12 Singapore TV shows from the 90s that will always stay in our hearts

The best shows leave the deepest impression.

Jonathan Lim| June 05, 02:55 PM

Without the Internet and video-streaming websites like YouTube and Netflix, home entertainment in the 1990s was predominantly centred on the shared family screen — the television.

Quality time in the evenings was spent lounging in various positions in the living room, following the lives of colourful characters on TV. With and for them, we shared laughter, and we shed tears.

Here are 12 Singapore TV shows of the 90s that will stay with us for years to come:


1. The Ra Ra Show

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Do you remember Bibi Belachan, Arthur and Miss La La? This is the show that launched Kumar's career as well.

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Unfortunately, its run did not last long. According to Wikipedia, people complained that it was too liberal with its sexual innuendo and use of Singlish. Bummer.


2. Growing Up

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We said it before and we'll say it again: Growing Up is so nostalgic that people watched this show in 1996 to reminisce the '60s to '80s, and people in 20142015 remember watching this show while reminiscing their lives in the '90s.

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3. Comedy Nite (搞笑行动)

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Monday nights were always reserved for Comedy Nite with Jack Neo, Moses Lim, Henry Thia and Mark Lee. While the show in its later years suffered from flat jokes and tired story ideas, nothing can diminish the legendary laugh-til-you-cry performances they delivered in the '90s.

Who can forget classic catchphrases like "我的头发有没有乱?", "哎哟,真的是伤脑筋哦!" and of course, 'ALAMAK!'?


4. Gurmit's World

Before there was Phua Chu Kang, there was Gurmit's World. And it was a funny show.

Fun fact: Phua Chu Kang was actually a character created in Gurmit's World.

We're not sure if the YouTube video below is from the show, but it does display a pre-Phua Chu Kang Gurmit, arguably at his comedic best.

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5. Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd

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Aside from being the best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam, what more can we say about PCK?

Instead, let's take a moment to remember side characters such as Ah Boon, Ah Goon, Ah Soon and King Kong, the yellow-booted construction guru's long-suffering subordinates. And who can forget the man's famous mole, and his longtime rival, Frankie Foo, played by Lim Kay Siu?


6. Aksi Mat Yoyo

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Countless afternoons were spent following the adventures of Yoyo and Yaya, and although I personally couldn't understand a word of it, I certainly enjoyed the song and dance. So entertaining were they that 20 years on, I'm still able to remember the show's main theme song!

7. The Unbeatables 1 & 2 (双天至尊)


No list of 90s TV shows is complete without The Unbeatables 1 & 2. It had all the ingredients of a successful classic — a compelling storyline, memorable characters and catchy theme songs that left everyone obsessively discussing every episode after it aired.

The impact of The Unbeatables on Singapore's psyche is long-lasting, indeed — truly the Gold Standard of good entertainment.


8. The Pyramid Game

Who was the quintessential Pyramid Game host?

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Darryl David?

Or Benedict Goh?

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Many of us probably, at one time or another, screamed at the TV because we simply can't understand how some contestants can be so incredibly dense.

We eventually reconciled this with ourselves by reasoning that this may come down to the stress of working against the clock.


9. Masters of the Sea

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This made the list because of the quote that everyone remembers word for word (starts from 0:47):

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10. GotCha!

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Everyone remembers this show for Moe Alkaff's awesome hosting, of course. More importantly, though, this was Singapore's first attempt at Candid Camera and some of the pranks were frankly pretty good.


11. Asia Bagus

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Singapore TV viewers met another super-talented host in Najip Ali, who gained prominence not only for his quick wit, but also with his hats and outrageous outfits. Asia Bagus was a must-watch for music buffs too, pitting singing contestants from around the region.

Strictly speaking, this show is not local and is produced by Fuji TV of Japan. It nonetheless certainly cemented its place in the hearts and ears of many Singaporeans.

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12. Under One Roof

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How can we possibly leave out this show? Anyone alive during the '90s in Singapore would remember the signature theme song of the cuddly, nonsensical and larger-than-life family living in Bishan.

You can even quiz your friends and ask which day of the week the show was broadcast. I guarantee at least 75% will tell you the correct answer — Tuesday.

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Related articles:

16 pictures from 90s Singapore to make you curl up and cry

10 nostalgic local Chinese TV drama theme songs


Top images composed from Wikipedia.

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