Country of origin United States
First episode date 16 April 1994
Genre Sketch comedy
Original language(s) English
Final episode date 22 October 2005
|Created by Mike Tollin
Theme music composer TLC RCA (seasons 7–10; remixed version of theme song)
Opening theme "All That" performed by TLC TLC feat. A-1 (seasons 11–14; new remix of theme song)
Spin-offs Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show, Zoey 101, KaBlam!, The Nick Cannon Show, Just Jordan, Action League Now!
Cast Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Lori Beth Denberg, Josh Server, Amanda Bynes
All That is the American live-action, sketch comedy-variety show created by Brian Robbins and Mike Tollin, which originally aired on the Nickelodeon cable television network from April 16, 1994, to October 22, 2005, lasting ten seasons. The series was produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions (later Schneider's Bakery during the final season). The pilot episode was originally shown as a special "sneak peek", with the show officially debuting a regular series on December 24, 1994.
- Series history
- 100th episode 1999
- 10th anniversary 2005
- Impact and legacy
- Post series events
- Kenan Kel
- The Amanda Show
- The Nick Cannon Show
- Zoey 101
- Just Jordan
- Good Burger
- All That The Album
- All That Fresh out the Box
- Live tour
The series features original short comedic sketches and weekly musical guests aimed toward a younger audience. The show's sketches parody contemporary culture and are performed by a large and varying cast of child and teen actors. Early episodes were taped at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Orlando Resort, but then moved to Hollywood at the Nickelodeon on Sunset theatre (formerly the Earl Carrol Theatre), where other Nickelodeon shows such as The Amanda Show, Kenan & Kel, and Drake & Josh were also filmed.
In 2000, after six seasons the show was put on hiatus to be retooled and was relaunched in early 2002 with a completely new cast. Four more seasons were produced before the show was ultimately cancelled. On April 23, 2005, Nickelodeon celebrated the 10th anniversary of All That. The special reunited cast members from both the original and relaunch eras of the show and several other special guest stars in a one-hour event.
All That is noted for its diverse cast and its impact on children's television. The show has spun off several members of the cast in their own Nickelodeon television series with varying levels of success. The show has been marketed in other ways, including an audio recording, books, a feature film, festival tour, and numerous reunions and specials celebrating the legacy of All That.
All That features original short comedic sketches that parody contemporary culture. Although the show had a team of writers, the cast were encouraged to help contribute their own ideas for characters and other segments. Improv and ad-libbing were used to help the cast and writers find the right tone for a certain skit. The following is a short list of some notable sketches that aired during the show's tenure.
Series historySee also: history of All That by season: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 | 7, 8, 9, 10
Although Brian Robbins and Mike Tollin are credited as creators, the main creative force behind All That was Dan Schneider who became the showrunner of the series in the third season. All That marked the beginning of Schneider's prolific career in creating and writing hit television series for young audiences. The New York Times, in separate articles, referred to Dan Schneider as "the Norman Lear of children's television" and "the master of a television genre".
In 1986, Robbins and Schneider met while working on the ABC sitcom Head of the Class. Becoming close friends, the two performers both shared a mutual interest in writing. Eventually coming together to write and then pitch an episode to the show's producers just to see if they could do it. To their amazement the producers liked their idea and bought it. Their episode: Will the Real Arvid Engen Please Stand Up later aired during the show's second season.
Following the success of Head of the Class, Robbins and Schneider were asked to co-host the second annual Kids Choice Awards in 1988 alongside Tony Danza and Debbie Gibson. Although unaware of the fledgling Nickelodeon cable channel, before the invitation to host was brought to them, the two agreed. The award ceremony that year was produced by Albie Hecht, who Robbins and Schneider quickly struck up a friendship with behind the scenes. Their friendship continued after the awards and Hecht suggested they develop something for Nickelodeon. Robbins and Schneider later declined his offer as they were still under contract with ABC, at the time.
