Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Cast of Nickelodeon's All New ‘All That’ Share Behind-the-Scenes Secrets

When Nickelodeon announced that they were rebooting the network's iconic '90s TV show All That, it was certainly a dream come true. Yep, not only is the hilarious sketch show back and better than ever with an all-new cast, some of the OG stars — including Lori Beth Denberg, Josh Server and Kel Mitchell — have made appearances in the revival!

Aria Brooks, Chinguun Sergelen, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, Kate Godfrey, Lex Lumpkin, Nathan Janak, Reece Caddell and Ryan Alessi make up the new cast, with OG All That cast members Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell (Kenan & Kel, Good Burger) serving as executive producers. J-14 got a chance to chat with the stars of the new show exclusively, and they spilled all the behind-the-scene secrets, so get ready to fall even more in love with All That.

J-14: Can you share any fun behind-the-scenes stories or secrets from on set?

Aria Brooks: Something you may not know is that we film an episode a week and the script changes nearly every day. It changes Monday through Wednesday because they may think of something even funnier. Sometimes we may get a new script the same day and have to film.

Chinguun Sergelen: Something funny that happened on set was that when we were shooting a sketch, I bent down and my pants ripped so I had to change them!

Gabrielle Nevaeh Green: The funniest behind-the-scenes story that comes to mind is the first time I was shooting “Coffee, Coffee, Coffee.” The scene required that I chugged a bag full of “coffee beans.” We had rehearsed it a couple of times and couldn’t get the right kind of bean to flow out of the bag to cover my face. In our network run through the props department had made an adjustment to the opening of the bag to make it easier to cover my face, but when it was time for the part in the scene I didn’t realize how large the opening was and I gave it a big tug and the chocolate sprinkles actually went up my nose and I was blowing out chocolate all night.

Kate Godfrey: A fun behind-the-scenes secret is that we all do school together on set! There are two classrooms and there are four of us in each room. We have so much fun “doing school.” It’s one of my favorite parts of the day!

Lex Lumpkin: Chinguun ripped his pants during an actual shoot. We were in the middle of the scene and Chin yells “cut!” It was hilarious.

Nathan Janak: Here’s a funny behind-the-scenes story that happened one time while we were filming a “Canceled” segment in front of our live studio audience. In the sketch I had to eat a piece of chocolate from those little heart shaped boxes of candy. To paint the picture, I’m sitting there in my hot tub (which is actually really warm!) and I lean towards my side to pick up a piece of chocolate and eat it… Let’s just say warm watery hot tub hands don’t mix well with chocolate and the chocolate begins to melt into my hand as I eat it. Then, I notice that my hand is now smothered in melted chocolate, so I try to rub it off but the only thing to rub it off on was a fake plant prop located in the background. So, then I began to wipe my hand off of the fake leaf and then suddenly the leaf detaches from the stem and flies downwards. It surprised me and the audience as well, I had to try to contain myself from breaking character!

Reece Caddell: One of the things I love about All That is we have a lot of sketches with animals! We filmed a “Detective Dan” sketch with Josh Server recently and we had a cat on set. Our amazing art department had printed all these posters and pictures and stuff of this cat to be in the sketch — I mean, they were all over the place! Then the day before we shot it, that cat was fired. There was a lot going on in the sketch and the cat was kinda grumpy. So, they brought in another cat who was super chill. But the art team had to reprint every single photo of the first cat in just a few hours! Kate Godfrey, who plays Detective Ann, and I were all like, “You can fire a cat?!” Turns out, yes.

Ryan Alessi: When I’m in a sketch with Chinguun, it is difficult to get through the scene without laughing. We know each other very well, and I know what makes him break. Some of my favorite moments have been when the cameras capture the outtakes.

J-14: Are you guys close in real life? Do you guys get along when cameras stop rolling?

Aria: We are all really close. We go to each other houses and go out to eat after shows. When we are not working we’re probably calling each other or sending memes in our group chat.

Chinguun: We all get along and get together during hiatus, after being on set and even during the weekends. We all love each other.

