Kel Mitchell is an actor, comedian, dancer, musician.
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I appreciate all the love over the years. And this is a chance for us to get to know each other.
Victoria's helping me out over the phone. I'm in L.A.
Update: Thank you for all the awesome questions! I had a lot of fun. I've been asked to be on reddit for some while now, and I had an awesome time. It was really a lot of fun. And also, too, yeah, for all my Christians out there, check me out on VEGGIE TALES - I joined the cast! I play Mr. Pea, Little Pea, and Cornboy. So I'm really excited about that, because VT is awesome and I love animation as well, cuz I'm on CLIFFORD, I like doing the voice on that as well ( I play the voice of Little T-Bone)!
And I'll DEFINITELY, definitely, definitely come back. I'll be back soon. And God bless.
Who loves orange soda?
Kel loves orange soda! I do, I do, I do, I do!
Kel, I have a joke for you:
What did the stars of Good Burger call their vegan cooking show?
Quinoa and Kale!
Edit: I've tried this joke out on all of my friends old enough to get it, but it's only so far been met with confusion and audible groans. I'm super stoked at the prospect that it made one of the people it's about chuckle!
That's funny. That's funny.
I might have to use that. That's funny.
Growing up in the 90s, All That was my SNL. You, Keenan, Josh, Lori, and the rest of the gang made my childhood. Do you still keep in contact with the cast? What were some of the difficulties of being a child/teenage actor?
YES! I do!
Yeah, I do keep in touch with the cast. We had a reunion sorta recently, about 2 years ago, at Comikaze, it's like a Comic-Con type expo, Stan Lee's actual comic book convention, it's very cool. So they had us all come back and do a big reunion. And we all keep in touch on Facebook, and Twitter, and we'll see each other out sometimes cuz we all live in LA!
Are you and Kenan still friends?
Yeah! Yeah, I mean, the friendship hasn't stopped. We haven't seen each other in a long time, it's just been awhile. I'm happy for him with SNL and everything, there's no beef. I just think that everybody saw us together so much, and now that we're doing our own thing, they want to create some beef, but there's really not that.
I wish I had this problem, Kel
I know, right? That's funny.
Someone asked me when I did a show at Sacramento State 2 weeks ago- I was doing standup- and at the Q&A, they were saying they wanted to see a GOOD BURGER 2, and they asked if I would like it if were done by Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig?
Yeah! And I said HECK YEAH! If Melissa & Kristen played us, I think that would be like the funniest thing ever! Because they're doing GHOSTBUSTERS with girls - why not?!
Why is Mystery Men the greatest film of all time?
BECAUSE, MAN, it had BEN STILLER, HANK AZARIA, WILLIAM H. MACY, JANEANE GAROFALO... Dane Cook was in it, hahaha! It was a classic film, and I am so happy to be a part of it, it was a dream come true for me, to be around all those amazing comedians. It was awesome. It was awesome.
What's an interesting little-known fact about yourself?
Ummmm...hahaha, interesting fact? I love olives.
Which is pretty crazy.
Just as much as I love orange soda. It's pretty nuts. Like I could just sit here, and eat olives all day.
And I like K-pop music. Yeah! HAHAHAHA!
K-pop, I don't know what they're saying but I like the music.
Oddest request from fans in person?
Yeah, I've had someone - this girl, trying to remember where I was, i think I was in Canada someplace - and she wanted me to slap her butt. And I was like WHY? and she was like, You just need to slap my butt, I'm fine. And I was like That's weird. HAHAHAHAA!
I didn't slap her butt, just because there was a lot of cameras and stuff, and it was in the middle of the Nickelodeon stuff, so I gave her an autograph. But her first request got denied.
I'm a dude, he's a dude, she's a dude cause we're all dudes yeah!
What was your inspiration for Ed?!
