When Nickelodeon first launched in 1977, it seemed like little more than a child's answer to Saturday Night Live and MTV. In fact, it wasn't until Nickelodeon debuted the Canadian sketch series You Can't Do That on Television in the U.S. that this nascent network began to gain real traction amongst fans of all ages. Before too long, the basic cable channel became quite popular, especially with the launch of it's Nick At Nite line-up featuring such "classic" shows as ALF, The Facts of Life, Growing Pains and many others throughout the years. Viewership certainly proceeded to explode, turning it into one of today's favorite hubs for nostalgia of all kinds.
Nickelodeon had officially arrived in the 1990s, taking its signature brand to the big screen with Nickelodeon Movies in 1995. It wasn't until 1997, though, that this film division made its most iconic and beloved movie of all time: Good Burger.
Based on a sketch of the same name from the comedy series All That, this lighthearted adventure was directed by television veteran and Head of the Class star Brian Robbins. It followed Ed (Kel Mitchell) and Dexter (Kenan Thompson), two lovable if not moronic teenagers forced to save their favorite fast food joint, and place of employment, Good Burger, which is being threatened by a new burger empire opening directly across the street.
Made for less than $9 million dollars, Good Burger grilled up nearly $24 million when it was released in the U.S. on July 25, 1997. Eventually it would hit cable and home video, and with Nickelodeon able to keep it playing through its television arm, this film would go on to attain a cult-like status amongst today's adults who remember the movie fondly.
Which brings us to today...
We at MovieWeb are nothing if not nostalgic ourselves. We love knowing what happened to the actors and actresses that make up the films we all love. So sit back and get ready to find out more about the exploits behind the cast of Good Burger as they were then and now!
As a young actor, Kenan Thompson began his career as an entertainment reporter on Real News For Kids. Shortly after that, he came to Nickelodeon where he did the show All That as well as Kenan and Kel. Thompson made his big screen debut in D2: The Mighty Ducks before going on to do Good Burger. After that, he was able to parlay his talents into the lead role of Fat Albert, taking on the iconic Saturday morning cartoon character made famous by Bill Cosby. He then went on to appear in yet another cult sensation, Snakes on a Plane. He would continue to dip in and out of the television realm with roles on Crank Yankers and Psych. Eventually, he become a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live, with DeAndre Cole becoming one of his most revered creations. He continues to appear on SNL, where he has held down an impressive 11 year run, and is now the senior cast member. More recently, Thompson voiced the character of Greedy Smurf in both of The Smurfs Movies.
After getting his start on the Nickelodeon show All That, Kel Johari Rice Mitchell eventually turned his work on the TV show Kenan and Kel (playing a version of himself with co-star Kenan Thompson) into the movie Good Burger. After Good Burger, Mitchell was able to parlay that success into the character of Invisible Boy in Mystery Men starring Ben Stiller. From there Mitchell had a role in The Adventures of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. He continued to work in television on such shows as The Parkers and One on One. Mitchell would later return to the big screen in John Sayles' critically acclaimed, Honeydripper. More recently he did the animated show Motorcity in which evil billionaire Abraham Kane (voiced by Mark Hamill) has essentially taken over Detroit. He also has a couple of independent projects lined up.
Before getting her big break as Heather in Good Burger, Linda Cardellini was on such shows as 3rd Rock from the Sun and Pacific Palisades. She continued to work in television, later appearing on both Clueless and Step by Step. In 2001, she would be cast in Legally Blonde, which led Cardellini to inhabited the iconic role of Velma in the Scooby Doo movies. Also showing quite a dynamic range, she would also take on roles in Brokeback Mountain and the gamer comedy Grandma's Boy. Eventually, this would land her on one of the most ground breaking sketch comedy shows in the history of television, Cartoon Network's Robot Chicken. More recently she has played the character of Sylvia Rosen on the critically acclaimed and audience loved, Mad Men. She also had a stint on the popular NBC drama ER. Despite all that outstanding work, though, Linda Cardellini will probably be remembered most for her portrayal of teenager Lindsay Weir on the cult hit TV series Freaks and Geeks, created by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow.
4 Lori Beth Denberg
The role of Connie Muldoon in Good Burger was Lori Beth Denberg's first film role. Before that, she was also an alum of Nicklodeon's All That. After that film, she mainly stayed in the world of television, where she did a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle. Later going by the name LB Denberg, she went back to the big screen for the cult comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Most recently, she played as herself on the hit show Workaholics.
Before tackling the role of Mr. Wheat in Good Burger, Sinbad (aka David Adkins) had already held down a storied career in Hollywood, appearing on The Redd Foxx Show, The Cosby Show, and A Different World, just to name a few. One of his first big screen roles came as Otto in the Coneheads, created by and starring Dan Aykroyd. Eventually, Sinbad got his own short-lived sitcom called simply, The Sinbad Show. He would then go on to appear in Houseguest with the late Phil Hartman and Jingle All the Way with Arnold Schwarzenegger, before landing on the set of Good Burger. After this cinematic experience found the comedian new and younger fans, Sinbad would team up again with Bill Cosby for his show Cosby. He most recently voiced the character Roper in the animated aerial flick, Disney's Planes.
6 Dan Schneider
A product of such iconic 80s films as Making the Grade and Better Off Dead (as momma's boy Ricky Smith no less), Dan Schneider closed out that decade with The Big Picture, a send up of the film industry starring Kevin Bacon. He would create the memorable character of Dennis Blunden on Head of the Class before appearing as Mr. Baily in Good Burger. Schneider didn't just act in this film, he also served as co-producer with Director Brian Robbins (also from Head of the Class). Mainly staying in the world of TV, SSchneider would then go on to produce and act in most of the projects he worked on. Some of the shows were Zoey 101, Victorious and iCarly. He is currently serving as an executive producer on Sam & Cat.
7 Shar Jackson
Shar Jackson came to the set of Good Burger with a very solid pedigree. A veteran of such TV shows as Roc and My So-Called Life, she was 21 when she was cast as the character of Monique in Good Burger. Like Linda Cardellini, after Good Burger, she would do a turn on the Clueless TV show, before playing Felicia in the acclaimed film Love & Basketball. Shar Jackson would then go on to work on the popular series Moesha and Everybody Hates Chris. More recently, she was seen in the film One Blood with Anthony "Treach" Criss.
The role of Spatch in Good Burger was Ron Lester's first film. After this, he went on to play the role of Billy Bob in Varsity Blues. Lester would then lend his talents to the beloved TV show Freaks and Geeks playing the character of Seidleman. Lester didn't stop there. He would further cement his rising status as Michael 'Sugar Daddy' Bernardino in the cult series Popular. After that, he would do such films as Not Another Teen Movie and The Karate Dog. Most recently he acted and produced the film The Fat Boy Chronicles, having lost a great deal of weight since first appearing in Good Burger.
Did you like this? What other then and now casts would you like us to train our word processors and web browsers on next? Let us know what you think!