Gabrielle: I remember the first time we all met, it was sort of weird because we all just started hugging each other and laughing as if we had known each other forever. We love to hang out together, sometimes we go to grab a bite to eat after our live shows or we meet up to hang out for a little bowling or anything fun.

Kate: We are all extremely close. We are always hanging out on the weekends, in between filming, and really just all the time! I am so lucky to be on All That with not only seven talented cast members, but seven extremely kind cast members.

Lex: Yes, we are friends outside of the show as well. We like to hang out and have done so by celebrating birthdays together, going to the movie and Chinguun my brother and I even went indoor sky diving!

Nathan: I would have to say that we are super close in real life. Not an hour goes by without all of us laughing and joking around together, onset and offset too! We all hangout outside of the show to get dinner, to watch a movie, and even to the beach!

Reece: One of the best parts of being on a show with a big ensemble cast like ours is that you have a built-in group of friends who get your crazy life! We have two classrooms on the set and it’s super fun to have some “classmates” too. We get together after our live audience shows to grab dinner and just hang out. It’s always super fun! We’re all really close and we FaceTime when we’re away from set and we have a group chat where we send memes and TikToks to each other.

Ryan: We are extremely close outside of the show. For my 15th birthday, several cast members joined me in Malibu for a couple of days. We rented a house on the ocean, stayed up late, and played video games until the early morning.

J-14: What’s your all-time favorite skit you have ever performed?

Aria: My all-time favorite sketch is “Tashleigh.” Ryan does so great in that role and it is so much fun to play that “valley girl” character.

Chinguun: My favorite all-time sketch we have filmed is “Simplicity.” It’s so much fun with Ryan. Also, Clumsy Kevin is my favorite character.

Gabrielle: There have been so many sketches on the show that I had a blast shooting, but my number one would probably be the “Coffee, Coffee, Coffee” sketch that I did with Tyga! Getting to work with him was an absolute dream come true! Tyga was so much fun to work with. At lot of what you see in the sketch was actually improvised by me and Nathan! We just decided, hey, we have a cool celebrity guest with us this week, so let’s have a little fun! My second favorite sketch would have to be the “Beyoncé and Coach Kreeton” collaboration! The contrast of the super cool Beyoncé and the very cranky accident-prone Coach Kreeton was so fun to shoot. Kel gives 200% in whatever he is doing, so it’s always so much fun getting to interact with him and bounce off of his energy while trying not to break character.

Kate: The most memorable sketch I have ever filmed would have to be “Cake Clash.” It was a really fun sketch because Chinguun made us all break character. He was so funny. In the sketch he takes off his shoe, and when he did that, his sock had a hole in it. I don’t know why we all thought that was so funny, but none of us could keep it together. And to top it off, I got to eat a bunch of gourmet cake over and over again.

Lex: My favorite would have to be “Denzel Training Day!”

Nathan: I have to say that I absolutely love every single sketch on our show. It’s really tough to have to pick a favorite, but I have to choose the “Babies Who Brunch” sketch. Where Reece and I are these boujee valley girl babies who just can’t get enough of the gossip, while Chinguun plays your favorite wacky ordinary baby. There are so many fun things that happen in the sketch, like we get to throw props, and bounce around in baby bouncers! It’s just an all-around fun sketch to film!

Reece: Oh my gosh — there have been so many fun characters! I love Vital Information because it is just such a fun kind of humor. And I really love the “Babies Who Brunch” sketches. A recent one had Nathan (Tambourine) and I discussing baby skincare (drool is key) while Chinguun (Andrew) ate dirt. It’s always a really fun time!

Ryan: My favorite sketch to film was “Trampolini’s” because of my Italian grandmother. I first learned how to do accents by listening to her, and “Trampolini’s” was my journey coming full circle.

J-14: Did you watch the original show when you were younger?

Aria: I had heard of All That but I never watched it when I was younger. I did watch the Good Burger movie, though.

Chinguun: I didn’t watch the show when I was younger but I did watch the Good Burger movie, and loved it so much.

Gabrielle: I watched reruns of the original show and immediately fell in love with it. Some of my top favorites were “Good Burger,” “Super Dude” and “Pierre Escargot!” I completely became obsessed with the Good Burger movie, it’s so iconic.