So here's a fun fact:
Okay, so, the first time Ed was ever seen on Nickelodeon was in the pilot episode, and there was a sketch called "Dream Remote." Yup! And it's kinda like the movie CLICK with Adam Sandler, where he could forward time, stop it, do all kinds of stuff with this remote. So he ordered a pizza and he wanted to it to get there really fast, and the guy that delivered the pizza was Ed, but he had no braids or anything like that. And I just - they didn't have a voice for him, it was just "pizza guy", so I was like "Heeellyooo, here's yer pizza!" in the Ed Voice, and the writers loved it so much, that the next thing I knew GOOD BURGER was born, and I felt like he needed HAIR.
SO I went to the wardrobe room, and the hair room, and I saw these, like, Brandy, Milli-Vanilli braids? AHAHAHA! And I threw that on!
And Ed was born, hahaha!
And the rest is history.
That's good to hear. This makes me happy. Have you guys thought about doing a reunion show? I'd watch the hell out of that.
Um, yeah, you know we did a 10 year reunion? And then we did the 20 year reunion last year? But we didn't do a televised event, it was more a lot of magazines got into it, we did a lot of interviews. But yea, it would be cool to do another reunion, it would be awesome.
I think that movie is the most realistic depiction of what a world with Super Heroes would be like. Some are brand-name celebrities with sponsorship deals, some are just... dudes with a shovel. Some just need to believe in themselves to become the ultimate cat-burglars.
I love it. I love it.
Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger. Can i take your order?
any projects you are working on? can we expect to see you on tv or in a movie?
Yes! Yes, yes, you can!
I got a lot of stuff going on. I will be - this is on the low, I can't say too much - but I will be returning to Nickelodeon!
That's all I can say. Yeah, that's all I can say.
And FRIENDS OF THE PEOPLE - I've been guest-starring on this sketch show on TruTV, it's a really really funny show.
I'm just curious, when something breaks around your house and you need to fix it do you jump into the room and yell, "REPAIRMAN-MAN-MAN-MAN!!"?
HA HA HA HAH AH A!
Oh everybody else does. All my family members. They do. It's hilarious.
Hi Kel, thank you so much for doing this AMA, big fan here! Thank you so much for all of the hilarity you brought your fans through your work over the years. Growing up in the 90’s wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for all the great entertainment you brought .I loved watching you on All That and Kenan & Kel. You really knew how to bring your characters to life and you just always knew how to get the audience going! Just a couple questions to ask:
1) What was the process for getting on All That like, and who was your favorite character to play on the show? (please say repairman-man-man-man-man-man)
2) Do you enjoy orange soda as much as Kel Kimball?
3) Was any of your content on All That or Kenan & Kel improvised? I felt that no one else could have pulled off the “I PUT THE SCREW IN THE TUNA!” scene, you were just perfect and every time I watch it I die of laughter
4) Best memory from your work in the 90’s?
Anyways, thank you so much for all you have contributed, I am looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future!
1.) Hahahaha! Oh wow, that's a funny story, okay, get ready.
It was: I was in, what was I? I was a sophomore, in high school. I remember I had finals that week, uh-huh, and I also had my audition at the end of the school day. And usually my mom would take me, cuz she was my manager at the time, to the auditions, but my dad had to take me cuz my mom was busy with my younger sister. So my dad took me, and we got lost, and it was HILARIOUS. So we got there late. And so, uh, when I got there, they were kinda packing up, haha! So they let me come in, I did my monologue, but because I had finals I went blank and forgot my monologue, and then they were like "Well hey, do you want to just walk outside in the hallway and take a breather and practice it and come back in?" You know?
And so I did that, and then as I was about to walk out and go do that, I knocked over one of the cameras, there was a cord and I knocked it over, and I played it off like I did it on purpose, and I caught it and did this funny thing with it and cracked up laughing, yeah! And I came back in, did my monologue, killed it, and they asked me if I could do any characters, yeah, and I just went bananas. I did a whole bunch of impersonations of my uncles, and friends, and teachers, and they were just cracking up laughing. I actually did Ed in there too, because the Ed voice was something I was doing before I was even on TV! So they really loved that.
