Air dates: 1994-2005
Stars: Amanda Bynes, Lori Beth Denberg, Nick Cannon, Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell
Creating a successful sketch comedy show is difficult for anyone. Even the best written shows eventually contend with the down years of Saturday Night Live or the burnout of Chapelle's Show, and that's with a writers' room stocked with America's best comedic minds. Creating a sketch show that appeals to kids is a doubly daunting challenge, as you aren't just writing funny, you're writing to what you found funny as a child. Considering the difficulty of the task it took on, it's amazing that the first few years of All That accomplished exactly what the show set out to do: create a program that is to the cafeteria what Saturday Night is to the water cooler. Unfortunately, the broad, easy gags don't translate to an adult comedy audience that rejected Mad TV and Blue Collar TV for similar sins of simplicity.
Sketch comedy can only succeed by zeroing in on its audience: If you're returning to All That as an adult, you are not the target audience. Great musical performances, though.