All That, which debuted on Nickelodeon in 1994, was the pinnacle of sketch comedy for kids, but not since the show went off the air in 2005 have kids been able to see themselves on screen in sketch comedy roles.
Kids’ media brand pocket.watch is hoping to change all that with a new live-action sketch comedy show called Skoogle, which Kenan Thompson is executive producing and created. The show is still in production and pocket.watch hopes to find a television distributor like Disney or Nickelodeon for a 2018 premiere.
“There’s no endemic brand for the touch-and-click generation,” chief content officer Albie Hecht told Adweek. “Millennials have BuzzFeed and Vice, and we feel we can be that brand for kids,” said Hecht, who is a former Nickelodeon and HLN executive who founded Spike TV.
Hecht worked with Thompson back on All That and has seen his career trajectory grow throughout the years as the show launched the careers of Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon and Thompson.
“Kenan is the platinum standard for sketch comedy,” said Hecht. “He’s the longest running SNL cast member and has been in the most sketches, and you can tell writers can turn to him if they feel their sketch is in trouble.”
Skoogle will satirize the app-obsessed world we now live in. The premise of the show is based on kid entrepreneurs who call on their voice-assistant Skoogle when they need help; Skoogle, voiced by Thompson, will do its best to help, but its misguided attempts will fuel sketch ideas.
“I’m excited to once again team up with Albie Hecht and work alongside his great new team at pocket.watch to bring Skoogle to life,” said Thompson in a statement. “Having been a part of sketch-comedy shows throughout my career, I’m thrilled to be able to introduce the show format that I love to an entirely new generation of kids.”
Like Saturday Night Live, Skoogle will feature recurring characters, cameo appearances from celebrities, and musical guests. This is the first major series for pocket.watch, which creates, acquires, distributes and curates entertainment for kids aged 2-11. The media brand’s executive team includes Hecht, Jon Moonves and David Williams.
“The format of so many shows today make for great viral marketing moments,” said Hecht, referencing James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segments or the packaged clips from SNL. “There’s a blank space in the young generations and a hip format waiting to hit the ground running. Sketch comedy shows are development labs for future projects.”