In 1991, Head of the Class ended its run and Robbins started a production company with producer friend Tollin which they aptly named Tollin/Robbins Productions. The company originally produced several small budget sport documentaries. Hecht, now Head of Development for Nickelodeon, contacted them and asked them to film a project for the network. The half hour documentary they made featured Phil Moore and Mike O'Malley as co-hosts of a comedy tour as they drove around to different cities to perform. Since their schedule only permitted for two days of filming; Tollin/Robbins had to make the entire show appear as if they had toured around the country.
Impressed with the final product, Hecht met with Robbins to discuss developing a new show for the network in 1993. Asking Robbins if there was any type of show that he would be interested in making. He responded to Hecht with the idea of creating a kid-version of Saturday Night Live. Bringing Schneider (as head writer) and Tollin in to help develop the show; the three influenced by classic sketch shows such as The Carol Burnett Show, You Can't Do That on Television and Laugh In began to flesh out a rough idea of the show's format.
Once greenlit, Robbins, Schneider and Tollin decided against writing the pilot episode and instead chose to compile the cast first. Usually in television (as Schneider explains) the pilot is written first and the cast is assembled later. However, the three believed it was crucial to find the right child actors first and then tailor to their strengths. With Hecht's blessing, a nationwide talent search for child and teen actors was launched that was to last for several months. Eventually Angelique Bates, Lori Beth Denberg, Katrina Johnson, Kel Mitchell, Alisa Reyes, Josh Server, and Kenan Thompson were hired.
When I first got involved, it was kind of funny. My mom had me in a talent show, I was one of the winners. [An agent] had his friend there, who was the one that got me on [All That]. ... The process itself was, oh my gosh. We did 10 auditions. I thought I didn't have it. They had us doing improv, sketches, all kinds of stuff. I went in fully dressed as Urkel. I was doing character voices. I had the glasses, I had the suspenders, everything. You name it, I had it. I got called a couple months later like, "Oh, you know you got it." It was crazy because it was a nationwide [search].
The reason I got the audition was 'cause I was in a drama competition for high school and my scene placed first in competition. So there's lots of different categories and all the first-place teams in all the categories had a showcase at Paramount Studios at like this little theater. And some of the producers for All That were there. So after that a few of us from the competition got called in to audition. So I just went on it like a total lark, not like it was some big deal. Just kind of a goof. And that was my first audition for All That. I wasn't nervous 'cause I wasn't really taking it seriously. But that, in hindsight, served me really well. I had one callback, which was a little more interesting. I mean, I had the feeling when I went back for the callback that I was gonna be cast. I can't necessarily explain it, but I just had this feeling like I'm gonna do this show. Which was really strange because I'd never done a show before. So I just went, I did the material, I met some more of the people and then I left. And I had this feeling about it.
Mine was a casting call, but it was set up through my agent and I had to go back in like five times. And each time, I would get paired up with other random people to do sketch comedy but it was very off-the-cuff, like no script or plan or anything. It was like, you're miners, mining for gold in Sicily, and we'd have to figure it out. But that happened to be my favorite sort of thing that I'd always loved best...I had no idea what I was in for, but I knew it was going to be the ride of my life. I knew it was going to be fun. I never wanted anything as much before. This one felt like home, this one felt like me and I felt very excited. But no, I don't think we had any idea what we were in for.
They did a nationwide search, and I remember that day, I had midterms at school, but I also had to learn my monologue because I had the audition later that day. I remember Brian Robbins was there and a few of the other producers. I came in and I totally forgot my monologue, because I had been studying for midterms and I never do that. As I was walking out, I tripped over some cords and knocked over some cameras and all this stuff. And I played it off like it was funny and they started just cracking up, laughing. I came back in, knocked the monologue out and then they were, like, hey, man, you know, you're really funny. Do you do any impersonations, as well? I just did, like, my uncles and, you know, people that I knew in Chicago, old man voices and I even did the [Good Burger] Ed voice for the first time there.