Kate: The show had just ended a few years after I was born, so I didn’t get to grow up with it. My older siblings all loved All That, it was their childhood show. So, through the years I had heard of all its greatness! Little did I know what the future held!

Lex: No. The show was not on when I was born but I have watched the spin off movie Good Burger.

Nathan: Being born in 2005, the year All That wrapped, I unfortunately did not get to grow up watching the amazing OG All That! But, for our auditions for the show, they told us it was recommended that we watch some clips and episodes of the original All That, so we did! I absolutely loved it and wished that I had a show like that when I was super young.

Reece: I had seen some of the memes and clips of sketches, but I didn’t watch it until I was in the audition process. And then I watched a bunch of episodes in a row and started to really understand some of the magic of the show. And I was like, “Please, oh please, oh please, oh please let me get to be on this amazing show!”

Ryan: I didn’t watch All That when I was growing up because I was too young. But, when I found out I was auditioning for the reboot I sat down and binge watched the show from the beginning.

J-14: Did you feel any pressure joining the reboot of such an iconic series?

Aria: I did feel a little pressure because this is my first series regular role. It was a new experience and I was like the underdog in so many ways, but the cast helped me out and got me acclimated to everything.

Chinguun: I feel a little bit of pressure just because when it was on, it was so popular. Like Chance the Rapper watches the show. I love Chance the Rapper!

Gabrielle: I absolutely feel the pressure of joining such an iconic series. I always want to make sure I represent the show in the best possible way. I make sure I put the work in, doing my research for my characters, being prepared and constantly working to be better and better at my craft. I know we have a big fan following of those that grew up on the show and our new generation of fans, I want to make sure I am using my platform to impact our viewers in a positive way! It is a big responsibility to carry the torch.

Kate: I definitely felt some pressure joining such an iconic series. We had some big shoes to fill. I think what really helped me through all that initial pressure was the original cast themselves. They were so welcoming and supportive. I look up to all of them.

Lex: Yes and No. It was a bit nerve wracking being on my first TV show with such big shoes to fill. Especially one that had already been established and loved by loyal fans all over. No because the OG’s have been there with us from the start, giving us tips and making us feel welcomed.

Nathan: Saying that we felt pressure joining the reboot of All That is a huge understatement. Collectively as a cast, we all took on this responsibility to fulfill the legacy that the original cast members painted over 25 years ago! Our goal from the start was to carry out that legacy and elevate it from iconic level — one million to iconic level — one billion!

Reece: Heck yeah! It’s one thing to attract a fan base for the reboot of the show and all the neat ways it’s relevant in today’s pop culture, but it’s a whole other thing to honor the fans of the original show and the legacy the original cast created. Honestly, it’s a really delicate balance and I think our writers and producers have done such a great job of tying the old and the new together.

Ryan: I definitely felt pressure joining the reboot, because we had such big shoes to fill.

J-14: I know OG stars Kenan and Kel are producing the show, what’s it like working with them?

Aria: I have not gotten the chance to meet Kenan yet, but Kel has come a few times. He is so nice and fun to watch. He takes work seriously but still finds times to joke with us, which is pretty easy since joking is our job.

Chinguun: Working with Kenan and Kel is amazing. They both are super cool, nice and so funny. They are all-around amazing people.

Gabrielle: Working with Kenan and Kel is a dream come true. I have learned so much from both of them, they are shining examples of extraordinary comedians and great people with kind hearts. Kenan and Kel have been the greatest coaches, mentors and the best “funcles” (fun uncle). Both Kenan and Kel welcomed us with open arms and told us to always remember the show does not make us special, we were born special.

Kate: Kenan and Kel are amazing! They are Nickelodeon royalty. I am so honored to be able to work with them. They could make a rock laugh!

Lex: They both are such great role models and they want to see us win. It’s amazing being able to work with them and learn from them.

Nathan: Words cannot describe how cool it is to be working with Kenan and Kel on All That! They are extremely funny and kind people who we all look up to. I mean this is Kenan and Kel! Whenever we are in a sketch with them its super hard to keep a straight face. Kenan and Kel constantly come up with something new every single take and it truly takes you by surprise and makes you laugh out loud.

