9 Weird Things You Didn’t Know About ’90s Nickelodeon Sketch Shows

Emma Stone Auditioned For 'All That' And It Was An Epic Fail

Nickelodeon dominated kids’ TV content in the 1990s with animated shows like Doug and Rugrats, and live-action shows like Clarissa Explains It All and Hey Dude! In the 1990s, Nick also introduced the concept of kid-friendly sketch comedy shows with Roundhouse, All That, and The Amanda Show, which utilized the format of adult shows like Saturday Night Live. In particular, All That created characters and skits that remain firmly entrenched in the imaginations of all millennials, and had a soundtrack featuring some of the greatest hip-hop talent of the ’90s.

All That inspired spin-off shows, including Kenan and Kel and The Amanda Show, the latter featuring Amanda Bynes, which in turn launched the careers of Drake Bell and Josh Peck in their show Drake and Josh. While there were only a few Nick sketch comedy shows in the ’90s, they were rich in talent, humor, and fun, and the stories behind them are just as memorable. 

1. A Season 2 Episode Of ‘The Amanda Show’ Only Aired Once

A Season 2 Episode Of 'The Amanda Show' Only Aired Once

In March 2001, an episode of The Amanda Show featured a particular sketch that was never again shown on Nickelodeon. “The Lucklesses” told the story of an unlucky family that encounters numerous disasters, from getting struck by lightning to getting robbed.

When they win the lottery, a dog snatches the ticket and runs away with it. Finally, an asteroid hits Earth, and the final image is of the family home in flames. The skit was considered too dark for Nick audiences in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the episode was never aired again. 

2. Chris Farley Trashed The Set Of ‘All That’ To Get Out Of Doing Multiple Takes

Chris Farley Trashed The Set Of 'All That' To Get Out Of Doing Multiple Takes

Legendary comedian Chris Farley appeared on the January 11, 1997, episode of All That in a sketch featuring future Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson. It featured Thompson’s recurring chocolate-loving chef character on “Cooking with Randy” and his guest, “Chef Farley,” who is obsessed with ketchup. In the sketch, the two chefs battle to determine which ingredient is best – chocolate or ketchup.

As Farley’s and Thompson’s characters fought to cover every food item with their favorite ingredients, the set became increasingly messy, with food covering nearly every inch of all the actors as well as the set. Even if the director wanted to do another take, there was no way to do so; Farley’s frenzied acting, combined with a tremendous amount of Heinz 57 ketchup and Thompson’s own chocolate mess, ensured that this would be a single-take skit.

3. TLC Sang The Theme Song For ‘All That’

TLC Sang The Theme Song For 'All That'

In 1994, TLC recorded the theme song for All That while recording their pioneering album, CrazySexyCool. The album was unique in that it blended hip-hop, soul, and R&B music, and featured hit songs like “Creep” and “Waterfalls.”

It is somewhat strange, then, that during the recording of the album, TLC made time to record “All That,” the theme for the eponymous show that premiered in 1994. However, All That replicated Saturday  Night Live by having regular musical guests, and in 1996, Nickelodeon released a soundtrack for the show that included TLC, Coolio, Aaliyah, Naughty by Nature, and other artists. 

4. Drake And Josh Fought Over A Shrimp In An ‘Amanda Show’ Sketch And Ended ‘Drake & Josh’ Doing The Same Thing

Drake And Josh Fought Over A Shrimp In An 'Amanda Show' Sketch And Ended 'Drake & Josh' Doing The Same Thing

Drake Bell and Josh Peck got their start with Nickelodeon as part of the ensemble cast of The Amanda Show. In one skit, they fight over a shrimp they find on the ground, and according to the actors, the scene was completely ad-libbed. The executives liked the scene and the chemistry between Bell and Peck, putting them into more skits together on The Amanda Show and later, green-lighting their own program, Drake & Josh. 

After four seasons, Drake & Josh’s special, “Really Big Shrimp,” marked the end of the series. In the final scene, the two yet again fight over the last piece of shrimp, harking back to their origins on The Amanda Show. Bell reflected, “So 10 years later it’s us fighting over a shrimp and we end where we started.”

5. Emma Stone Auditioned For ‘All That’ And It Was An Epic Fail

Emma Stone Auditioned For 'All That' And It Was An Epic Fail

Emma Stone is now a household name, but when she was 12 years old, she auditioned for Nickelodeon’s All That. According to the Cruella star, it was an epic failure.

