|Running time||30 minutes|
Dan Schneider (1994-2005),
Brian Robbins (1994-2000)
Mike Tollin (1994-2000)
|Starring||(Too many people to name in this box, see article)|
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Run(s)||1920-1924 (1920s shorts),
1994-2005 (TV series)
“All What? Never heard of it in my life”
All That was the most legendary, respected, and influential sketch comedy series of all time. It started out as a series of short-lived movie shorts in the 1920s. It received very little fanfare until it was revived by Nickelodeon in the 1990s where it ran for twenty-five years until its 2020 cancellation.
The first All That short debuted in March of 1920 and was entitled, "Good Burger: Two for the Money." It was screened before the then-futuristic comedy, I Neva Knew It Was the Thoities, which flopped miserably at the box office, as did the short. However, it is believed by film historians that the movie, I Neva Knew It Was the Thoities heavily inspired such time-travel epics as the Back to the Future Trilogy. Nickelodeon, then a small movie short-producing studio based outside of Hollywood, threatened to cancel plans for any further All That shorts. But All That creator Marty DiBergi convinced Nickelodeon to keep them coming, but DiBergi was then forced to fire the entire cast, except for Kenan and Kel. Everybody else was then eaten by Roseanne.
The next few shorts were more popular than "Good Burger: Two for the Money." The shorts ended in 1924. The show was relaunched in the 1990s, as stated above, and became a phenomenon. Oscar Wilde once called it "The greatest show on television." Rolling Stone and other magazines and sources raved over this magnificent comedy show that has been influential over the years, especially in the 90s.
All That followed a sketch comedy format in which a comedy troupe of teenagers and young adults would perform short comedy skits. Very few people even remember the shorts, except for old people like film historians and Andy Griffith.
- Good Burger - A boy named Sue was the dimwitted cashier at a fast food restaurant called Good Burger. He did a lot of stupid things, such as wrestle a man in a lobster suit named Beavis, bring his pet bugs to work, put a poisonous cobra in the food critic's meal bag, and dance the Full Monty in front of manager Mr. Rogers, construction worker Alistair Tangleknicker Construction Worker, and old man Harold Schmutz. This sketch spun off into the greatest movie ever made, Good Burger.
- Random Nonsense - The title says it all. Rosie O'Donnell, (later Danny Tamberelli and Lil Orphan Annie) sat at a desk and presented to the audience, what else? Random nonsense.
- Stripperdude - A superhero whose one weakness is wearing any kind of clothes, except when he is disguised as alter ego Marc Cant. His girlfriend, Penny Lane, has no clue that Marc is a stripper/superhero. Stripperdude has the same exact powers as Superman.
1920s movie serials
Nobody remembers who was in the original cast, even Kenan and Kel can't remember, as they are 107 years old and have poor memories. But the story of All That started when a former sideshow freak named Marty DiBergi had desperately tried to break into Hollywood. He was nabbed by police and charged with tresspassing and breaking and entering. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 1914.
DiBergi later blamed his crime on a severe addiction to Froot Loops. He got clean and sober and decided to break into Hollywood yet again -- this time legally. He then saw a bunch of young people performing sketch comedy in their backyard. "These kids, Kenan and Kel, these cats had a style all their own. I knew they would be big business."
Unfortunately, DiBergi had difficulty selling the comedy troupe. Every major studio in Hollywood rejected All That and DiBergi was on the verge of becoming a ballerina. Then he met the president of an up-and-coming movie short-producing studio called Nickelodeon. The founder of Nickelodeon was a man who himself had been rejected by Hollywood -- Ed Wood. Wood was working on horrible screenplays such as Glen or Glenda, Dr. Acula: The Musical, 120-Minute Toy Commercial, Pull My Finger, and Plan 9 from Outer Space when DiBergi approached him.
The first All That short, 1920's "Good Burger: Two for the Money," was a disaster and only made a small fraction of its 25-cent budget. The original cast was fired, except for Kenan and Kel, and the next short would premiere two years later. This cast of All That was: Delores Bancroft, Alice Cooper, Kenan and Kel, Trixie Rabbit (who, ironically, was not an actual rabbit), Josh Server, and This Guy.
1922's Stripperdude was very controversial at the time, and President Warren Harding had threatened to ban the film, but was overruled by Congress. The short was hugely successful and controversially won an Academy Award for best short film the following year. Stripperdude is, to date, the most famous of the original All That shorts.
More All That shorts ran until 1924, including "Good Boooo-ger," "Ishboo," "Baggin' Saggin' Barry," "Earboy," and "Detective Dan and the Case of the Missing Trousers." These shorts were met with varying degrees of success and Marty DiBergi and the All That cast were fired from Nickelodeon and All That never saw the light of day again. Kenan and Kel moved to Germany and went on to become a highly successful burlesque act. Alice Cooper became a successful rock singer, This Guy became a kitten huffer, and Josh Server and Trixie Rabbit disapperared into obscurity. Marty DiBergi died in 1974 at the age of 92.
All That was over. That is, until the 1990s when grunge emerged. Nickelodeon had become a hugely successful children's television network with shows like Rugrats, Salute Your Shorts, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Rocko's Modern Life, Fifteen Idiots Sitting on a Couch (later Twelve Idiots...), Who Farted?, Who Farted: The Musical, and Ren & Stimpy, among many others. The network wanted a sketch comedy show to replace the successful Canadian sketch show, You Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Can't Do That on Television... or Else the Führer Will Kill You and its successor, then known as Twelve Idiots Sitting on a Couch (three idiots had left the show).
