Dad Jokes Seriously Got Legit 🙌 by Thomas Sanders
when ur going to the mall
and u actually have money
stop following me in front
This is the best show ever
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve watched this clip.
The ’90s were golden years for Nickelodeon. The children’s cable television network was home to now cult-classic shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991-2000), Clarissa Explains It All (1991-’94), The Secret Life of Alex Mack (1994-’98), and Salute Your Shorts (1991-’92)—arguably heretofore unmatched in their clever, un-condescending approach to entertaining young people. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee launched in 1992, and remains to this day one of the only shows on-air devoted to frank, engaging discussions of teen issues and opinions.
But perhaps the program that best embodied the values of Nick in those years was All That, a sketch-comedy show that premiered 20 years ago today. Created by Brian Robbins and Mike Tollin, All That ran for an impressive 10 seasons before it was canceled in 2005. The prolific franchise spawned a number of spin-offs (Good Burger, Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show) and launched the careers of several comedy mainstays: Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon, and Taran Killam.
Like Saturday Night Live (which would later hire Thompson and Killam), All That was a communal pop-cultural touchstone. The parents of ’90s kids had the Church Lady, “more cowbell,” and Roseanne Roseannadanna; the kids themselves, though, had Pierre Escargot, “Vital Information,” and Repairman Man Man Man, and we recited their catch-phrases to one another in the cafeteria and on the playground. Although All That was clearly designed as a SNL, Jr., of sorts, it wasn’t merely starter sketch comedy—it was an admittedly daring venture for a children’s network to embark on.
In its own right, All That was a weirdly subversive little show. It never explicitly crossed the line into “mature” territory, but it constantly flirted with the limits of FCC-approved family-friendliness. Take, for instance, the “Ask Ashley” sketch. A barely tween-aged Amanda Bynes (Seasons Three to Six), played an adorably wide-eyed video advice-columnist. Ashley (“That’s me!”) would read painfully dimwitted letters from fans with clearly solvable problems. (Example: “Dear Ashley, I live in a two-story house and my room is upstairs. Every morning, when it’s time to go to school, I jump out the window. So far I’ve broken my leg 17 times. Do you have any helpful suggestions for me?”) She would wait a beat, smile sweetly into the camera, then fly into a manic rage; emitting a stream of G-rated curses, always tantalizingly on the verge of spitting a true obscenity into the mix.
Read more. [Image: Nickelodeon]
i’m byesexual as in bye don’t touch me
The new Childish Gambino song is dope
Before pursuing stand-up comedy full-time, Hari Kondabolu was a human rights activist. At first telling jokes was a cathartic release from the intense work he did with victims of hate crimes and workplace discrimination. In today’s interview he recounts how he began to incorporate aspects of his work into his comedy:
"I used to do a bit where I used to read the U.S. citizenship application onstage. I think that’s part of just being overeducated and wanting to do document analysis, but I’d actually bring it on stage and read questions. Because for people who don’t know, this is what immigrants have to go through to gain status in this country and it’s absurd and it’s something we take for granted as American citizens.
Sometimes that was hard in a club on a Friday night and it’s 10 o-clock and everyone’s drunk and there’s a dude on stage reading a form, it’s a strange thing to read a government form in front of a bunch of drunk people.”
Hari’s new comedy album is called Waiting for 2042.
Photo by Kyle Johnson