20 years after it premiered, Nickelodeon's 'Lil SNL' remains a formative comedy experience for '90s kids.
On April 16, 1994, Nickelodeon aired the special that became All That, which would launch the careers of comedians like Kenan Thompson, Nick Cannon, and Neal Brennan (you thought I was gonna say Amanda Bynes!) and introduce kids born in the '80s and early '90s to sketch comedy. If you saw All That during its original run, certain phrases ("welcome to Good Burger home of the Good Burger. Can I take your order?") and characters (Pierre Escargot, Ask Ashley, and on and on) are lodged in your brain forever. To celebrate, we've ranked the original cast members (on the show during the Golden Era, 1994-2000) from least to most funny, and after you've read that you can go check out this oral history on MySpace (where those '90s kids went after they got too old for All That).
18. Zach McLemore
There's nothing memorable about Zach McLemore, but apparently he was part of the cast in the fourth season. I don't like his name, but that's not his fault, it's Macklemore's. He's in that video somewhere, but really the story there is Mase! Ma$e!
17. Victor Cohn-Lopez
Like Zach McLemore, Victor Cohn-Lopez was only on for the fourth season. He plays Ricky in that I Love Lucy parody, which was very topical reference for a kid's show in 1998.
16. Tricia Dickson
Another one-season-wonder. She's in this clip somewhere. Bear with me, we'll get to the good ones soon.
15. Gabriel Iglesias
Yeah, that guy! He was on All That for one season!
14. Alisa Reyes
Alisa Reyes was a DJ on Playboy Radio, which is an interesting career trajectory.
13. Angelique Bates
She did a Steve Urkel impression, which was the already ridiculous Steve Urkel cranked up to total absurdity.
12. Leon Frierson
Leon's main thing was being cruel to a puppet.
11. Kevin Kopelow
"Five minutes!" He got hurt at the beginning of every episode. Poor Kevin. He got no respect.
10. Christy Knowings
Christy Knowings was pretty and willing to talk in a weird voice, which is a combination that's always successful.
9. Mark Saul
This kid was one of the better cast members who didn't start right at the beginning, mostly because he was such a weirdo.
8. Nick Cannon
I actually think Nick Cannon's Connor Smallnut whiteface character is the funniest thing he's ever done.
7. Katrina Johnson
This girl was terrific! Her Ross Perot impression is what I think of when I think of Ross Perot, which happens bizarrely often.
6. Danny Tamberelli
Little Pete just was Nickelodeon.
5. Amanda Bynes
Man, Amanda Bynes. She was a Bob Odenkirk-level comic yeller back in the day.
4. Kenan Thompson
He's had the best post-All That career of anyone, and that's because he's always been an excellent comedic actor. He had some of the best characters on All That: Principal Pimple, the lunch lady, and of course, Pierre Escargot.
3. Josh Server
Josh Server was the soul of All That. The longest-tenured cast member, he anchored a lot of sketches and was always an underrated hilarious dude. Detective Dan, Earboy, and Jerry Futile, and host of the impossible game show You Can't Win! were some of his memorable characters.
2. Kel Mitchell
If there was any justice in the world, Kel would be a superstar today. He's part of two cult classics (Good Burger and Mystery Men) and was arguably the funniest kid to ever be on Nickelodeon.
1. Lori Beth Denberg
Lori Beth Denberg takes the top spot for "Vital Information," which primed young minds to later appreciate Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey and other sterling examples of absurdity. Looking back, Lori Beth Denberg is one of my biggest influences.
Image via Nickelodeon.