All That made its triumphant return in 1994 to record ratings. Kenan and Kel proved so popular that they spun off into another series entitled Kenan & Kel in 1996. The cast of All That in the first two seasons included: Angelique Bates, Rosie O'Donnell, Katrina "Hurricane" Johnson, Kenan and Kel, Ray Charles, and Josh Server.
After two seasons, Angelique Bates' contract expired and she was the first to leave the show. She then developed a serious addiction to eating paper dolls and had disappeared into obscurity, rumored to be doing business with Some Guy, the great-great grandson of 1920s castmember This Guy. She was later eaten by Roseanne in 1999.
Seasons 3 and 4 cast changes
Angelique Bates was replaced by 10-year-old Amanda Hugginkiss. She, too, proved popular enough to spin off into another series, The Amanda Show. Then in Season 4, Ray Charles and Katrina Johnson left the show to focus on making Pepsi commercials. They were replaced by, not two, but three people: Danny Tamberelli of The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Kirstie Alley.
Rosie O'Donnell left the show in 1999 to focus on her already successful talk show. Danny Tamberelli succeeded her in the Random Nonsense sketches, proving to sometimes be funnier than she was. Da Vinci is best known for his sketch, "Leroy and Fuzz," where he beats the crap out of a puppet named Fuzz, an obvious ripoff of Elmo. Alley was best known for a sketch called "Like, Whateverrr!" in which she and Amanda Hugginkiss would play hyper teenage girls like those portrayed in Valley Girl and Clueless movies.
O'Donnell was replaced by Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie. They stayed on the show until the end of season six. However, the show's first two breakout stars didn't. Kenan and Kel's contracts expired on May 10, 1999, Kenan's 100th birthday. They continued to act on Kenan & Kel until the show ended in 2000 after the ghosts of Laurel & Hardy sued the duo for trademark infringement.
The legendary duo (Kenan and Kel, not Laurel and Hardy) was then replaced by Desi Arnaz on All That. Unfortunately, the cast had grown tired of performing skits after six long years, and the writers were running out of ideas; they even tried stealing jokes from Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live and You Really, ... Can't Do That on Television. Eventually, the writers had just about given up. So did the cast. Everybody left the show and Nickelodeon cancelled it in 2000, citing one of Shakespeare's most famous works, Hamlet:
“'Tis a shame that it had TO BE or NOT TO BE with way for such a work of art. Where for has such a talented cast and crew resorted to running out of funny things to do. 'Tis plenty a fart joke in this world. 'Tis a wonderful knock-nkock joke, and one about a rabbi, a priest, and a Mormon.”
Nickelodeon started sucking at the turn of the millenium and decided to relaunch All That with an all-new cast, writers, and format. Due to budget cuts, Season 7 only had 4 castmembers: Chelsea Brummet, Chris Cornell, Jack DeSena, and Patrick Swayze. Many of the skits were unoriginal and derivative of classic All That sketches. This did not satisfy the President and the show was forced to either be funny or be cancelled.
The producers tried everything to make the show live up to its 1990s self: Improv a la Whose Line Is It Anyway, bringing back former castmembers to host, getting big name stars to guest star, butchering the Good Burger sketch, butchering Random Nonsense, they had tried everything. Cast changes were very common, in fact, there are too many castmembers during this era to name, but here goes: Don Knotts, Wilford Brimley, David Lee Roth, Alf, Mr. T, the Movie Trailer Announcer Guy, Mr. MovieFone, the Muppets, Marc Summers, Robin Williams, Bob Saget, Jamie Lynn Spears, and John Candy.
Belated 10th anniversary semi-reunion special
Nothing they had tried worked; the show was as good as dead. Luckily, the show was entering its tenth season, and the producers were so desperate as to get the 1990s castmembers back for a reunion special. Unfortunately, many of them were eaten by Roseanne. However, they did manage to get Kenan, Kel, Josh Server, and Danny Tamberelli.
The foursome reprised such classic sketches as Good Burger, Coach Kreeton, the controversial Stripperdude, Earboy, French Guys in a Bathtub, and, for the first time since Season 6, Random Nonsense. To date, this is the highest-rated TV program in television history.
The show continued miserably for fifteen more years, even changing its name to The Greatest Show on Earth until Ringling Brothers Circus took legal action; the name was then reverted back to All That. Finally, the show was cancelled after 25 seasons on the air, if you include the original 6 seasons from the 1990s. And if you include the 1920s shorts, that's 100 flippin' years. The show did not have reunions for its 15th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries because the classic cast members had been adbucted by terrorists and then suspected as terrorists themselves. President Clinton said in 2020, "That Kel guy looks pretty suspiscious. And Josh Server wears a turban all the time." This ban was later dropped when Congress ruled that the All That cast was not a terrorist organization, stating, "You're thinking of Al Qaeda."
Rumor has it that Comedy Central will obtain the rights to the series for syndication in 2009. It has been reported by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Larry King, and Your mom, so it must be true. DVD news has also been reported, but details are sketchy, no pun intended.