It’s debatable whether Hey Dude (1989-1991), one of Nickelodeon's earliest live-action efforts, has withstood the test of time. The jokes may now seem rather corny, the plots somewhat thin, the characters a bit underdeveloped. But what has unquestionably endured after a quarter century is the Bar None Ranch, the fictional locale where the bulk of the series took place. Constructed on the grounds of the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, an actual, functioning tourist destination outside Tucson, the sets for the tween-focused sitcom still stand (after a fashion) in the lonely Arizona desert, desiccated but still quite recognizable. A YouTuber and self-styled adventurer called Adam The Woo recently made a pilgrimage to the holy site and filmd a brief, haunting video report. (The Woo's Gen X-friendly travels have also taken him to the filming locations for UHF, Beetlejuice, Back To The Future, and Ghostbusters, among other spots.)
Although intended as lighthearted, mildly Jackass-esque amateur reportage, Adam The Woo's videos frequently have a spooky, haunted quality that makes them feel like miniature "found footage" horror movies, minus the violence. That's certainly true of his Hey Dude travelogue, in which the still-cheerful-looking facades barely conceal devastated interiors. Even more sinister is Adam's visit to a nighmarish Flintstones-themed roadside attraction, which gives off a definite Chernobyl/post-apocalyptic vibe. (Those poor goats!) Even Adam The Woo's uptempo, punky theme song doesn't detract from the gloom at the heart of these videos. Enjoy them at your peril.
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