In my audition, I had to do a stand-up comedy act in conjunction with an audition scene and so I just remember in the monologue I wrote about, like, my sister having long hair in her underarms and we were eating breakfast. [Laughs] The hair would get into my pancake syrup. I just was being cheesy and crazy. And when I went in there, it was funny because I just felt like it was all very natural. It was all very organic. I was in the right place at the right time and they got me. I was blessed enough that Brian Robbins and Dan Schneider and Michael Tollin, they totally got me but it literally took me seven auditions to get this gig. And this is probably the most auditions that I ever had to audition for before because, I mean, who auditions for something seven times?.
I was one of the two kids chosen from Chicago. Me and Kel got picked from the Chicago group. I remember that it was more than one audition. I think it was probably close to two to three, maybe even four. They brought us in quite a bit. They wanted us to do some of our characters and then some impressions. I remember originally meeting the casting people and then, you know, Brian and Dan and the producers of the show being in those auditions and going in and doing my sketch characters. And it was a lot of fun. Anytime you get to do those types of auditions, it's pretty cool because it's your stuff, you know, and when you're a kid, that's pretty rare.
[I was introduced] to Brian and Michael Tollin. I was the last to be chosen [for the show]. [There weren't a lot of auditions.] I just did the one and they told me whether or not I had it. I went into the office and did impressions and stuff. The first Mighty Ducks, that was my first movie. Once I got into real movies, then started the commercials, [then TV].
With the cast intact, writing for the pilot began. Cast and crew flew out to Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Orlando to begin production of the episode. And on January 17, 1994 the pilot episode was set to begin filming. Tollin recalls debating with Robbins over whether or not to postpone filming because of the Northridge earthquake that occurred hours earlier on that same day.
"The morning was spent figuring out how bad was the damage both physical and psychological. Should we postpone [the pilot shoot?]. I was trying to do the right thing. [My wife] was trying to do the right thing. Aftershocks ensued. She said, "I can't believe you didn't come home." The show went on.
After filming was completed the show sat on the shelf for several months as the pilot did not score well. Nickelodeon tested the show with focus groups consisting of children, both boys and girls in different age groups. The scores showed that Kids probably wouldn't like this new sketch comedy show for kids. Regardless of the negative response, Geraldine Laybourne (the then President of Nickelodeon) decided to pick up the show for a full first season.
The basic concept they came up with was to produce a half-hour show that featured a cold open (which featured the cast participating in varying juvenile acts in a green room before the show starts), several different sketch-comedy pieces and then a musical performance to close out the episode (this format would remain the same for all ten seasons). The main staple, of the original seasons, was the Vital Information sketch which was featured in every episode until the relaunch in 2002.
During Season 1, Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert were brought on as producers and continued working in that capacity through Season 3. The writing team advanced to Executive Producers/Head Writers for Seasons 4–6. Kopelow and Seifert continued their relationship with Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell by co-executive producing and head writing Kenan & Kel and eventually writing the feature film Good Burger (1997) with Schneider.
After Season 2 ended in 1996, the show moved out of the old Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and into the Nickelodeon on Sunset (formerly The Earl Carrol Theater) in Hollywood where it would remain for the rest of the show's run. Over the next few years, as the show grew in popularity, several departures and additions occurred. Some of these additions to the cast included Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon, Gabriel Iglesias and The Adventures of Pete & Pete star Danny Tamberelli among others.
In 2000, Nickelodeon placed the show into hiatus to be retooled. Production started back up a year later after an extensive nationwide talent search for child and teen actors. Ultimately hired were Chelsea Brummet, Jack DeSena, Lisa Foiles, Bryan Hearne, Shane Lyons, Giovonnie Samuels, and Kyle Sullivan. The first episode of the "new" All That featured special guests Frankie Muniz and Aaron Carter and debuted on January 19, 2002.
The balancing act of school/All That was NUTS. Every minute we didn't spend on set rehearsing, we had to spend in the school room. Where we drove our set teachers crazy. We'd bounce around that place like jack russell f*cking terriers.