And THEN... like a couple of weeks went by, you worry you probably didn't get it, but I remember I was praying in my bedroom one night, and I remember thinking Man, i would love to get that show and then the phone rings, and my mom picked up, and I remember her SCREAMING and running around the house, and she was like "HEY! we're going to LA" and that was for the second audition, the callback. Flew to Los Angeles, and it was even more kids! It was like, down to the final 20 before they can get to the 7! And I got it, hahaha! I got the role, it was pretty cool. I got in there.
2.) Do I enjoy orange soda as much as Kel Kimball?
Uhhhhhhhhhhhh... not as much as Kel Kimball. I do enjoy it. But i also drink water. You don't want your insides turning orange like Kel Kimball!
3.) Hahahahah! Thank you! that's one of my favorite episodes. Yes. Yes, a LOT was improvised. The writers, of course, the amazing Dan Schneider and Keith & Kevin, they would just let us go, like I think Brian directed the episode, and I remember every episode they would allow us - once we did it how it was written, we could improvise and do it our own way. And all of us would get involved - the producers, the writers, and us - and I remember for that particular episode, every take I did was crazier than the last. And the one they used was the LAST ONE. Where it was like ALL crazy parts, where I fell under the judge, haha, it was fun. They wanted me to take it up a notch, even more. And it was so fun.
I won a Cable Ace for that! Ah-huh! Yep.
4.) Ooooooh....pfffft... best memory from working in the 90s... it's just... there's so many, you know? From, you know, meeting Will Smith, and hanging out with him at the Kid's Choice Awards, working with Whitney Houston, so many great things. So many great things.
Favorite k-pop song? Personally, I love bubble pop.
Bubble Pop? Hahahahhaa!
Uh, I like this song called "Growl." Yeah!
It's by a group called EXO. Check the video out. It's funny.
Well, it's not funny, but it's dope. Dope dance moves!
Have you ever considered pretending to be Waka Flocka Flame and walking onstage during one of his shows?
That's a great idea. That would be hilarious.
Ummmm.... that would be funny. I should talk to Waka about it. That would be hilarious.
That'll be 8 bucks.
As a 28 year old you being back on Nickelodeon will bring me back
Hey hey! I'm excited. It's gonna be fun.
Hello Kel and thank you for doing this AMA
How did you react to the "fake death" rumours that someone started a few years ago?
Thanks again for taking the time to do this
Wow, the fake death rumors. Pretty crazy. It was really funny because it started on MySpace, back when MySpace was poppin!
But yeah, that's where it started. Someone started a rumor, and it just took off, and people just started believing it. I got calls from family members and stuff like that, checking to see if I would pick up the phone, it was pretty nuts. But I used it for good, and I was like "This is what I'm working on right now, I'm not dead, I'm alive!"
I would like to ask this:
When your show was on, it, as well as My Brother and Me, struck me, as they all had loads of black actors and actresses, which was still kind of unique at the time for kids shows particularly. Do you feel that you helped open the door in any way? Prior to that, it was just Fresh Prince, the Cosby Show, and Family Matters, which seemed to cater to an older crowd. As a kid who grew up in the South, I found this remarkable. Do you think you were a trailblazer in any way, or that you helped open the door to other black child actors or actresses, notably in comedy?
Preciate your time!
Great question. It is Black History Month!
Yes, I really feel like we did. And you know, we hit a lot of great ratings, you know. We were 2 African-American kids on Nickelodeon, and it did open up a lot of doors. I have kids from all different ages and races coming up to me, telling me how it started their careers. Like when I was guested on Sam & Kat last year, it was pretty fun, I played a hip-hop mogul called PZB, Ariana Grande told me how much of an influence the show was on her, and how she called Nickelodeon to speak to us!
So it's humbling, and it's cool to hear, and see all these, you know, great young actors and actresses that I enjoy watching today that say Hey man, you got me started, I love your stuff. That's pretty cool.
did you know that a Chicago artist by the name of Vic Mensa has a song that samples this line?
check it out if you have time, his stuff is really good imo.