I thought they were going to give us sketches, and then five minutes before I went in the room they said, ‘You need to have three characters when you come in the room.’ So I was like, ‘Okay,’ and then I made up a couple of characters.

She didn’t realize that she was supposed to create her own characters for the audition, and only learned this five minutes before walking in the room. She created three characters on the spot, including a possessed babysitter.

The executives decided that Stone’s characters, while creative, could not do the type of regular appearances necessary for the sketch comedy format, and she was not selected to join the cast. She did, however, get cast it the 2007 film Superbad, and her career skyrocketed after that indelible role. 

6. During Kel Mitchell’s Audition For ‘Saturday Night Live,’  He Accidentally Flipped Over A Table

During Kel Mitchell's Audition For 'Saturday Night Live,'  He Accidentally Flipped Over A Table

Nickelodeon’s All That introduced talented comedians who went on to have their own shows, and some who made the transition to adult programming. Kenan Thompson starred on both All That and Kenan and Kel, two shows that included his frequent sidekick, Kel Mitchell. Thompson eventually joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and Mitchell auditioned for the show, as well. But Mitchell’s audition was disastrous, as he remembered on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread:

I did a song about Michael Jackson if he was allergic to trees! Because, you know, he used to love to sit in trees, if you saw that classic interview that he had, and I thought it would be funny if he was allergic to trees and he’s sitting in one sneezing! So I remember I starting dancing, I think my energy was so crazy, I did like a moonwalk move and actually stepped on one of the tables right in front of the stage, and flipped the table with someone’s drink on it over, it was a MESS!

This skit, in addition to a piece Mitchell created about rapper DMX as a character in Toy Story, did not resonate with the SNL cast members and executives, and he was not offered a spot on the show. However, he holds no ill feelings and seems to look back on the cringe-worthy audition fondly. 

7. ‘All That’ Star Lori Beth Denberg Is Now An Ordained Minister And Hosts A ‘Bad Advice’ Podcast

'All That' Star Lori Beth Denberg Is Now An Ordained Minister And Hosts A 'Bad Advice' Podcast

Lori Beth Denberg was an original cast member of All That, and one of the most beloved actors on the show. Known for her recurring bit, “Vital Information For Your Everyday Life,” in which she dispensed ridiculous advice to the mirth of her audience, Denberg now hosts her own podcast called “Bad Advice.”

She also became an ordained minister after agreeing to perform a marriage ceremony for two of her friends, and now can provide her unique services for any nostalgic couple. On her website, she describes the first ceremony for her friends, and how it inspired her to continue her work as a non-religious ordained minister:

I wrote the script with a mix of old and new, sacred and funny. The people who came said they had never laughed and cried so much at one wedding, and it was a wedding they’d never forget.

​So I guess this is it – I’m a wedding minister! I do personalized, quirky weddings, vow renewals, and commitment ceremonies for couples looking for something a little different, a little less sterile, and a little more fun.

8. The ‘All That’ Cast Delivered Pizza On The Season Premiere Of ‘The Amanda Show’ To Wish The Star Good Luck

The 'All That' Cast Delivered Pizza On The Season Premiere Of 'The Amanda Show' To Wish The Star Good Luck

When Amanda Bynes joined the All That cast in the third season, she was by far the youngest member at just 10 years old. However, she quickly became a standout among the cast, and a few years later, she got her own sketch show, The Amanda Show, which first aired October 16, 1999.

To highlight the connection between this new project and her roots, All That cast members Kenan Thompson and Josh Server appeared in the pilot episode to reinforce Bynes’s comedy credentials and give her flowers and pizza. 

9. Alanis Morissette Was A Cast Member Of ‘You Can’t Do That On Television’

Alanis Morissette Was A Cast Member Of 'You Can't Do That On Television'

You Can’t Do That On Television began its life as a Canadian sketch comedy in 1979, making it one of the earliest comedy shows just for preteens and teenagers that replicated elements of the Saturday Night Live format.

Nickelodeon later aired reruns, and You Can’t Do That On Television became the new network’s first hit show in 1981. Its frenetic energy inspired a number of future Nick enterprises, such as All That, and the use of green slime became a fixture on Double Dare. 

You Can’t Do That On Television also had a revolving cast of kids, including Grammy Award-winning musician Alanis Morissette, who appeared on seven episodes of the show when she was 12 or 13.