• Hey Dude - Season One

    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: 7/19/2011
    Director: Various
    Cast: Christine Taylor, David Brisbin
    Year: 1989
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Series:

    “Better watch out for those man-eating jackrabbits and that killer cacti...”

    Hey Dude!, which ran for two years between 1989 and 1991, was Nickelodeon's first original non-animated series, starring real kids in the real West. With the exceptions of David Lascher who played "Ted" and Christine Taylor (aka Mrs. Ben Stiller) who played "Melody" all the rest of the kids in Hey Dude! never acted before or after the series. That being the case, there was real potential for terrible kid over-acting but surprisingly enough, everyone in the show was believable most of the time even if the cheese-factor of the storylines was unavoidable. Hey Dude! starred David Brisbin as Benjamin Ernst, a New York accountant who decides to do something wild in life and buys up the Bar None Dude Ranch smack in the middle of the Arizona Desert. "Fitting" the part in his western shirts, cowboy boots and enormous belt buckles he meets the young staff that works at the Bar None over the summer. "Danny", played by Joe Torres, as well as Ted and Melody are former staff members and obvious friends. "Lucy", played by Debrah Kalman, an adult ranch hand and friend to all, is also on board to meet the new owner of the ranch along with his pre-teen son, "Buddy" played by Josh Tygiel, and his dog, Cassie. New to the ranch is "Brad", the new riding instructor, played by Kelly Brown. What made this show unique, other than being an innovator in children's programming at the time, is the setting of the series which was all shot in the real Arizona desert at a real dude ranch. It definitely added to the believability of Hey Dude! as a whole.

    Take this all with a grain of salt of course, as I was a fan of the series when it originally aired, so maybe I'm letting a lot slide. I may have been at the older end of the demographic for Hey Dude! but enjoyed the show immensely all the same. As a "grown-up", I love to give in to nostalgia and rewatch shows I loved as a child. Sometimes I dig them as much as I did then, and sometimes, of course, I wonder what the hell I was thinking liking certain programs ever. Since the birth of DVD and the popularity of releasing these old and often obscure memories of our past I have, on several occasions, wished Hey Dude! would be released at some point. I figured it would be terrible but it would, at least, be fun to laugh it. It's amazing how well I remember the episode plots, the theme song (yippie-kai-aie-ay...), and so many specifics of the show overall. I truly believe Shout! Factory released Hey Dude! – Season One just for me. Hopefully, for their sake, other people will appreciate it as much as I do and we'll be lucky enough to see some of the later seasons released. Fingers crossed.

    Included on Hey Dude! - Season One are the thirteen original episodes of the series which include:

    Day One At The Bar None: Mr. Ernst meets his new staff and Ted tries to impress "new girl" Brad.

    Battle of the Sexes: Ted and Danny battle Melody and Brad to see who rules... boys or girls!

    Goldilocks: Buddy gets attached to a pony that Mr. Ernst has just sold. Buddy takes Goldie and runs away, getting himself lost in the hot Arizona desert.

    Ted's Saddle: Ted charms everyone into doing his work so he can take on odd jobs to raise money for a saddle owned by John Wayne.

    The Competition: Melody and Brad compete in a series of tests by Ted to see which is more fit to lead the Young Buckaroos in an overnight camping trip.

    Rehearsal for Romance: Melody gets asked out on a date by an older guy visiting the Bar None. Nervous about it, she asks Ted for help on how to act on their date.

    Perfect Father: There's been a robbery at the ranch and Mr. Ernst and Buddy have to work together to find the culprit.

    The Good, The Bad and the Obnoxious: A snobby girl from Brad's school visits the Bar None and Brad is mortified. Ted, on the other hand, tries to win her affections.

    Rainmen: When the ranch's well runs dry, Danny has to decide whether to help his friends trick their way to a new well.

    Ted & Brad Get Handcuffed: The title pretty much says it all. "Joke" handcuffs turned out to be real handcuffs.

    Suspicion: The gang suspects a guest of foul play.

    Employee of the Week: Establishing Employee of the Week status at Bar None causes the staff to be at each other's throats.

    Pain in the Neck: After accidentally causing Danny to fall off a ladder and "hurt" his neck, Ted is at Danny's beck and call.


    Video quality is what you'd expect from a 20-year-old series that is not remastered at all. The picture is soft at times, though generally clear. If you've bought a show like this, you're probably not looking for awesome picture quality. It is what it is and for the most part it's fine.

    Audio quality on this set is also pretty much what you'd expect. There is an episode or two where the sound is a bit distorted. Some people's voices sound fine while others are muffled. The levels are a bit off but it isn't for very long and the rest of the DVD's audio is decent. Audio is English only with no subtitles.

    The only extra on this two-disc set is a new interview with the Bar None's own lifeguard Melody, Christine Taylor. She talks about how the show affected her teenage years, her schooling and the camaraderie of the actors. She discusses how the show was a real long shot for Nickelodeon at the time and it being a predecessor for later shows like Fifteen and Welcome Freshmen. She remembers the times since the show ended that she's been recognized as Melody and the show's impact on her acting career. She seems to have fond memories of that time of her life, but doesn't take it too seriously. She can definitely laugh at the show's corniness. For one extra, it's a good one.

    The Final Word:

    This is a great set for someone who watched this show when it originally aired or caught the reruns a few years later. It's doubtful someone who had never seen the show would appreciate it much now. Some of the language is a bit dated, but maybe younger kids might dig this show now. It's unlikely though that it would appeal to its original target audience but that's okay. Hopefully there are enough stuck-in-their-childhood dorks like me out there that will snatch this set up. And again, hoping for the later seasons, Shout Factory!

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Paul Casey's Avatar
      Paul Casey -
      Maybe they'll get Salute Your Shorts out sometime. That show's the greatest.
    1. Toyboy's Avatar
      Toyboy -
      Why were Danny's shoulders so high? And why was he so high? Dude looked perpetually stoned.
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
      Hahaha... he wasn't high, he was mellow. As most "Native Americans" whose last name is Torres are.