A Case That’s All That

Throughout the 1980s, Nickelodeon’s popular show, “You Can’t Do That on Television” aired on the network. After the show had ended in 1990, the network was considering trying another sketch comedy show starring kids.


 In April of 1994, All That aired on Nickelodeon as a special preview. The episode had musical guest TLC who also sang the All That theme song.

In December of that same year, the show premiered with an original cast of: Angelique Bates, Lori Beth Denberg, Katrina Johnson, Kel Mitchel, Alisa Reyes, Josh Server, and Kenan Thompson. 

The Atlantic praised it for its “diverse cast, un-condescending tone, and kid characters played by actual kids.”  It was unlike any other shows at the time. Created by Brian Robbins and Michael Tollin. Written by Dan Schneider


    • Brian Robbins & Michael Tollin
      • In 1991, Brian Robbins started a production company with Michael Tollin. Robbins was good friends with Dan Schnieder, as they had previously worked together on a show called “Head of the Class” in the mid 1980s
      • The head of development at Nickelodeon asked Robbins and Tollin to film a project for the network. Pleased with their work, he asked them if there was a project they would be interested in making for Nickelodeon, and the men developed a pitch for an “SNL for kids”
      • Robbins and Tollin asked Dan Schnieder to be the head writer of the show, and the men started a nationwide search for the cast 
      • They felt it was important to find the cast first and then tailor the show to their strengths 
      • Keven Kopelow and Heath Siefert also wrote and produced the show, and went on to work with Kenan and Kel on their spin-off show 
        • Keven also played the stage manager 


  • Initially, the show did not test well with focus groups, but the then president of Nickelodeon Geraldine Laybourne decided to green-light the show anyway


  • The Cast Members

    • Original Cast
      • Lori Beth Denberg
        • On twitter we created a poll and asked who was the funniest original All That cast member, and Lori Beth was the obvious winner! We also asked our patrons this question and Joel Thomas answered that Kenan and Kel’s sketches were the funniest, he thought Lori Beth was the best performer on the show
        • 18 when the show began
        • Characters
          • She hosted Vital Information (as herself)
          • Miss Fingerly the teacher
          • Miss Hushbaum the loud librarian
          • Connie Muldoon, Good Burger patron
        • Has since played smaller roles in other movies and television
        • She was a frequent panelist on “Figure it Out” 
        • Was on the Steve Harvey show in the early 2000’s for 67 episodes
      • Josh Server
        • 15 when the show began
        • Characters
          • Detective Dan 
          • Earboy
          • Flem
          • Bernie Kibbitz
          • Tandy Spork
        • The only cast member to last all six original seasons
        • Theater thug in Drake and Josh and also guest starred on other Nickelodeon shows for an episode
      • Kenan Thompson
        • 15 when the show began, he had already been in The Mighty Ducks 2 (1994)
        • Characters
          • Pierre Escargo 
          • Mavis
          • Super Dude 
          • Lester Oaks
          • Randy 
          • Principal Pimple 
        • Starred in Kenan & Kel while still a cast member on All That
        • Also starred in films like Good Burger (1997) and Fat Albert (2004) 
        • Has been on SNL now for 16 seasons
          • Officially the cast member to stay the longest
      • Kel Mitchell
        • 15 when the show began
        • Characters
          • Ed in the Good Burger sketches
          • Clavis (to Kenan’s Mavis) 
          • Repair Man
          • Coach Kreeton 
          • Okrah 
        • He forgot his monologue he’d prepared for audition, but when he tripped on some studio equipment, he turned it into a joke and had the producers laughing. He has said that his Ed voice for the Good Burger sketch also came out of that audition
        • Currently plays “Double G” on Game Shakers on Nickelodeon and is an executive producer for the new All That 
        • https://www.kelmitchell.com/blogs/news/
          • Here he has a link to some cool Mr Mitchell Morning Motivation youtube videos
          • Overcame drug use and suicidal thoughts through finding faith- very open about this
      • Angelique Bates
        • 14 when the show began
        • Characters
          • Mandy
          • Penny Lane
          • Four Eyes (Earboy’s girlfriend) 
          • Beth (Good Burger sketch) 
        • The first cast member to leave All That, she chose not to renew her contract after season 2 
        • Dabbled as a rapper, going by “Alizay”
        • Did a few small roles but has switched to stand up comedy
      • Katrina Johnson
      • Alisa Reyes
        • 13 when the show began
        • Characters
          • Kiki (The Island Girls) 
          • Penny Lane
          • Sally (Earboy’s crush) 
          • Rash (bassist for the band Bacteria) 
        • http://www.alisareyes.com/
        • Has continued acting and is also an acting coach now as well
        • Is a singer, released a single called Sexy Hot
          • Reminds me of Island Girls…. Lol
        • Devotes some of her time to charities such as The American Cancer Society, Peace Beads, Kids with a Cause and many more
        • A board member for the non profit dance company called CDI – California Dance Institute
    • Added later