I DO! I like Vic Mensa, I saw it!
Hey Kel, what did you do for your SNL audition in 2003?
HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Oh my goodness!
It was pretty wild, and crazy.
What did I do? I'm trying to remember that audition. It was pretty nuts, hahahaha!
I did like, I think it's hilarious now thinking about it, but now doing standup and being good at it now, i realize now what I did was not good. But basically I did this joke about DMX - if DMX was in TOY STORY.
It was so bad, it was good, to me.
And I remember Tina Fey was there, and I remember afterwards she was like "Good job!" but I think it was a little too crazy for SNL. And I did these videos back inna day called "Kel's Videos Live" where I spoofed a lot of music acts, kinda like Weird Al, so after I did the DMX TOY STORY thing, I did a song about Michael Jackson if he was allergic to trees, hahahaha! Because, you know, he used to love to sit in trees, if you saw that classic interview that he had, and I thought it would be funny if he was allergic to trees and he's sitting in one sneezing, HAHAHAHAHA!
So i remember i starting dancing, I think my energy was so crazy, I did like a moonwalk move and actually stepped on one of the tables right in front of the stage, and flipped the table with someone's drink on it over, it was a MESS! It was SO funny.
But I wasn't upset about it. I was in a good class of guys who went for SNL and didn't get it, like Jim Carrey went out for SNL and didn't get it, or Childish Gambino, you can look it up, there's a ton of famous guys that didn't get on SNL and did awesome. So I'll be a guest on the show.
You had the power of invisibility, but only when nobody was looking. What would you do if you had that power in real life?
Oooooh. To go invisible?
Well, it worked out for Invisible Boy. But once you do it, it'd be a little hard to do. When he comes back, he comes back naked! So I don't know if want that, I'd end up on TMZ or something! Hahahaha!
That is great to hear! I hope to see both of you together in another show or movie.
Hello, sir! What was it like working with Abe Vigoda on Good Burger?
It was awesome. Abe was - even though he was older than all of us - he had a lot of energy, and was a very cool guy to be around.
He was just like, this cool young guy, hahaha! Because he could dance, had a lot of great jokes, he was just awesome, and a pleasure to work with on-set.
I’ve recently gone back and watched clips of All That on Youtube, and I’m so impressed at how talented you guys all were at such a young age. I was young myself when I originally watched it on Teen Nick, so I didn’t appreciate the level you guys were at as much as I do now.
What was your biggest take-away from your time on the show?
The biggest take away? Um, you know, being on ALL THAT, all the musical guests, because at the time, i was doing music as well. So it was really cool to be on the same stage as Run DMC, TLC, Aaliyah (rest in peace), Busta Rhymes, Destiny's Child (right at the beginning before Beyonce had the Beyhive) - and it was really cool because we were all kids, and the musical artists were young too. Like even Usher, i remember Usher had just dropped his single, he was just a new artist back when ALL THAT got started. And I remember he did this - if you remember the stage, it had a garage, and like, this fire escape? And Usher was - the fire escape was a couple floors up from the stage, and he slid down the bannister, and did a turn and split and went right into his song and I was like That kid's gonna be huge.
If you could have starred in one episode of any Nickelodeon show you never got to work on, which show would have you wanted to do and why?
SPONGEBOB, you know what I mean? because we both got gaps in our teeth! That'd be awesome, hahaha!
If you could make any new Oscar category, what would it be?
A new Oscar category?
Lemme see. New Oscar category, that would be kinda fun.
I would say... uhhh...."Best Dance". "Best actor dancing on a red carpet."
That would be awesome!
Did you really put the screw in the tuna?
Hahaahahaha! I did! Didn't you see me confess to it? I did!
But I didn't mean it!
Where is the most random place that you have gotten recognized?
Oh! Random place, I'm trying to think, um.... You know, I get recognized everywhere? i think what's more random are the PEOPLE who recognize me?