The eighth season opened with the addition Jamie Lynn Spears to the cast and marked the beginning of All That cast members started attempting dares on the SNICK program: Snick On-Air Dare. Occasionally, On Air Dares had special guests from other shows. In 2003, Nickelodeon advertised a competition called R U All That?: Nickelodeon's Search for the Funniest Kid in America. After this contest ended in 2003, the finals aired on July 26, 2003. The contest picked five finalists, and all of them performed a sketch with some of the cast members. The winner was Christina Kirkman
In 2005, Lisa Foiles announced on her Official Yahoo! Group, that the show had been cancelled. This was the message posted on Lisa's club by Lisa Foiles herself (as of September 5, 2005):
I know there's been a lot of speculating on the subject of All That being canceled, and I thought I'd be the one to tell you that it's true. All That has finally come to an end. I found out a few weeks ago, but didn't know if I should tell anyone. I guess if ten years is long enough for Friends, and it's long enough for us, too! I probably would have moved on anyway, even if it didn't get canceled. I was getting a little too old for the show and I believe that it should always have a cast of younger kids, no older than 18. Where I will go from here, I'm not sure, but I have a few things in the works. All I ask is that you guys keep me and the other cast members in your prayers, that we can step into bigger and better things!:)
So, I guess that's....All That!!!
Since the second cancellation there have been no plans for another relaunch. The show currently airs in reruns, particularly during The Splat programming block on TeenNick.
100th episode (1999)
All That celebrated its star-studded "100th episode" during its fifth season. This one-hour special was the only episode in the show's history produced live.
The 100th episode featured several celebrities: Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Clarissa Explains It All), Larisa Oleynik (The Secret World of Alex Mack), Robert Ri'chard (Cousin Skeeter), Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) as an audience member, and Britney Spears (in a taped video appearance; Spears was originally supposed to perform in person but had to back out due to a knee injury; Lauryn Hill took her place) all made appearances.
Angelique Bates, Lori Beth Denberg, Katrina Johnson, and Alisa Reyes all appeared to celebrate the occasion. Denberg returned to anchor the episode's Vital Information.
10th anniversary (2005)
In 2005, Nickelodeon celebrated the 10th anniversary of All That by airing episodes from the first six seasons in the week leading up to a "reunion special" hosted by Frankie Muniz on April 23. Ashanti and Bow Wow were the musical guests.
Chelsea Brummet, Nick Cannon, Ryan Coleman, Jack DeSena, Lisa Foiles, Leon Frierson, Katrina Johnson, Christina Kirkman, Christy Knowings, Kel Mitchell, Alisa Reyes, Giovonnie Samuels, Mark Saul, Josh Server, Jamie Lynn Spears, Kyle Sullivan, Danny Tamberelli, Kenan Thompson, Kianna Underwood, and Denzel Whitaker reunited on the show.
Approximately 6.2 million total viewers watched the special on both its April 23 and 24 airings, making it the top cable or broadcast program for the 2–11, 6–11, and 9–14 age demographics, and TV.com gave it a rating of 8.7/10.
After a four season hiatus, All That decided to bring back the "Vital Information" segment with BET's Coming to the Stage winner Lil' JJ succeeding Lori Beth Denberg and Danny Tamberelli, respectively. Lil' JJ's very first "Vital Information" occurred during the 10th Anniversary Reunion Special.
Impact and legacy
All That is highly regarded for its large diverse cast both in terms of ethnicity and gender. The show was praised in The Atlantic for breaking the classical norms set in children's TV with its cast, irreverent and unapologetic humor, and kid characters played by actual kids.
When All That debuted in 1994, television was still primarily segregated by race as shown by popular sitcoms like Seinfeld (where the cast is completely white) or Martin (where the cast is entirely black); even Saturday Night Live was dominated by white male comedians. Robbins, Schneider and Tollin wanted the show to reflect its audience and also sought out varying musical acts (alternative, hip hop and R&B among others) to embrace the diversity
I was the first black female they had on that show...there weren't that many black shows on or black actors. When I left, it opened it up more for black female comedians. I've had people come back and tell me it felt like I passed the torch because they were all on TV watching like, "I want to do that, I want to do that," but then when they saw me, they thought, "Oh, I can actually do that." Black girls were coming up to me, parents are just like, "Thank you so much for what you've done." I was like wow. It feels surreal.