Reece: We met Kel before we ever started shooting and he was extraordinarily encouraging to us, welcoming us to the show. We got to meet Kenan for the first time at our Today Show appearance and he couldn’t stop grinning at us — it was so awesome, and we felt like we were gonna do okay!

Ryan: Kenan and Kel are amazing and extremely supportive. They have given me numerous acting tips, and personal advice to help me navigate through the industry.

J-14: I also know Lori and Josh appear in various sketches, what is it like working with them?

Aria: They are all so sweet. They were once in our shoes, so they help us out a lot. I’ve been in sketches with both of them and they just radiate great energy overall.

Chinguun: Working with Lori and Josh is so cool. When I was watching All That I loved loud librarian and ear boy. I think those are super-duper funny.

Gabrielle: Loud Librarian was also one of my favorites and one of the characters that I was drawn to. I was so excited to actually work with Lori and be in the same sketch was unbelievable. Lori and Josh were great helping us all get settled in the show, giving advice when we need, they really are like a big brother and sister to the cast.

Kate: Lori and Josh are also amazing! They give the best advice and always make me crack up on set.

Lex: It’s cool to see how the OG’s bring their particular style of funny. Each castmate (old and new) have had different backgrounds and trainings which I believe adds layers of skill to the show.

Nathan: Let’s just say it’s hard to keep a straight face whenever we’re around Lori and Josh. Whenever Lori whips out her Loud Librarian character I just lose it, and whenever Josh does his classic Detective Dan character I truly roll on the floor laughing. Even off-set I have some great laughs with them too! The original cast has been so extremely welcoming and amazingly nice to hang with at crafty, and work with on set!

Reece: Any time any of the legacy cast are on set, it is this crazy feeling of wanting them to be proud of us and then them loving us and encouraging us. Sketch is such a specific kind of comedy and being able to watch Lori and Josh just go for it and be so brave about their choices is amazing.

Ryan: Lori and Josh are insanely talented, and incredibly funny. They have been helpful, kind, and it’s been a pleasure working with the both of them.

More from J-14:

‘All That’ Cast Members Kate Godfrey & Aria Brooks Spill On Set Secrets

Get ready, people, because Nickelodeon‘s All That is almost back! The latest episode is set to premiere on Saturday, January 18 and, according to the cast, it’s filled with hilarious new sketches.

J-14 got a chance to sit down with Kate Godfrey and Aria Brooks from the show (which also stars Ryan Alessi, Reece Caddell, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, Nathan Janak, Lex Lumpkin and Chinguun Sergelen) exclusively about the show and they spilled a lot of on set secrets! They also opened up about their audition process and experience being a part of the iconic series’ reboot.

J-14: What was the audition process like for ‘All That?’ How did you land the role?

Kate Godfrey: The audition process was pretty long. I auditioned seven times, I believe. I know some of my other cast members auditioned eight or nine times. The first one I did two characters — grandma and a sports lady — and then they kept calling me back and calling me back, it was super fun and obviously nerve wracking because you don’t know what’s going to happen. Then my final audition was called “The Test” and that was pretty nerve wracking too, just because it’s called a “test” and I did that audition.

Aria Brooks: I only had three auditions. When I first got it, I had to do a self-tape and I came up with sketches. I had to come up with three or four sketch characters and I had to prepare a scene. For my callback, I had to do the same thing. So, I did my characters for them that I came up with myself and the same thing for “The Test.” The auditions were pretty consistent, I did the same thing for each of them. That did make it a lot easier because it got better every time.

J-14: What does it feel like knowing people have been loving the reboot so much?

Kate: I just love to act, it’s like my sport. So the fact that people watch it and tune in every Saturday is really special to me.

Aria: It feels really good. I’m really glad that I got to join [the cast] and be a part of these next episodes. It’s crazy because my parents and my family members watched All That growing up, so now I get to be a part of it. It’s just an honor, I’m really excited.

J-14: Do you feel any pressure starring in a reboot of such an iconic show?

Kate: We definitely had some big shoes to fill because it’s just so loved and iconic. The original cast members were so welcoming, and kind. They were so helpful, it made it a lot easier.