      • Danny Tamberelli
        • Widely known for his role in Pete and Pete first
        • Took over for Lori Beth as the Vital Information anchor
      • Amanda Bynes
        • Amanda replaced Angelique Bates at the beginning of season 3 and became a breakout star
        • She had been discovered while at a comedy camp; she was doing stand-up comedy at age 10  
        • Her most popular character was Ashley in the “ask Ashley” sketches
        • Once the show ended, she had her own spinoff called “The Amanda Show” at age 13
      • Nick Cannon
        • Before being a cast member, Cannon was already a writer for the show and was normally the audience warm-up. He came to the show after Lori Beth exited. 
      • Other members that were added in the later seasons were:
        • Christy Knowings
          • Played Jessica, the co-host of What-Everrrr
          • Took over the Penny Lane role 
        • Leon Friarson
          • Played Leroy in Leroy and Fuzz
        • Mark Saul
          • Most well-known sketch was Stuart, who takes over other peoples’ jobs 
          • Was on Grey’s Anatomy for a bit 
        • Gabriel Inglesias 
          • Only one season on the show, now a well-known stand-up comedian and has a Netflix show
  • Favorite Sketches

    • We asked on twitter what were peoples’ favorite All That sketches
      • For Your Reference Podcast and Alex Heine both named Pierre Escargot 
      • Another Damn Movie Podcast named Detective Dan 
    • Lori Beth Denberg with Vital Information
    • Loud Librarian
    • Good Burger
      • Spawned the 1997 movie of the same name
    • Earboy
      • This was a recurring character played by Josh Server about a boy named earboy who had a friend named Pizza Face played by Kel Mitchell 
    • Lemonade Stand 
      • Katrina Johnson played a deceptive girl who would trick people with free peanut butter donuts
      • Once their mouths were sticky and they needed a drink, she charged $30 a glass for lemonade and $100 for a non-peanut butter doughnut
  • A look into the first reboot 

    • After the cast left the show in 2000, the show went on hiatus as producers went on another nationwide search for a new All That cast
    • Chelsea Brummet, Jack DeSena, Lisa Foiles, Bryan Hearne, Shane Lyons, Giovonnie Samuels, and Kyle Sullivan were the kids chosen for the All That re-launch in 2002
    • Jamie Lynn Spears, younger sister of Brittany, joined the cast in season 8 
    • Nickelodeon held a nationwide contest to find the “funniest kid in America” and added the winner, Christina Kirkman to the cast as well
  • In 2004, the start of the “10th” season, the show aired an All That 10th Anniversary reunion that featured some of the old cast members
    • This episode was hosted by Frankie Munez (why?) 
    • It also brought back Vital Information with Lil’ JJ
    • The special ended with the staple characters Mavis and Clavis for a melancholy good-bye as they walk away on the empty stage
    • This was the show’s last season until they announced a reboot in 2019
  • The Revival

    • In the fall of 2018, Brian Robbins (the original co-creator of All That) was named the president of Nickelodeon
      • A revival of the show was inevitable as Robbins said, “I would’ve never, ever, ever canceled the show. It should’ve been [Nickelodeon’s] Saturday Night Live. All That was a very sophisticated show. Young humor, but the level of comedy on that show was sophisticated.”
    • Favorite moments
      • Lori Beth handing off Vital Information
      • Kids doing celebrity impressions
      • Cancelled with Nathan 
    • Cameo Appearances
      • In the first episode, Lori Beth Denberg and Josh Server make appearances with Kenan and Kel 
    • Keenan Thompson’s Influence
      • Executive Producer of the reboot with Kel Mitchell


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