Amanda was born on April 3, 1986, in Thousand Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles, the youngest of three children of Rick Bynes, a dentist, and Lynn, his office manager wife. Amanda caught the acting bug from her dad when he took a stand-up comedy class at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. Though the acting thing didn't work out for her dad, it inspired him to enroll a then-7-year-old Amanda in kids' comedy camp. She landed her first commercial (for Nestlé's Buncha Crunch) that same year.
Two years later, in 1996, Amanda took a second comedy class at the Laugh Factory, where producers from Nickelodeon's sketch-comedy series "All That" spotted her. Amanda went on to star in three seasons of the show, until the network launched her spin-off sketch-comedy series, "The Amanda Show," on Oct. 16, 1999. "The Amanda Show" ran for three seasons until 2002, earning bragging rights as the most popular show in its time slot for 6- to 11-year-olds, and scoring three consecutive Favorite TV Actress wins for Amanda at the Kids' Choice Awards. "She's a little Carol Burnett," said Albie Hecht, Nickelodeon's president of film and television.