Wayside is a Canadian and American co-produced animated television series airing on Teletoon in Canada and Nickelodeon in the United States, loosely based on the Sideways Stories From Wayside School series of books by Louis Sachar. Originally a one-hour television special on Teletoon in November 2005, 26 episodes of the series have been commissioned for 2007. Each episode contains two 15-minute shorts. As a production of both Teletoon and Nickelodeon, Wayside also holds the distinction of being the only series to be both a Teletoon Original and Nicktoon. It airs on Teletoon every Saturday at 8am and 4:30pm in Canada. Wayside aired on Nickelodeon weekdays at 12:30pm in the United States from June-July 2007, but it has been moved to 3:30pm weekdays. As of September 1, 2007, it also airs on the Nicktoons Network.
The show's theme song, Fly By the Wayside, is performed by Skye Sweetnam. The series is directed by Riccardo Durante and the head writer/story editor was John Derevlany, who wrote the pilot and developed the series. The pilot was released to DVD under the title Wayside: The Movie, on September 25, 2007. The current season will be released under the title Wayside: The Complete First Season by Paramount Home Entertainment sometime between the start of season 2 and the season 2 finale in either Summer or Fall 2008.
Wayside is a series taking place at the fictional Wayside School: an unusual Escher-esque 30-story school which had accidentally been built "sideways", with one room in each of the 30 stories instead of 30 rooms on one floor. In the books, there are actually 29 floors in the school, one inhabited by the imaginary Miss Zarves on the imaginary 19th floor. Dana ends up sending Jenny's bike into a hole where floor 19 should have been and it returns with its seat signed by Miss Zarves. The series revolves around a new student, Todd, at the school, and his adventures adapting to life as a student at the top floor of Wayside School.
- Todd (Michael Cera in the pilot, Mark Rendall in the series) - Todd is the new student in Mrs. Jewels' 30th-floor class, and feels like the only person in Wayside with any common sense. He originally transferred to Wayside after an accident involving helping kindergarten kids with retrieving toys, only for an unusual series of events to happen, leading the toys to be destroyed by a wood chipper. Ever since, he has an aversion to kindergarten kids. However, his stay at Wayside is no better: every day, he manages to get enough trouble so as to warrant sending him home at noon on the kindergarten bus. He never misbehaves, but Mrs. Jewls still punishes him because of chains of events that lead to him being punished on technicalities. Rumors have been heard that he is voiced by Zac Efron.
- Mrs. Jewls (Kathy Najimy in the pilot, Kathy Laskey in the series) - Mrs. Jewls is the enthusiastic teacher of the 30th-floor class. She sometimes refer to her students, Todd in particular (for all the times he, to her, breaks the rules or does something bad), as monkeys. Her teaching style is unorthodox and offbeat at best, and it is sometimes questioned whether she has any real academic credentials (she claims that Ancient Greece was founded by a T-Rex and a Wolf Man at the first Olympics). However, this is considered to be one of her endearing traits by her students. In Teacher's Parent Conference, it was revealed that she was raised in the circus by her father, a circus performer.In "Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger" it was said that she once got drunk, danced on her desk, and wore a lamp shade on her head and Myron took a photo.
- Maurecia (Denise Oliver) - Maurecia is a girl in Mrs. Jewls' class who wears roller skates and who is hopelessly in love with Todd. She often tries to show her love for Todd by punching him, which has made Todd nervous every time she's approached him. It is questionable if she is a tomboy, considering she always wears a skirt. During the episode "Rat in Shining Armor" she dresses in a dress and introduces herself to Sammy as a princess. She also has an ice cream addiction. In the episode Mrs. Gorf, it is revealed that she was girly before Mrs. Gorf turned her pet porcupine, Fluffy, into a pineapple. She is also the tether ball squad. In the pilot, she has red hair, but in the series, her hair is dark blue.
- Myron (Martin Villafana) - Myron is a boy in Mrs. Jewls' class. He is frequently seen as self-absorbed and clueless, and despite this, seeks to be the class president of Mrs. Jewls' class. In Myron vs. Normy, it is revealed that Myron doesn't know about light switches, what they are, or how to operate them. Ironically, flipping the light switch is the only responsibility that the class president has.
