All That

 
Funny '90s sketch comedy can spark discussion with tweens.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

The series exaggerates physical features, manners of speech, and behavioral oddities for laughs, especially in impersonations that poke fun at celebs like Bill Cosby, Oprah, and Bill Clinton. There's some gross-out humor (a teen's "pizza face" and a character who eats dandruff, for example) and some teasing and bullying in some sketches.

Positive role models

The variety of sketches illustrates the cast's ability to adapt to different roles and work well with all of their fellow performers. There's diversity among the cast members.

Violence & scariness

Some skits involve characters' use of rudimentary weapons (a man plays out a sketch with an arrow protruding from his forehead, for instance), but the content is clearly meant to be funny rather than realistic. Physical humor includes some falls and collisions but no real-life injuries.

Sexy stuff

No major sexuality, but characters are occasionally seen in their underwear, some mock-make-out sessions, and guys slap girls' butts.

Language

Some (playful) name-calling like "freak."

Consumerism

The series inspired a soundtrack as well as a number of spin-off shows starring some of its cast members.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the unpredictable nature of this '90s sketch comedy series makes it difficult to fully gauge the age-appropriateness of its content, although on the whole, there's little concern for tweens. Expect a fair amount of bathroom humor (acne and edible dandruff, for example), some bullying that's meant to be funny, and physical humor like pretending to sever a hand from its arm. The fact that many of the skits exaggerate characters' physical features (large ears or a sizable rear end) to poke fun at them is a good reason to start a conversation with your kids about tolerance and respect. Tweens won't grasp many of the show's cultural references since they're rooted in the '90s' celeb scene and politics, but there's enough timeless comedy to maintain kids' interest.

What's the story?

ALL THAT is a '90s sketch comedy series that originally ran on Nickelodeon and inspired a handful of spin-offs starring its alums, including Kenan & Kel and The Amanda Show. The 30-minute show features a musical guest and a series of skits that poke fun at relatable issues like acne and bullying and includes impersonations of '90s public figures like Roseanne Barr and Ross Perot. Over the show's 10-year run, it went through many cast and formatting changes; later episodes incorporated guest stars like Ray Romano, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Much like Saturday Night Live does for older viewers, All That finds the funny in the mundane aspects of life, like facing down a class bully or dealing with a clueless teacher. The show's changing nature keeps the content fresh and fun for tweens, who will enjoy the cast's take on everyday situations and quirky people. Some skits rely on satirical humor related to people and events from the '90s that won't resonate with a new generation of viewers, but there plenty of laughs that cater to the tween set and transcend the timeliness gap.

 

Although the show isn't out to spark discussion, some aspects of its content offer a jumping-off point to talk to tweens about issues like stereotyping, bullying, and society's impression of celebrities. Be sure to remind kids that while shows like this one appeal to fans by poking fun at a person or group of people, there are repercussions for doing the same in the real world.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about comedy. Do you think this show is funny? Did you understand all of the references? How does a person's life situation affect how he or she interprets comedy?

  • Tweens: Did you notice any stereotyping in this show? How does stereotyping influence comedy? Is it possible to be funny without making someone else the victim?

  • Kids: How is bullying handled in your school? Do you think it's a major issue among your peers? Have you ever been on the receiving end of teasing? How does it feel to be in that position?

TV details

Cast:Amanda Bynes, Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson
Network:Nickelodeon
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:Streaming

This review of All That was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byCooldee September 12, 2011
age 7+
 

Saturday Night Live and Mad TV for children under 12 years old.

All that is like Saturday Night Live and Mad Tv, but without the swearing and sexual talk.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byChuck Reid March 21, 2012
age 7+
 

Old=Good.New=Bad.

This show is super funny! Well,in its early years anyways.The jokes are hilarious as well as sketches.The scripts are hilarious too.However,in 2001 things started to change.The scripts were not as funny as they used to be,and the new cast was god-awful.So if you want to watch "All That",watch the older episodes.NOT the newer ones.This show gets3/5 stars (because the old cast rocked,and the new cast blows.)
Teen, 16 years old Written byRosebud95 December 31, 2011
age 9+
 

Seems too random for me

This seems extremely random, like most things on Nick. It's OK, but I like SNL or that show MMC better.

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