One of my favorite shows when I was growing up was Kenan and Kel. It was just on at the right time for me to understand the jokes and appreciate the story lines. I don’t know why I felt like I could relate to two 15 year old black boys, but I felt a strong connection to them.
Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell weren’t new actors to me. They both starred on Nickelodeon’s sketch show, All That, in the 90’s and clearly had moved on to bigger and better things. Now Kenan is on Saturday Night Live and Kel is…dead?
The theme song was rapped by Coolio which I always thought was coolio. In his rap, he compares the show to a Nancy Drew mystery and The Hardy Boys. He also compares the boys to Siegfried and Roy, Abbott and Costello, Pen and Teller, and Magic (Johnson) and Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar). He was basically just naming famous duos. It was unique and catchy. And had a lot of references that went over my head.
The show concentrated on Kenan’s life more so than Kel’s. The audience knew the members of Kenan’s family, the lay out of his house, where he worked, and his boss, but Kel was somewhat of a mystery. He would usually be hanging around Kenan’s house or at Kenan’s work which makes me think that he was homeless and jobless and loveless.
Kenan spent most of his time not working and trying to figure out ways to get rich quick. One of the best episodes was when Kenan opened a can of tuna fish and Kel was doing something that caused him to accidentally drop a screw into the can of tuna. Kenan started to eat it, noticed the screw, and decided to sue the company. Kel didn’t admit to what he did until he was in court. His conscience got to him and he had a full break down where he just repeated, “I DROPPED THE SCREW IN THE TUNA.” Comedic gold, really.
Kel was a sweet and dimwitted sidekick to all of Kenan’s schemes. During the intro and outro to the show, they would both stand in front of a live audience and do a little skit where Kenan “got an idea” and Kel would say “Aww here it goes!” In almost every episode, Kel would also confess his love to orange soda, which I could totally relate to. He would talk to himself in third person saying, “Who loves orange soda? Kel loves orange soda. Is it true? Mmmhhmm. I do I do I do I do-oo.” I hope I’ve made it obvious that Kel was the best character on the show.
The show takes place in Rockford Illinois I believe. Wikipedia says Chicago, but I’m almost positive it’s Rockford. Kenan’s dad, Roger, works at O’Hare and can’t stand Kel. Mostly because Kel makes fun of Roger’s baldness, and encourages Kenan’s bad behavior. Roger usually ends up yelling at Kenan and Kel which always made me think that black parents were scary.
Kenan’s mom was kind of boring because she always liked to resolve problems by talking about them.
Kyra is Kenan’s sister who was in love with Kel. She would usually tell on Kenan,unless Kel convinced her to help them. Her huge crush maked Kel super uncomfortable to the point where he would back away if Kyra is near. I have to agree with Kyra that Kel was very cute. Unfortunately Kenan was not. Not that she would have a crush on her own brother or anything. Kenan would’ve been cuter if he didn’t like food so much. And if they all hung out together they could call themselves the KKK. Or maybe not.
Chris is the owner and manager of the grocery store, Rigby’s, where Kenan worked. It’s actually more like a convenience store because it’s so small. Kind of like a 7-11 but with more fresh fruit. Chris lives with his mom and has absolutely no life. He’s super lame, not married, and he’ll probably die alone. It’s actually pretty depressing when you think about Chris’s character.
Kenan and Kel were actually a great duo and played off each other perfectly. They knew how to make kids laugh and they weren’t afraid to be stupid. However, they both starred in the movie Good Burger. Everyone makes mistakes.