I thought it was awesome because none of us look like each other. We were like a total melting pot of diversity...You have African-American, you have me[Hispanic], you have Caucasian... So there are kids that were able to sit home and go, I look like her, I look like him, I can relate. That was really important for me to be a part of a cast that was filled of diversity 'cause there's nothing more boring than a Brady Bunch concept. So at the end of the day, I was able to have the fans verbally tell me how they felt that All That impacted their lives and it made them come home and look forward to coming home and watching the show after school when they work on their homework, and how they loved to be able to have a little bit of music maybe their mom didn't let them necessarily listen to some of the music or whatever the case may be.
In 2011, Lisa Foiles joined forces with Comikaze Expo, planning the first ever All That reunion with Comikaze Expo CEO Regina Carpinelli. The reunion featured a roundtable discussion, where the cast reflected on their tenure on the show and received questions from the audience. Angelique Bates, Lori Beth Denberg, Foiles, Leon Frierson, Katrina Johnson, Kevin Kopelow, Kel Mitchell, Alisa Reyes, Giovonnie Samuels, Mark Saul, Josh Server all participated in the event.
Also in 2011, Bates, Johnson, and Reyes appeared together at Zooey Magazine's One Year Anniversary Special Event held in Hollywood. The anniversary launched the Love Is Louder campaign which speaks out against bullying and hate messages.
In the 2011 special "iParty with Victorious" (a crossover between iCarly and Victorious), Kenan Thompson jokingly complains that everyone wants to borrow money from him including Andy Samberg and half of the original cast of All That when Carly Shay (portrayed by Miranda Cosgrove) asks for a favor from him.
In 2015, Mitchell and Thompson reunited on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where they performed a special Good Burger sketch. Dan Schneider returned to write the sketch for the show.
In 2015, Comikaze Expo, held the second All That reunion. Angelique Bates, Chelsea Brummet, Ryan Coleman, Lori Beth Denberg, Jack DeSena, Lisa Foiles, Bryan Hearne, Katrina Johnson, Christina Kirkman, Christy Knowings, Kel Mitchell, Alisa Reyes, Giovonnie Samuels, Mark Saul, Josh Server, and Danny Tamberelli all participated in the event.
On April 22, 2016 Nickelodeon aired a reunion special consisting of new 3-4 minute shorts with most of the original cast, including Kenan and Kel.
Kenan & Kel
Kenan & Kel is an American teen comedy sitcom created by Kim Bass for Nickelodeon. It starred then-All That cast members Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. Sixty-five episodes and a made-for-TV movie were produced over four seasons. The first two seasons were filmed at Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Florida, and the remaining two were filmed at the Nick on Sunset theater in Hollywood.
The Amanda Show
The Amanda Show is an American live action sketch comedy and variety show that aired on Nickelodeon from October 16, 1999 to September 21, 2002. It starred Amanda Bynes, Drake Bell, and Nancy Sullivan, along with several performing artists who came and left at different points.
The Nick Cannon Show
The premise of the semi-scripted show was that its star, Nick Cannon, a former cast member on All That, would come across a situation he thought needed changing and then "take over" to make things better, or at least funnier.
Zoey 101 is an American television series which originally aired on Nickelodeon. It focuses on the lives of teenager Zoey Brooks (Jamie Lynn Spears) and her friends as they attend Pacific Coast Academy (PCA), a fictional boarding school in Southern California. It was created by Dan Schneider
Just Jordan, starring Lil' JJ, follows the exploits and actions of Jordan Lewis, who has moved to Los Angeles from Little Rock.
All That made one effort in developing a popular sketch into a feature-length films with Good Burger.
