Back in the ‘90s, funnyman Kenan Thompson (now of SNL fame) got his big break on Nickelodeon sketch comedy series All That alongside actor Kel Mitchell. Together, the duo delighted viewers with their antics on a recurring skit about a fictional restaurant called “Good Burger,” where they worked diligently—and hilariously—to save the fast-food chain from shuttering.
In 1997, the popular skit was made into feature-length film Good Burger and propelled Thompson and Mitchell—then starring in their own spinoff, Kenan & Kel—to the big screen, gaining many new fans (and nearly $24 million in box office sales) along the way.
This month, Thompson and Mitchell announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that Good Burger 2 is officially greenlit for production. The sequel to the cult classic will welcome back Thompson and Mitchell to reprise their roles of Dexter Reed and Ed, respectively.
In the sequel, Ed gives Dex his old job at Good Burger after a failed invention puts him in a precarious situation. As a callback to the original plot, the fate of Good Burger becomes tangled in the crosshairs of Dex’s attempts to get back on his feet.
“I can’t believe it’s been a little over 25 years since great customer service was born at Good Burger,” Thompson said in a statement.
“Being a part of something so many generations of people have come to love has made me so proud and now to be back where it all began working on the sequel is surreal,” he said. “[I] love performing with my brother Kel and can’t wait to show the fans what these characters have been up to since we last saw them.”
Will Good Burger go vegan?
Produced by Nickelodeon & Awesomeness Live-Action, the Good Burger sequel promises many nostalgic ties to the original. “Good Burger is such a beloved movie that fans have cherished for years,” Said Shauna Phelan and Zack Olin, Co-Heads of Nickelodeon & Awesomeness Live-Action said in a statement.
“Packed with comedy, cameos, and plenty of Easter eggs from the original, Good Burger 2 will bring the nostalgia fans and a new generation of viewers together for another wild, hilarious Good Burger adventure,” they said.
Since filming for the sequel will begin in May, Lauren Thomasson—Associate Director for Animals in Film and Television for animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)—thought it might be an opportune time to ask Thompson and Mitchell to modernize the concept by turning Good Burger vegan.
“‘Welcome to Good Burger, home of the vegan burger—can I take your order?’ That’s what we at PETA have in mind for Good Burger 2,” Thomasson writes.
“Some things (like beef patties) are better left in the ‘90s, and if Good Burger has any hope of surviving new competition in 2023, its menu will abundantly feature animal-free offerings, including meat-free burgers, dairy-free shakes, and, of course, a special secret vegan sauce,” she writes.
Fake chains embrace real vegan burgers
Since Good Burger’s 1997 release, a lot has changed in the world of fast food. Vegan fast-food chains such as Slutty Vegan (a favorite of Shaquille O’Neal, who made a cameo in the original Good Burger); Monty’s Good Burger (a celeb hot spot); Hart House (owned by Kevin Hart); and many more have spread across the country.
Traditional fast-food players such as Burger King, Carl’s Jr., and White Castle have gotten into plant-based burgers, too.
Thomasson points out that promoting Good Burger 2 as a vegan fast-food concept has more relevance in the modern era and can help to promote a compassionate message.
“Given that the meat and dairy industries are causing the senseless suffering of billions of animals, destroying the planet, and wreaking havoc on human health, would you, Kenan and Kel, please use your influence to ensure that the sequel promotes kindness and sustainability with an all-vegan restaurant in the film?” Thomasson writes.
And should Good Burger go vegan, it won’t be the first fictional chain to do so. In 2020, famed director Kevin Smith brought Mooby’s—a fictional fast-food chain that first gained notoriety in his 1999 film Dogma—to life through a series of pop-ups in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New Jersey.
The menu here was carefully crafted to include vegan options such as a Cowtipper Burger made with Beyond Meat. The reason behind Smith’s move to include vegan options was personal. Back in 2018, Smith revealed he went vegan after surviving a widow-maker heart attack that served as a wake up call about his diet.
PETA is offering to work with the production team behind Good Burger 2—slated for release later this year on Paramount+— to help make this vegan vision a reality.