In the 1990s, Bill Bellamy emerged as one of the biggest comedians on the planet. He appeared in iconic movies such as Love Jones and The Brothers. He was also a VJ on MTV, interviewing legends such as Janet Jackson and Monica. At the tail end of the decade Bellamy took to Nickelodeon’s golden era by starring in the classic series Cousin Skeeter.
The show, which aired from 1998 to 2001, revolves around Bobby, a young boy whose life is upended when his titular cousin comes to live with him. As portrayed by Bill Bellamy, Skeeter was depicted as a hand puppet. Aside from Bellamy, Cousin Skeeter also starred Meagan Good, Rondell Sheridan, Robert Ri’chard and Tisha Campbell-Martin. The series was also notable for having girl group 702 sing a variation of their classic “Steelo” as the theme song.
“Having 702 as a part of Cousin Skeeter was right in line with some of Nickelodeon’s most popular Black-led shows, like Kenan and Kel, which featured Coolio and All That which featured TLC,” we wrote in 2019 Shadow and Act article. “The show’s selling point might have been that the audience had to suspend their disbelief that there was no visible difference between Cousin Skeeter and the rest of his human family. But the show rose above just being a show with a puppet as a gimmick. Instead, what Cousin Skeeter became was a time capsule of late ’90s Black pop culture that puts Black music, celebrity and comedy front and center.”
Unfortunately for fans of Cousin Skeeter, the show doesn’t seem to be on streaming as of May 2021. However, it may pop up on Paramount+ one day or perhaps start airing on Teen Nick again.
Go back in time and watch the opening of Cousin Skeeter below.