14 'All That' Secrets From The Cast That Will Blow Ya Mind
The cast of "All That" reunited at New York Comic Con on Saturday (Oct. 10), and every man, woman and dude who grew up in the '90s totally lost their minds.
Josh Server, Danny Tamberelli, Lori Beth Denberg and Kel Mitchell -- and the Big Ear of Corn's five Little Ears of Corn -- dished on everything from their "All That" auditions to the inspirations behind their most memorable characters.
So stop, look and watch because here's everything we learned at the reunion panel:
What ever happened to the Big Ear of Corn?
Arguably, the biggest question on everyone's minds. According to Tamberelli, the Big Ear of Corn is now a proud parent to five, wee ears of corns. Tamberelli even brought them on stage with him because, hey, it was their first Comic Con, too.
All jokes aside, Denberg definitely had the most fondness for that Big Ear of Corn. She told the crowd that she regrets not taking it with her when she left the Nickelodeon show in 1998.
No one's audition was perfect... except for Tamberelli's.
Before auditioning for "All That," Server had actually filmed a pilot for Nickelodeon. Lucky for us, the pilot went nowhere at the network, but Nickelodeon execs liked the Chicago teen and asked him to audition for their new sketch comedy show, "All That." Server auditioned "three or four" times for the show and had to create several characters on the spot before he was chosen to be part of the cast. He was one of two Chicago teens cast on the show, the other being Kel Mitchell.
Mitchell was late to his audition because it was finals week. He said he forgot his monologue and totally bombed his audition. The network let him go outside to regroup and try again, but on his as he was walking out, he tripped over some camera cords -- "but I did it in a funny way, using some of my physical comedy," said Mitchell. When he returned for take two of his audition, he created Ed on the spot, and the rest is Nickelodeon history. Two weeks later, Mitchell received a call and he was on a flight to Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Denberg, who had always been interested in drama, took part in a drama showcase and won first place. The producers from "All That" were scouting for kids at Denberg's drama showcase, saw her talent and asked her audition.
As for Tamberelli, the "Pete & Pete" had it the easiest. "I was asked to be on the show after 'Pete & Pete' ended," he said. "I did a little bit of 'Figure It Out' and then they asked me to be on 'All That.'" Of course, the subdued, darker comedy on "Pete & Pete" was a lot different than the crazy sketch comedy world of "All That." But the young actor sold them on his ability to do sketch after he told producers her could "recite mostly every single sketch from 'Monty Python' ever."
They had the best "office" ever.
Early episodes of "All That" were taped at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Orlando, which meant Server, Mitchell and Denberg had access to Universal Studios during their lunch breaks. "We'd leave the studio and walk right into the park and ride the 'Back to the Future' ride," she said. "We'd cut lines and piss a lot of people off," added Server. (Work perks, amirite?)
Filming at Universal Studios also had its downsides, and nothing was weirder than what Denberg called "The Fish Bowl." Nickelodeon Studios used to offer a tour of the stage, where they'd stop and watch the actors through glass windows. "People would watch you in the makeup room," Server said. "It was like being in a fish bowl."
Slime PTSD is a real thing.
Tamberelli joked that he suffers from "slime PTSD" from his days on "Figure It Out." In fact, one of the alarm setting on the iPhone is so similar to the "Figure It Out" buzzer that he constantly looks up in fear whenever he hears it on the street.
Comedy can be painful.
Tamberelli recalled one particularly embarrassing "All That" moment for Server. During one scene, Server was supposed to break a plate over his head, and the prop guy accidentally gave Server a real plate instead of the prop ones that are easier to break. "The whole thing with sketch is that you're never supposed to stop, even when it hurts," Server said.
What does slime taste like?
"It tasted like apple sauce," said Mitchell. "I tasted it." Mind = blown.
There's an art to being slimed.
"You have very little traction walking when you have slime in your butt crack," Denberg said. "That's something I learned from experience." The more you know!
Denberg does have a favorite piece of Vital Information.
According to Denberg, everyone knows her full name thanks to her most popular sketch, "Vital Information For Your Everyday Life With Lori Beth Denberg."
"That's the only reason people know my full name," she said. "People walk up to me and say, 'You're Lori Beth Denberg!'"
When asked to share her favorite piece of Vital Information, Denberg said, "If you're drinking apple juice and it's warm, that ain't apple juice."
Jim Carrey was a huge influence on the cast.
"I feel like I did the entire first season just impersonating Jim Carrey," joked Server. The comedian also was a huge influence for Mitchell, who called Repair Man-Man a "mixture of Jim Carey and one of his uncles."
Mitchell's favorite character is Coach Kreeton.
Coach Kreeton was inspired by one of Mitchell's own coaches. He worked with the wardrobe department to come up with Kreeton's iconic look -- bald head, missing tooth and all. "That was one of my favorite characters," he said. "I got to yell at children."
Connie Muldoon was inspired by "Mystery Science Theater 3000."
Denberg was a huge MST3K fan, and the sci-fi comedy inspired her to create her most memorable character, Connie Muldoon. During one rehearsal, Denberg wore fuzzy animal slippers in character as the Minnesotan, and the producers loved the look so much, they got her fuzzy slippers to wear in every Connie Muldoon sketch -- whether her feet were visible or not.
Also, the dress Denberg wore in the pilot was her own dress. "It got covered in pudding, even though I told them it was dry clean only," she joked.
Chris Farley totally trashed the "All That" set.
Typically, every show was performed twice -- once during a closed set and once with a live studio audience. The producers would either go with the best take, or they would cut the two takes together. During the first take of a segment of "Cooking With Randy," special guest star Chris Farley completely trashed the set. In fact, he trashed it so badly, the set designers couldn't even put it back together. "He just wanted to do one take and be done," recalled Server. "It was amazing."
There's are only two ways to get out of a sketch.
"If you didn't know how to get out of a sketch, either the cops show up or you jump out the window," Denberg said. "It worked every time."
Server knows he'll always be remembered as Ear Boy.
"That's the one thing people ask the most, "Server said. "It doesn't imagine what I accomplish with my life, that will be my eulogy. That photo of me and Kel as Pizza Face will be on my grave."