I have fond memories of Doug. Of the three original Nicktoons, it was by far my favorite, and I know I’m not alone in my love of green sweater-vests. But I’ll admit, I do frequently wonder: Is Doug the original hipster? Is he, in fact, responsible for an entire generation of hipsters? Maybe. Let’s take a look at the evidence, shall we?
- The look. This is perhaps the most obvious place to start. I’m thinking of an article Dan Fletcher wrote for Time a few years ago where he described the hipster look as follows: “Take your grandmother’s sweater and Bob Dylan’s Wayfarers, add jean shorts, Converse All-Stars and a can of Pabst and bam — hipster.” Doug may be a little young to be hitting the PBR– he’s only 11, after all (12 in the Disney version, but we’ll get to that in a moment)– but that aside, that’s pretty much what he’s got going on, right down to the Chucks. Give him a few years, and I’m sure the beer will find its way to him.
- The Beets. Like all good hipsters, Doug has a musical obsession: The Beets. They may not be as obscure as the music listened to by the average hipster, but hey, at least Doug is developing a unique musical taste early on. He’ll probably listen to Vampire Weekend and The National once he figures out who they are.
- The banjo. Doug is totally going to be an indie musician when he grows up. Added bonus: His instrument of choice is the banjo. Way quirkier than the dime-a-dozen guitar.
- The fixie. As Doug isn’t old enough to drive, he’s going to need an alternative method of getting around. Naturally, that method is a fixie. You can’t be a hipster without one.
- Quailman. Underwear as outerwear? Belt as headgear? Bring it.
- Porkchop. One day, Porkchop and his eccentricities will totally help Doug land the ladies. Besides, Porkchop is an artistic genius in his own right anyway, so he definitely helps Doug fulfill his pretentiousness quota.
- He’s a lefty. This is not to say that all lefties are hipsters, or that all hipsters are lefties; but it helps with the whole alternative thing.
- The dreamy disposition. Doug can frequently be found sitting under trees writing love songs to Patti Mayonnaise. Transplant him to Brooklyn and you’re good to go.
- The underground hit-ness. Nickelodeon initially thought that of the three original Nicktoons, Doug was going to be the breakout hit. This turned out not to be the case; Rugrats took that honor, while Doug had the shortest run of any of the three shows. He did, however, develop a cult following.
And, perhaps most importantly:
- Doug was cool before he sold out. To be fair, this isn’t strictly Doug’s fault. He’s not the one who sold Jumbo Pictures to Disney. But do you guys remember how awesome Doug was when it was on Nickelodeon? And do you remember how terrible it got when it became Disney’s Doug? Yeah, me too. Doug was definitely cooler back in the day.
Of course, one might argue that Doug’s sister Judy is actually the hipster of the show; generally, though, she’s more of a beatnik, which sort of makes sense since she’s the older generation and whatnot (she’s the proto-movement, if you will). However, I still think Doug stands a pretty good chance of being elected President of Original Hipsterdom. What do you think, readers? Is Doug the original hipster?