It didn’t take long for someone to ask the question Kel Mitchell has been answering for most of his career: “Do I still love orange soda? Oh, I do I do I do-oo.” However, the catch phrase from his days on Kenan and Kel did come with an addendum this time. “Low calorie orange soda, though. I need to try and stay fit these days. I can’t be doing any high fructose anymore.” Kel’s loose and playful nature was one that remained apparent in all four former cast members of All That who were at New York Comic Con.
During their time with the press, Josh Server attempted to “interview the press back,” Danny Tamberelli carried around ears of corn which he claimed to be baby sitting for the Big Ear of Corn, and Lori Beth Denberg introduced herself as “Inmate #459654.” It was a goofy sort fun that stemmed entirely from the reunion itself. “We only just met up again like an hour or two ago, and already we’ve completely reverted back to our adolescent selves,” explained Denberg. Server agreed with that sentiment by adding, “This is like a high school reunion for kids that didn’t get to go to high school…or college…or any sort of reputable educational facility.”
The twenty-year-old sketch comedy show has resurfaced in the public eye due to Nickelodeon’s recent launch of The Splat, a ’90s-centric channel branching off of the kids’ show network. This nostalgia was not something lost on the cast, especially Server, the show’s longest running cast member. He offered up a truly humbled response when asked about the show’s longevity. “I was talking about this with friends the other day. All kidding aside, it is an amazing feeling. You never realize you are a part of something like that until much later. I mean, we were kids. You don’t know you are a part of anything special while you are doing it. So, to now, twenty years later, still have that thing be loved is great. I am so grateful. I’ve had people tell me they do comedy or got into the show business because of the show, and that is honestly the highest compliment someone could pay you.”
#squad #Nycc @dannytamberelli #LoriBeth @serverj A photo posted by Kel Mitchell 💯 (@iamkelmitchell) on
It was a day full of happy reminiscence, and each of the cast members shared stories of how they wound up on the show with the packed crowd at their reunion panel. The audience was enthralled while Josh shared a story about attending a talent search, Lori Beth revealed she was actually a national-award-winning actress who was approached by Nickelodeon, and Kel admitted to forgetting his monologue at his audition. It was Danny Tamberelli, though, who gave everyone some insight into navigating show business after being discovered. “Sorry to disappoint you all, but they simply asked me to be on the show. Pete and Pete had ended, and we had done some episodes of Figure It Out, when one of the producers for All That took me to lunch and told me I was kind of a chubby funny kid, and asked if I wanted to do sketch comedy.”
Once actually on the show, the cast lived a life that many could only dream of. Working in Universal Studios in Orlando meant being able to wander the theme park and cut lines on rides whenever they wanted, and the show allowed them to meet many celebrities they idolized. Top musical acts such as TLC, Run-DMC, and the Spice Girls have all been on the show as well as talented comedians like Sinbad and Chris Farley. Farley in particular was a memory they all cherished, and not just because he was such a huge star, but because he completely destroyed the set. “Chris Farley was an amazing guest star that we had,” said Server. “I will never forget it, because he knew they would make him do [the sketch] over and over again so he went out there and literally trashed the stage. It was the messiest thing I had ever seen, and he made it impossible for the production team to reset for another take.”
The reunion also brought a big teaser for fans to speculate on. Despite the absence of Kenan Thompson, due to his current gig on Saturday Night Live, Kel did mention that he and Kenan had been working to put something together that would reunite the two of them professionally. Many theorized a possible return of Good Burger, especially after their appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but Kel was only willing to say “we’ve been talking about it.”
For more fun stories about their lives as Nickelodeon stars, check out the next All That reunion panel at Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles on November 1st.
Featured Image – Nickelodeon