charm. Diversity is limited to a Native American teen, but there are some references to his heritage and culture within the dialogue.

What's the story?

HEY DUDE chronicles the antics of a group of summer staff members at a fictional Arizona dude ranch owned by an awkward New York transplant, Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin). At the heart of the group are Ted (David Lascher), a well-meaning schemer, and his best friend, Danny (Joe Torres), a Hopi Native American. Sweet-tempered Melody (Christine Taylor) is the ranch's swim instructor who's often dragged in to Ted's plans, and the sharp-tongued Brad (Kelly Brown) teaches riding. Early episodes often centered on the love-hate relationship between friendly nemeses Ted and Brad, but after Lascher left the show, Ernst's nephew, Jake (Jonathan Galkin), was introduced as his replacement. Another staffer, Kyle (Geoffrey Coy), joined the fray later in the show's run.

Is it any good?


By any standard, this short-lived original Nickelodeon sitcom is pretty cheesy, but compared to the host of modern shows vying for the coveted tween market, its low-budget feel makes it a hard sell for viewers. On the upside, though, the teens are a likable bunch, and the troubles they encounter are realistic enough, typically focusing on misunderstandings, good-natured arguments that arise among them, or schemes that go awry. As they muddle through solving their problems, they pass along what they learn about friendship, responsibility, and peer pressure to viewers.

For some (namely parents), Hey Dude's slower pace and visual simplicity may be a welcome change from the often-hectic shows that today's kids typically watch. What's more, there's no fear of more modern issues like teen pregnancy or drug use making their way into the stories, so if your kids do want to tune in, there's no reason not to let them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship. What qualities do you look for in a friend? Do your friends share your interests and value system? Is diversity a strength among friends? What can you learn from respecting others' perspectives?

  • How does this show's style differ from that of other series you watch? Do these differences distract you from what the stories have to offer? What lessons did the story try to teach viewers? Do these messages come across clearly?

  • What is peer pressure? Have you ever been subjected to it? Why is it difficult to stand up against a group of people whose opinion differs from yours? What are some strategies to help you in situations like these? Can peers influence you in positive ways?

TV details

Premiere date:June 14, 1989
Cast:Christine Taylor, David Lascher, Kelly Brown
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Hey Dude was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written byDavid Cardino January 29, 2012


Wheere do I need to start? This show is boring as *beep*.I mean the first time I watched it I was bored.Not Nick's worst (I mean it is better than Nick News & The Mighty B!) but it is still bad.It's only good for lulling you to sleep.Like if you cant sleep just watch Hey Dude.It will put you to sleep in a heartbeat! I really like some of the Nick shows nowadays (SpongeBob,TUFF Puppy,The Penguins Of Madagascar,Fanboy & Chum Chum,ICarly,Victorious,Big Time Rush,Planet Sheen) and I don't like some of the Nick Shows nowadays (Nick News,The Mighty B!,Zoey 101,Unfabulous,The Naked Brothers Band).I like most of the old Nick shows (Hey Arnold,Rocket Power,CatDog,Rugrats,All That,The Wild Thornberrys,The Angry Beavers,Kenan & Kel,Double Dare 2000,Rocko's Modern Life,Ren & Stimpy,As Told By Ginger,Doug,The Amanda Show,Oh Yeah Cartoons) and I don't like some of the old Nick shows (ChalkZone,Pelswick,The Secret World Of Alex Meck) Bottomline:this is one of the old Nick shows I dislike.I'm so glad they canceled this!
Teen, 16 years old Written byLucas Couldron May 27, 2012

Boring stuff.

I watched an episode of this "show" and got bored.Needless to say,I changed the channel.
Teen, 16 years old Written byibarncat October 22, 2011

Ancient Nick "sitcom" is boring and has no merit for kids

I tried to watch this show, and I stopped the recording within five minutes. I though it was a sitcom parodying westerns, but instead, it is just plain boring. It is definetly NOT worth watching.