If you were a kid with basic cable and no Internet in the '90s and early aughts, YTV was your go-to televised reprieve from boredom.
Channel 25 was a portal into original Canadian children's programming, with shows like "Big Wolf On Campus," "Radio Active," and "Reboot" (sequel when?!) giving kids a reason to tune in.
When shows, commercials, and booger monsters weren't airing, YTV kept their lineup alive with the PJs: twenty-something program jockeys who kept the channel afloat with authentic personalities and offbeat humour.
Even actress Ellen Page was a fan and even gave a special shout-out to the syndicated spookiness that was the PJs' Halloween segment "Dark Night" in 2013:
Halloween approaching makes me remember the limitless, undying joy that YTV's Dark Night gave me. Any Canadians in the house hearin me???— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) October 7, 2013
If you've ever wondered what happened to your favourite PJs and stars, here's what YTV's most notable faces are doing now:
PJ Phresh Phil
Aloof and laidback, many view Phresh Phil a.k.a. Phil Guerrero as the first and greatest PJ of afterschool block "The Zone." He laid the groundwork for what PJs should be with his chill personality.
Now: Guerrero touts his PJ past with pride. You can catch him on the Canadian con circuit, making guest appearances at fandom conventions. And possibly, throwing really wild parties.
He's also the host of a webseries called "The Velvet Ropeline."
Host of the music show "The Hit List" and a veteran radio announcer, Tarzan Dan was older than most of the young adults who populated YTV's landscape. He was just as bombastic as any of them, hyping up songs and interviews with internationally acclaimed musical artists. Tarzan is credited with making the Backstreet Boys famous in Canada, thanks to introducing the country to the boy band with their first Canadian on-air interview.
PJ Paul and PJ Aashna
PJs Paul and Aashna co-hosted the legendary "The Breakfast Zone," a morning TV show. Paul also hosted "The Zone."
Together, they did a hit single about pants, a Bowie-esque ballad about Paul's pants.
One time, PJ Paul did something that only '90s YTV could pull off: he got real on religion, speaking from the heart.
"I got to learn about all the different religions in my school, I just wound up believing in nothing," Paul said. Breaking out into a grin, he followed up, saying, "Just kidding! I believe in golf."
Now: Both PJs are still involved in television, getting scoops from celebrities.
PJ Aashna is a TV host and producer, working in entertainment. She's interviewed Martin Short, Bernie Mac, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Wink Yahoo from "Uh Oh!"
Most kids have probably repressed their memories of this fever dream of a game show. Buckets of slime would pour over children, brawling to win coveted prizes like a re-writeable CD recorder in front of an almost always booing crowd. Over the din of it all, a coiffed wild-eyed oddball of a host called Wink Yahoo would goad them on. With his gravity-defying hair, Wink would keep score and crack jokes, sometimes controlling the weirdly gimp-like Punisher.
Now: Wink Yahoo, real name Scott Yaphe, went on to various acting gigs in commercials and television shows. You might have caught Yaphe, sans coiffed hair, in a Temptations commercial.
Who could forget PJ Katie's farm? PJ KATIE'S FARM! PJ KATIE'S FARM! PJ KATIE'S FARM!
Now: Katie, real name Jennifer Racicot, is married and living in Peterborough. She even braved a hurricane to tie the knot with her husband.
PJ Jazzy Jan
As PJ Jazzy Jan, Janis Mackey Frayer is beloved for her crafty moments when she'd pull out the art supplies or show off the drawings children would send YTV. But chances are, no one lets her live down her rapping stints.
Now: Jazzy Jan's rap career never took off, thankfully. Frayer has been a long-running broadcast reporter for CTV, and is now based in Beijing as their Asia Bureau chief.
Giancarlo Caltabiano played the straight-laced Ben on "Fries With That?," as well as the spiky blond George on "Radio Active." Caltabiano continued acting, starring in "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
Now: He co-owns a geek hobby store in Quebec (which made headlines for not complying with the province's strict language laws).
Stephanie Beard's unmistakable high-pitched voice made it hard for anyone to forget PJ Sugar. The voice of Mini Moon in the English dub of "Sailor Moon," radio personality "Suga Baybee," and creator of an Eminem "Slim Shady" parody, the petite host ran "The Zone" for years, and was part of the band "Nuclear Donkey" with co-host Carlos.
In true YTV fashion, they turned Sugar's last day om "The Zone" into a dramatic affair. She left YTV by leaving the studios in a limo and waving goodbye to viewers as she boarded a plane headed to Hollywood.
Now: No surprise, Beard has carved out a successful acting career in the U.S., recently starring in films like "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," "Aloha," and the upcoming "Palm Swings." She's kept up with voice-acting, lending her pipes to "King of the Hill" and a Care Bears movie.
Her latest feature was in the adult cartoon film "Sausage Party," which comes out in August. She plays a terrified baby carrot.
Who remembers Carlos from YTV/ The Zone? pic.twitter.com/kkFoaXoUPR— Will Norris (@willnorris123) September 14, 2015
Carlos Bustamante started off at YTV as a doo-bopping janitor, with aspirations of being a PJ. (At least, he was in a "The Zone" segment.) In the search for a co-host, Sugar spied YTV's janitor practicing his hosting schtick, and then promptly made his dreams come true.
Now: Carlos is still at YTV. He hosts weekend movie segments for "Big Fun Movie" and "The Zone," along with new PJs Suki, Lisa, and Victor.
It's mind-boggling for some who grew up with him, especially because he still looks as young as when he first started. (Maybe the secret to eternal youth is outlasting all other PJs.)
Carlos from YTV has been the same age for 15 years— Shamar (@_Marr23) June 20, 2016
carlos has been on ytv since world war II— vaishalei (@vsthu) June 15, 2016
Watched ytv for the first time in 7 years and that Carlos man is still there.. He put in more years than Kobe holy— Akie (@akie_dest) June 1, 2016
the year is 2055— Grant (@foolishpeasant) May 20, 2016
mars has been colonized
cancer has been cured
carlos is still hosting the zone on ytv
Seriously, how is Carlos from the zone still on YTV, and more importantly why is he not aging? @ytvcarlos what's your secret bruh?— Armin Mackie (@ArminAtHome) April 7, 2016
Carlos from YTV does not age— crisp chin (@c_maidankine) July 10, 2016
Can we talk about how Carlos is STILL the host of YTV? Dude hasn't aged a day and I've aged almost two decades.— Kevan (B-Broccoli) (@BobbyBroccole) July 10, 2016
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