This Is All That
"Just an introduction, before we blow your mind." "The show is All That and yes we do it all the time." I'm sure ya'll remember that song. It's the classic intro to the one of my favorite shows on Nickelodeon "All That", a kid sketch comedy show. It wasn't just "All That" that made 90's Nickelodeon great, it was several things. You see, if you weren't born in the 80's and didn't have the privilege of experiencing 90's Nickelodeon cartoons, I feel really bad for you. When you mention classic television, this network needs to be included.
Growing up, my parents were always very particular about the things my siblings and I could watch on television, but Nickelodeon was just one of those networks where everything was acceptable. There were shows like "Rugrats", "Hey Arnold", "Salute Your Shorts", "Are You Afraid of the Dark?", and "My Brother and Me" just to name a few. All entertaining, funny, and very suitable for any age group to watch. Besides the few glimpses at MTV, BET, and VH1, I watched Nickelodeon shows religiously. Out of all the shows on Nickelodeon, "All That" was the show that had the most cultural impact. It was the first ever sketch comedy show that consisted of pre-teens, and it was hilarious (Think like a kid friendly version of "Mad TV"). You could tell the show was going to be lit because "TLC" sang the hook.
"All That" brought us funny sketches, memorable characters, and musical acts that went on to become some of today's biggest stars. The first season consisted had performers like LL Cool J, Aaliyah, and Immature. For us, that was huge. Let's not forget about the sketches and memorable characters. Who can forget "The Good Burger" sketch with Ed played by Kel Mitchell? That sketch became so popular that it was made into a movie starring fellow "All That" co-star Keenan Thompson. Another favorite was the "Ask Ashley" segment featuring Amanda Bynes, which helped launch her career into films. In later seasons, Nick Cannon joined the cast and used the opportunity to thrive in the Hollywood industry as well. Keenan is currently a series regular on "SNL", and while Amanda has hit some rough patches, I'm sure she will bounce back soon. I think what made "All That" so great was that it was fresh, non problematic, and it was just for kids. You didn't have to worry about the subject matter being too heavy and the cast was diverse. You don't see much of that these days.
I feel bad for kids that didn't get to experience that era of Nickelodeon that included "Nick at Nite" and "Nick Jr." The programming was just so good. Like usual, things change and so do the shows. After "Spongebob" came around, the shows started to get weird. Everything was about teenage aliens or weird 3-D cartoons about wizards. It could'be been that I was getting older and I just couldn't relate anymore, but it wasn't not as good. Thankfully, after many requests and pleas, all of Nickelodeon's old shows come on at special time so we can relive all of our childhood memories. I can watch as many "Rugrats" and "Hey Arnold" episodes until my heart is content. Even if they tried to recreate "All That", it wouldn't have the same magic as before. I'm just happy that I was able to experience it.