Kenan Thompson defends Good Burger sequels after Nickelodeon scandal: ‘It’s about us, not who had the idea years ago’

Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson has defended his decision to continue making Good Burger movies after the original film’s writer Dan Schneider was accused of creating a toxic workplace and sexual misconduct at Nickelodeon.

Good Burger started as a sketch on the Nickelodeon comedy series All That before being adapted into a 1997 movie written by Schneider along with Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert.

A sequel, Good Burger 2, was released in 2023. Schneider was not involved in the film but was credited as having created the characters.

Thompson, who stars as fry cook Dexter Reed alongside Kel Mitchell as Ed, told Variety that he would have no problem continuing the franchise.

He pointed out that several different writers are responsible for the characters, not just Schneider. “Those guys know the cadence of those characters just as well, without having tarnished careers,” said Thompson. “It’s about us, as opposed to who had the first idea years ago.”

He added: “It’s just sad that that has to be our conversation… The separation of the artist and the man conversation didn’t come into my life at all until recently. There was no need to do that.

‘Saturday Night Live’ star Kenan Thompson got his break on ‘Nickelodeon’ (Getty Images)
‘Saturday Night Live’ star Kenan Thompson got his break on ‘Nickelodeon’ (Getty Images)

“A guy was a pig, and we knew he was a pig, but it wasn’t like the deviousness since, like, [Bill] Cosby and [Harvey] Weinstein. All that s**t is just way out of bounds. If people were like that, it’s coming to the light, and that’s great.

“That whole thing has just been such a burden for recent times — the conversation of, ‘Do we still listen to Michael [Jackson]?’ ‘Do we still listen to R Kelly?’ What do we do with ‘The Cosby Show’? I think we’re all still figuring it out and navigating. Because the trauma is real, the victims are very real. I don’t want to gloss over that. We also don’t want to just throw really solid, creative things in the trash either.”

In April, Investigation Discovery released the four-part docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which included testimonies from former Nickelodeon child stars who pulled back the curtain to reveal a toxic underbelly of abuse, harassment, racism, and sexism on the sets of shows led by Schneider.

The biggest bombshell to come out of the documentary was from Drake & Josh alum Drake Bell, who spoke out for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of actor and since-convicted sex offender Brian Peck.

Schneider has since released an apology video, saying that watching the documentary was “very difficult” as he faced his “past behaviors – some of which are embarrassing and that I regret.”

However, the writer and producer has also filed a defamation lawsuit against the show’s producers, accusing them of misleading viewers into thinking he was a child predator to increase ratings.