- Dana (Lisa Ng) - Dana is a girl in Mrs. Jewls' class, who is cast as the stereotypical "overachiever". She tends to be selfless and lacks control of her emotions - her trademark catchphrase is "Enough with the fun!". She is the first one to meet Todd in the pilot. One of Dana's personality traits is that she loves rules.
- Mr. Kidswatter (Kedar Brown) - Mr. Kidswatter is the principal of Wayside School, who has a tendency to make long drawn-out speeches over the school PA. He has an aversion to both kids, and doors (termed "goozacks"), and is generally detested by most of the faculty. A running gag in this series is that he always refers to Todd by his home address (344 South Fairview) rather than his name. His own name implies the use of strict policies ("kid swatter"), and he has never graduated from Wayside.
- Louis (Sergio Di Zio) - Louis is the caretaker at Wayside, who takes care of much of the groundskeeping work with very mellow demeanor. As an alumnus of Wayside itself, Louis also acts as a "big brother" figure to all of the students. In "The Elevator", it is seen that students like to dress up like him and be in a group called "rescue dudes".
- Miss Mush (Jayne Eastwood in the series and pilot) - Miss Mush is the head of the school cafeteria, located on the 15th floor. In the pilot, it was implied that she was also the school nurse, although this is not the case in the series. In the episode, Honor Class, it is mentioned that she teaches honor class on the 29th floor. The food that she prepares often contain strange ingredients, and is often inedible. Despite this, she is loved by the students. Most notable among her dishes is a green glowing dish called "Mushroom Surprise", which has the property of being able to melt anything that comes in contact with it (and causes those who eat it to fall in love with the first person they see). In numerous episodes she is said to hail from "the Mamaland", a fictional Eastern European country that is seemingly modeled after Russia. She often speaks in third person.
- The Three Erics (Peter Oldring) - the Erics (Bacon, Fry, and Ovens) are three similarly-attired students in Mrs. Jewls' class, who do everything together.
- Shari (None) - Shari is an overcoat-wearing student in Mrs. Jewls' class, who is usually asleep. In the episode "Cabbage my Boy" it is suggested that she is only asleep while attending school, because her activities at home with her family leave her with no time to sleep.
- Stephen (Terry McGurrin) - Stephen is a boy in Mrs. Jewls' class, who is always attired in his Halloween elf costume. His family is seen in similar holiday-themed attire. He is also one of the three students on the school tetherball team. In Rat in Shining Armor, it is revealed that his idea of a costume is wearing normal clothes. In Cabbage My Boy, it is revealed that his family is Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and a Thanksgiving Turkey.
- Jenny (Denise Oliver)- Jenny is a student in Mrs. Jewls' class who always wears a helmet and some sort of Evel Knievel like jump suit, as she rides a motorcycle to (and in) school. She also has an affection for Myron and appears to be good friends with Maurecia, who she refers as Sista Mo. She's also on Wayside's tetherball team.
- John - John is a student in Mrs. Jewls' class who is always seen upside-down. In Cabbage My Boy, it is revealed that his whole family stands upside-down like he does.
- Joe (Terry McGuerrin) - Joe is a student in Mrs. Jewls class who is never mentioned but often seen, and has an orange afro. In Wayside Christmas he got a blowdryer as a present.He is a main character in Joe N Fro.
- Rondi - Rondi is a girl in Mrs. Jewls class that is missing her two front teeth. The gap in her teeth is caused by her eating too many sweets. She wears a blue blouse and is smiling all the time, like D.J. The missing spot is rarely seen and, blink and you'll miss it, it is shown when she says "Don't do it, Yikes!!" and "Oh, a goldfish!" with her class.
- Leslie - Leslie is a girl who has two pigtails that are sometimes useful. In "Music Lessons", she uses her pigtails as hands to play Bongos.
- Bebe Gunn - Bebe is a girl in Mrs. Jewls class who is a very good artist. Her clothes have red and white stripes, which she wears every day. She also wears a small black hat.
- Deedee - Deedee is a girl with lemon-lime hair, who sits near the middle of the classroom. She was mousey looking in the books, but she was possibly given the "Cinderella treatment" for the series and she is alluring but mousey.
- Fluffy - Fluffy is Maurecia's pet porcupine, who hates Todd. In "Mrs. Gorf", he was really fluffy!
- Sammy - Sammy is Ms. Mush's dead rat.