Like an 85 year old Chinese man who's like "HEY! KEL!" and I'm like Wow, that's awesome! And we'll have a great time talking!
Hey Kel, what makes a burger a "good-burger"? And do you actually like Orange Soda in real life?
What make a good burger is of course, Ed. If Ed is making it for you, it's gonna be good!
But then, also, it's the sauce. It's the sauce that really makes it so good. The sauce.
And then as far as orange soda, yes of course, I like orange soda! But I'm into fitness now, I work a lot. So I try not to have too much fructose, I drink a lot of water as well. Hahahaha!
What was it like working at Nickelodeon in the 90s?
Awesome. You know, Nickelodeon - as far as a network in the 90s - it felt like it was run very well, but then at the same time, it felt like a real kid's network. Like they really understood kids, in that generation, at that time. It felt like being on a big huge playground all the time. And we also shot in Florida, in the beginning. So we were on the Universal studios lot. So in between school and our scenes, we could go to Universal and ride the rides, skip the lines, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun.
You were one of my favorite parts of Mystery Men. Has there ever been any discussion in dong a sequel?
There has. Online. Like, all the fans are excited about it, and they want one?
They asked Ben about it? I don't know what his reaction was. I know he did mention it on one of his shows. Yeah, hopefully there will be one. I grew up - it might have to be Invisible MAN now! Hahahaha!
That episode where kenan left before you could give him the picture really fucked me up as a kid. Saw the episode after and it was all better but fuck man those feels. Anyways I have to ask something so what's your actual favorite soda? And do you keep in contact with any of the all that crew?
You know what? You're not the only one! I'm trying to remember - someone told me, what's her name, trying to remember her name cuz I love her music - hold on... she told me that that episode messed her up too, HAHAHAHA! So everybody comes up to me and says it messed them up. But I like it because it was my first dramatic role, know what I mean? Which was pretty cool. I've done drama in theater, but that was a cool episode to do. And I was happy to see people crying, because it meant I did a good job, hahaha!
It was Marsha Ambrosius!
You should check her music out, she's awesome.
Hey Kel, I saw some of your comedy on YouTube and thought it was great! Have you got any tours in the works?
OH-OH YEAH!!!! When you asked me what I'm doing - I'm doing standup. I'm currently on tour, going all over the place, go to http://www.kelmitchell.net , and I'm lovin' it, I'm just having a blast doing standup, and you can check out a lot of my stand-up on my YouTube page as well : https://www.youtube.com/user/mrkelmitchell
Green olives or black olives?
I told you, I like all olives man! HAhAHAHA! I like 'em all!
What do you miss the most about the 90s?
Um, Hammer pants. Hahahahahahah!
Let's bring Hammer pants back. Let's do it.
What part of Chicago are you from? What's your favorite chi spots?
I'm from the South Side of Chicago, South Side. And MAN, I love everything about Chicago. I love Navy Pier, hahaha! Of course, I love hanging out downtown, going to all the shops and stuff downtown. White Sox, let's go, hahahaha! Bulls! Die-hard Bulls fan, you know... and I love Chicago-style Hoagies, Taurus Flavors, shoutout, they got great hoagies, hahaha! Love Chicago-style pizza, love it!
There's this place, I think I'm saying it right, Dimenzo's, and then Giordano's pizza, they're great.
And Dino's, sorry! *AHAHAHAHA!
Okay, that's it.
If an executive said, "Good Burger 2, we want you and Keenan to do this", would you be interested?
Hahahaha! You know what?
Dan (whom I'm really good friends with, who wrote GOOD BURGER) he posted that on Instagram, and he said "Who wants a GOOD BURGER 2?" and people went bananas. Like they went crazy.
So yeah, you know? I don't know. It has to come down to work and schedule for Kenan and everything. We'll see!
Mystery Men is one of my favorite movies ever. Any great behind the scenes stories about the rest of the cast? And how much of that stuff was ad-libbed. "Hey dad! I'm going to my room with 3 strange men!"