Aria: Not a whole lot of pressure. I don’t even think that it’s the fact that it’s a reboot, although that is kind of hard because I want people from the old audience and the new audience. I want everyone to like the show. I think a lot of the pressure just comes from just knowing I’m the youngest one, the shortest one, I’m completely different from everyone else and I’m coming in with not as much training.

J-14: What has been your favorite sketch?

Kate: It’s really hard to pick my favorite sketch because they’re all very fun to do, but I really like “Marie Kiddo” because I get to smash and actually break things which is really fun. I like doing “Brie Back From The Dentist” because she’s super messy and I get to get covered in pudding. I get to do very messy things. It’s fun, especially when other people clean you up.

Aria: My all-time favorite sketch is the “Babies Who_____.” It’s different every time. That’s one of my favorite sketches and it just gets better and better every time.

J-14: Have you ever had any sketch ideas of your own that they used in the show?

Kate: The first ever meeting we did with the writers, we told them a few sketch ideas we had and then a few characters that we already developed. For my audition I did a grandma and then they put that in a music video. For our first cast and group meeting we did a music video and I played my grandma that I did in the audition.

Aria: Since we do have more weeks to come there are some characters that will be used a little later on, but one of my characters that I used in my audition did get to go into a sketch and I was really excited about that one. I’m really excited for people to see it.

J-14: Can you spill any behind-the-scene secrets or stories from the All That set?

Kate: One secret that’s not really portrayed in the show is that Nathan [Janak] carries an orange. Nobody really knows why, but in the ‘90s Josh Server used to carry an apple during the musical guest performances, so in the reboot, Nathan carries an orange.

Aria: These little 30 second to one-and-half minute sketches take all day to film. There’s so many moving parts, so they take all day for one sketch. They turn out really well because all the time we put into it. It’s worth it. They produce something really great. That’s one secret that you may not know, that it takes us five hours for one sketch, it’s crazy.

J-14: Are you close to your cast mates when the cameras stop rolling?

Kate: We’re so close, we never stop hanging out with each other. We just went on break for New Year’s and we were literally facetiming every day, we’re always texting. We’re all pretty much best friends.

Aria: We’re all really close friends and we all spent time with each other outside of the show and outside of rehearsals as well. [I loved] getting to know everyone and knowing how different everyone is and how diverse we all are.

J-14: What’s your favorite memory from working on the show?

Kate: When we were first announced as a cast and we were on the TODAY Show. It was fun to be with all my new friends and doing something so momentous in my life.

Aria: One time I went over to [Reece Caddell’s] house. When I first got [on set] I was getting to know everyone so they invited me over to their house. We had dinner together and they had some of the best lasagna that I think I’ve ever had in my life.

J-14: You’ve worked with a few of the original All That stars. What was that like?

Kate: It’s so cool because throughout the audition process we had to watch All That sketches. By the time I got the job I knew every single sketch, I basically had them all memorized and so just to see them, they’re iconic. Kel [Mitchell], Lori Beth [Denberg], Kenan Thompson and Josh Server, they’re really nice and very talented people.

Aria: It was like a mixture of different emotions. First it was crazy because even though I didn’t watch All That when I was younger, I knew some of their other projects. To be there with them was crazy. Meeting Kel, Lori Beth, Josh Server, everyone’s been so nice.

J-14: If you could work with any one of the original ‘All That’ cast members that you haven’t yet, who would it be?

Kate: I hope that Amanda Bynes comes back because I loved watching her in all her sketches. That would be the top of my list.

Aria: It would probably have to be Kenan Thompson because everyone’s met him, and I really want to meet him. He’s actually from my home city and we went to the same ensemble. So, I really want to meet him and get to know him like everyone else did.

J-14: Are there any guest stars or musical guests you really want to be on the show?

Kate: I really like Taylor Swift, so I think Taylor or Ariana [Grande]. That would be very cool.

Aria: I would definitely want Zendaya to come and be a musical guest because she’s my favorite singer. Also, Melanie Martinez because I listen to her all the time and I love her music. It I was in a sketch with Melanie Martinez I would freak out, definitely, I would really want them to be in a sketch with me. That would be awesome.


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