On their own paths. Kel Mitchell couldn’t be happier about teaming up with Kenan Thompson again — but the duo have been through some highs and lows.
Mitchell, 44, gushed over his longtime bond with the Saturday Night Live star, also 44, while speaking exclusively to Us Weekly at 90s Con in Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday, March 18. “It’s a brotherhood. It’s really a brotherhood,” the Chicago native said. “We were praying together right before we went out to go see [Jimmy] Fallon and [had] a bunch of hugs and laughed all day. You know what I mean? That’s my bro so this is fun to us.”
The dynamic duo worked together on All That and Kenan & Kel throughout the late ’90s. They announced the highly anticipated followup to 1997’s Good Burger on the Friday, March 17, episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “It’s unbelievable, it’s a blessing,” Thompson said at the time. “We’re gonna shoot it this summer and it will be out soon.”
Mitchell headed to 90s Con the next day — and the Heavyweights actor joined him for a surprise appearance during the All That panel. When asked how it feels to be revisiting Good Burger more than 20 years later, Mitchell told Us, “It’s surreal and we were emotional the whole time talking about it.”
Since the success of the ’90s comedy, Mitchell and his BFF went on to have relatively different careers. Thompson has been part of the SNL cast since 2003, becoming the longest-tenured star in the show’s history and earning an Emmy Award in 2018. Mitchell, meanwhile, last appeared on the big screen in 2013 and has had a handful of minor TV roles.
The Dancing With the Stars alum got candid about facing ups and downs with Thompson over the years as their lives took their turns. “You have to think about it, when you’re adulting within the limelight and you are just trying to find yourself within this business … we just went different ways,” Mitchell told Us. “But I think that happens with everybody.”
He explained: “[It’s like] when you’re in high school and your friends went to different colleges, but then you stayed in contact and now you’re experiencing life as adults now. It’s just such an awesome thing. And to still be friends after that entire journey is awesome.”
Before revisiting their All That days at the fan convention, Mitchell and Thompson reunited on a December 2022 episode of SNL to do a sketch with host and fellow Nickelodeon alum Keke Palmer. However, there was a time when joining forces with Thompson felt like a far-fetched idea to the Motorcity alum.
“I respect his choice of wanting to make a name for himself solo. … I’m not declining a reunion,” Mitchell told TMZ in 2012, noting that there was “no bad blood” on his end. “I know the fans love [Kenan & Kel] and would love to see some type of appearance with us … I just don’t see that ever happening because of how he really feels.”
Despite their challenges, the twosome are ready to come back stronger than ever. Mitchell has thrown himself into preparing for Good Burger 2 — and is getting himself into tip-top shape.
“[I’m] working out! I worked out this morning,” he told Us on Saturday. “I want to make sure I still look the same [as in the original movie]. … I do a lot of calisthenics. I do a lot of HIIT workouts, high intensity workouts. … I do 45 minutes in the morning, and then throughout the day, I do micro-workouts.”
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Apart from his low-impact training — which he does “five times a day” — Mitchell is getting ready to bring the laughs. “Me and Kenan are making sure that [the sequel’s] super, super funny. We’ve known about it for a long time,” he teased. “That has been very hard [to keep secret], but we are super excited that everybody knows now and it’s out.”