The 13th Floor

CREEPYPASTA: Is Nickelodeon’s “Stick Stickly” Connected to CANDLE COVE?

The history of creepypasta wouldn’t be complete without a legacy of mysterious “lost episodes” from popular TV shows like THE SIMPSONS or SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, or even entire “lost” TV series like CANDLE COVE (the inspiration for the first season of SyFy’s CHANNEL ZERO), which may exist only in the realm of myth.

But a few memorable web legends combine elements of both — such as in the case of oddball character “Stick Stickly,” best remembered as the host of Nickelodeon’s “Nick in the Afternoon” programming block from 1995-98.

Stickly is probably the crudest mascot to appear on any television network (at least before the trippy surrealism of ADULT SWIM and TIM & ERIC changed the rules in the mid-2000s), as he’s nothing more than a popsicle stick with red googly eyes, a jellybean-shaped nose and a curved line for a mouth, manipulated by an offscreen hand and voiced by Paul Christie.

Oddly enough, the character was hugely popular with kids of all ages, and later resurfaced on TeenNick on several different occasions to host new segments, as well as flashbacks to his beloved ’90s host appearances.

His most recent gig was just last year, when TeenNick’s popular “U-Pick” campaign invited viewers once again to vote on upcoming program choices — but this time via Twitter.

Many of Stickly’s fans have written and posted about him on social media, but one of those fans has distinctly different memories about the character — as revealed in a mysterious post to the Creepypasta Wiki by GameFAQ user KI_Simpson. In the brief but unsettling entry, Simpson suggests the goofy TV host might have darker origins and connections than anyone could have imagined.

The user mentions stumbling upon one of many Nickelodeon fan sites with a section dedicated to Stick, wherein they reference a rarely-seen early prototype of the host for a 1993 programming block titled  “Afternoon Snack.” Simpson describes how the site contained a series of undated videos, purported to be host bumpers for this block.

The first clip, appropriately titled “First Ever Stick Stickly Appearance,” reveals a simplified version of the host; he’s described as having smaller, non-moving eyes and no nose, and instead of a goofy grin, his mouth is merely a straight line. Beyond these differences, the voice sounds pretty much the same, delivering the same silly puns and wisecracks.

It was strange seeing this earlier incarnation of Stick, but nothing really troubling happens — even at the start of the second clip, which bears the more troubling title “Stick Gets Injured.” The host is revealed to be a bit worn, dirty and splintered, as he explains how the neighbor’s dog keeps trying to bury him in the backyard — though he managed to escape in time to introduce the next program, which viewers had voted to see.

This in itself wasn’t unusual; it was common for Stick to be playfully “abused” during his years as host. For example, the popular segment “Dip Stick” urged kids to vote on what icky substance to submerge him in:

Instead, what makes this clip slightly menacing is the ending, just after Stick’s beloved theme music tells viewers how they can write in requests for upcoming segments. At this point he goes strangely still, and remains silent for an uncomfortable amount of time.

From here, the segments get increasingly ominous.

“Hang Stick” enlists the aid of a young boy to play a game of Hangman on a chalkboard; the “hanged man” is played by Stick, and with each of the boy’s wrong answers, a string around Stick’s body creeps upward toward where his “neck” should be.

The kid fails to complete the word on the board, and Stick is “hanged” by the string, his eyes replaced with two letter X’s to signify death… and he hangs that way for roughly half a minute before returning to normal with a wink, finally letting kids in on the joke.

But that’s not even the creepiest part of this segment. The word on the chalkboard, which the child failed to complete, was C NDLE.

The next clip, entitled “Stick Quits,” is not as macabre, but certainly bizarre and unsettling. In this segment, Stick rants about being disrespected, and threatens to leave the job, claiming no one cares about him anymore.

This joke-free monologue is interrupted by another child, who insists that kids everywhere still love Stick… at which he finally relents and decides to stay. Once again, Stick tosses to the theme song, reminding kids to write in with their requests for a “guest show.”

The fifth video, entitled “Stick Gets Mad,” has no sound, and the video quality is severely degraded. Stick can be seen shaking and quivering, and his normally flat mouth is turned downward in a harsh frown. He appears to be yelling something at a young girl, who can be seen cowering in fear behind him. Finally, the girl escapes, leaving stick to face the camera, still sporting his “angry face.”

The next clip, “The Winner Revealed,” contains sound again (though distorted), and seems to be the payoff for the “guest show” write-in contest… but Stick appears to be injured in a different way, with streaks of crimson paint across his face and one eye replaced with an X.

The character makes no reference to his change in appearance, but instead goes on with the segment, leading up to his announcement of the contest winner and their selection…

CANDLE COVE.

There were apparently no more clips of Stick Stickly’s 1993 appearance on the site, and Simpson never mentions it again. Links to the fan site referenced in the post are no longer available.

Apart from the attached screenshots captured from the videos described, there is no solid evidence to corroborate Simpson’s story… but rest assured, I’m looking into it.

 

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