Nickelodeon Movies has wrapped principal photography in Los Angeles on its second feature film, Good Burger. The live-action comedy, which centers on two enterprising buddies who turn a failing, no-frills burger joint into one of the hottest fast-food spots in town, despite the intervention of their multimillion-dollar rival, Megaburger, is a spin-off of a popular sketch from Nick’s top-rated All That TV series.
Eighteen-year-old Kel Mitchell reprises Ed the Good Burger Guy, a character he developed in an All That sketch, and Kenan Thompson plays his sidekick, Dexter. The duo also star in the Nick series Kenan and Kel, which enters its second season this fall. Good Burger is directed by All That co-creator Brian Robbins, formerly a child actor himself on the sitcom Head of the Class. Like Nick Movies’ first feature, Harriet the Spy, the film was developed in association with Viacom sister company Paramount Pictures.
Robbins’ directorial approach to the film was much more physical than the joke-by-joke technique employed on All That. ‘The challenge we faced was to make the film much more active than a TV sketch,’ says Robbins. ‘The film deals more with storytelling through visuals rather than just words.’ And physical comedy and sight gags play a large part of that. (Ed the Good Burger Guy’s burger mobile features French fry-shaped windshield wipers and bumpers and pickles for hubcaps.)
Robbins says the storyline has universal relevance to kids today. ‘It reflects the decline of the mom and pop shops the mom and pop bookstore, mom and pop record stores.’ This thematic resonance lends the film a slightly different brand of humor than the series that spawned it, according to Robbins. ‘In All That, it’s fast, no-stop comedy. . . . In film, you still want to be really funny, but you’ve got to do it with story.’