It's been 15 years since the series finale of "Doug." In honor of that fact, HuffPost TV spoke to Jim Jinkins about how he pioneered a new era of kids' television. You can make that deep dive here or join us for the short form version with these 11 things you probably didn't know about "Doug."
- "Doug" was not meant to be a TV show. Jinkins came up with the character when he drew single-panel cartoons after his work day and later processed the idea into a book. His idea only found its way to the small screen when he was led to a Nicktoons producer by word of mouth.
"Doug" (and "Ren & Stimpy" and "Rugrats", all ordered by that same producer, Vanessa Coffey) was one of the first original concept cartoons on TV. Everything else was a pre-sold idea, like "Ninja Turtles," which first existed as a comic. Many of the characters and elements of Bluffington came from Jinkins real life. Patti is most certainly based on a real girl Jinkins crushed on growing up. Oh, and Skeeter is not necessarily black. Jinkins understands how you might read that into the character, but at the end of the day "He's blue and he's Doug's friend." The color selection came when Jinkins realized he was not limited to flesh tones. He deliberately made Ms. Wingo and Roger green, to remove the prejudice of green being bad. Doug's name was originally Brian, but Jinkins changed it because he thought that was "too fancy." The fact that Doug can't dance (and the eponymous episode) come from Jinkins' childhood, during which he was not allowed to dance for religious reasons that he says "now seem absurd." Jinkins always intended for "Doug" to be a moral show. He had writers note the kid issue of each episode on every script, so the message would not get lost in the shuffle of production. In the show bible, it says that Doug likes banana pizza, though Jinkins never had him featured eating it during the show.Finally, the explanation for Doug's hair? Jinkins was just looking for the quickest and easiest way to draw the character (or, as he said, "Those are not hair plugs.").