You get something like Good Burger and you just ride it, and all of a sudden there's something called Nickelodeon Movies, put under the banner of Paramount. It was a big synergy. We just took a shot. ... There was an unforgettable day when we went to Paramount with a script. The Paramount execs were interested enough to come to a table read. I don't believe any money had been spent. We realized this was a huge opportunity. Kenan and Kel came and we filled in with other actors. ... It was late January 1997, and he (John Goldwyn a senior executive at Paramount [came back and said], "The good news is we're going to make this movie; the bad news is it needs to be in theaters in July." The typical gestation period for movies is five to seven years. Brian signed up to direct and we shot the film locally, built Good Burger, brought in Sinbad, brought in Jenny, brought in the whole cast of characters. Twenty years later I got a call from my niece from Chicago who said, "I just watched the best movie." That thing worked.
The movie was released into theaters on July 25, 1997 with a budget of roughly ten million dollars. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 33% based on reviews from 27 critics. Most praise came to Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson's performances. Although the film received mix to negative reviews it was a financial success.
All That: The Album
On November 26, 1996, Nickelodeon released All That on CD, titled: All That: The Album. It contains All That dialogues from the show, and songs sung by musical guests (i.e. Faith Evans, Coolio, Brandy, Naughty By Nature, etc.). All That's theme opening and outro theme were finally released on this CD. Music from the CD is mainly inspired from the show.
All That: Fresh out the Box
On October 1, 1998, Nickelodeon released a 112-page book of All That called All That: Fresh out the Box by Steve Holland. The book contains information of the show's sketches, cast members and notable points of the show. It also contains different character information as well.
On June 30, 2000, Nickelodeon gave All That a promotional summer tour titled All That Music and More Festival, which traveled all over the United States and was hosted by the cast of All That. The tour began after Season 6 and lasted until September 3 of 2000. The tour mainly featured the cast members of All That and a musical guest. Many of the musical guests joined and performed during the tour. Also while the tour went on, the cast members did numerous live sketches. There was also a ticket contest the year before the festival began. On July 29, 2000, Nickelodeon broadcast the highlights and events that happened during the entire festival.
On August 15, 2011, the iTunes Store released All That: Volume 1 with the first seven episodes from season two. On November 29, 2011, the iTunes Store released All That: Volume 2 with seven more episodes from season two. All That: Volume 3 was released in 2012 with seven episodes from season two. Just like The '90s Are All That airings, the musical guest performances are omitted and the end credits are re-done as generic white text on black. All That Volume 4, with episodes from the start of season 3, was released on iTunes August 13, 2012; however, episodes 40 and 43 are excluded for unknown reasons with episodes 45 and 46 included instead.
On June 24, 2013, the iTunes Store released All That: Retro Essentials with four episodes from season two. The episodes are 217, 220, 228, 237. Episodes 217, 220 and 228 were re-released with the musical guest performances. Episode 237 has the musical guest edited out.
All That ran on Nickelodeon from 1994 until 2005 (its entire original run). All That aired on Nick at Nite on Mondays to Thursdays at 8:00 pm from June 25, 2012, until July 12, 2012, alongside Kenan & Kel at 8:30 pm. The Nick at Nite airings, had the musical performances edited out. All That ran in reruns on TeenNick from March 12, 2008, to September 15, 2008.
All That once again aired on TeenNick from July 25, 2011, to December 27, 2012, as part of The '90s Are All That (a block that is named after the show before the programming block was rebranded as The Splat in 2015). The show returned to TeenNick on The '90s Are All That, from March 4, 2013, to June 1, 2014. The '90s Are All That airings, however, also have the musical guest performances removed, along with their introduction sketches, presumably for time and the high cost of obtaining music distribution rights. The block initially only aired episodes from seasons 2 and 3, later adding seasons 4 and 5 into the rotation. The reruns on TeenNick in 2008 however, aired the Season 3 through 5 uncut and retained the musical guest performances, with the exception of the K-Ci & JoJo episode. The final rotation of these reruns included Seasons 6 and 7.
On November 4, 2012, All That returned to Nickelodeon with two episodes at 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm, and the musical performances edited out.
The show currently airs sporadically, particularly during The Splat programming block on TeenNick.