Hahahahahaha. Of course, with all those comedians, a lot of it was ad-libbed, which was great. And then - I did a music video, like if you get the DVD, I directed a music video as well, called "Who Are Those Mystery Men" - it should be on YouTube, it was Kel Mitchell and the MAFT MCs. And then the other would be... all the great stories, you know, because we shot for about 6 months on that movie, with so much special FX, so I got to know everybody really really well, and one funny story, was Paul Reubens, you probably know him as Pee-wee, he had this little motor-scooter that was like blinged out, and he used to ride it from set from his trailer! And every time it was lunch, he would knock on our doors and say "LUNCH IS READY!!!!!" in the Pee-wee voice and then drive off. It was hysterical, hilarious. Hahaha!
What was it like working on Mystery Men and how'd you get the part?
I actually auditioned for MYSTERY MEN. I remember I sat down with the casting director, she was a really cool casting director, I'm trying to remember her name, and she had me do like EVERY SCENE in the movie with Invisible Boy, and then we sat down, and just started to have an interview-type of conversation, you know? Hahaha!
And she got to know me, and we talked really deeply about the character, and the role. And I got the part!
I mean, imagine doing the Saran-Wrap line in an audition! It was deep. But I really enjoyed that audition. And to know Ben Stiller wanted me to be in the role, too, as well, he produced it, it was just awesome.
And I loved my costume, you know? And then they did a comic-book as well, and I got to be on the cover of the comic book, yeah...
Kel, I just wanted to say thank you for being a part of some of my favorite stuff growing up!
And uh, Hey how are ya?
I'm doing GREAT. HAHAHAHA! I'm doing great. God is good. I'm having a good time, hahaha!
I love you more than I love burritos.
And with that, which do you love more, tacos or burritos OR enchiladas?
Being that Mexican food is my wife's FAVORITE, I would have to say... lemme see, between JUST those three? Enchiladas, burritos, tacos?
I'd have to say burritos. They're pretty cool.
But if I had to choose - tostadas are my favorite. You get a little bit of salad, a little bit of beans....HAHAHAHA! Good stuff, and then the other stuff mixed in, so you feel good about yourself after you eat it!
What's your favourite film?
Whoa. Of all time?
I have so many films that I enjoy. But one, just offhand, would be THE LAST DRAGON.
LAST DRAGON was just an amazing film. And if you watch the movie that I wrote, called DANCE FU, it has elements of LAST DRAGON in it, because that's one of my favorite kung-fu movies. I like martial arts movies, so I'm into that.
What's your favorite kind of ice cream?
OOOOH. Cookies n' cream ice cream!
Kel, you are awesome man! Grew up watching you. Let's talk some sports. Favorite sports and sports teams?
The Bulls! C'mon! Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox! And the Blackhawks.
Any chance we can get a Dance 360 reboot? I loved that show so hard.
Thank you, thank you!
I loved Dance 360. We were actually the FIRST Dance battle show, before all these other ones came out, like So You Think You Dance. I feel like the reboot is SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, or the best dance crew, so I don't know. I actually did a live dance show out here in California for kids, and it was a way to give back to kids in the inner city, we did it for 3 years, and it was called "The Back House Party." So check it out, it's on my YouTube page as well. You'll see these AMAAZING battles! Talk about crazy - krumping, popping, everything!
If you could speak another language, which language would you speak?
Can I pick 2?
I would say... French, cuz I think that language is awesome, hahaha. And then Spanish!
I definitely would do that. Hahaha.
Kel, did you ever eat the slime on Figure It Out? What did it taste like?!
HA HA! You know what? It tastes like applesauce. YEAH!Hahahaha! Best way to explain it, was like apple sauce and food coloring, that's what it tasted like.
When I was a kid I used to absolutely love your show, and always kind of saw Universal Studios Florida as a mecca of some sort that I needed to go to.
Fast forward 15 years or so and now I work there! Are you ever around this area anymore?
In Florida? Ummm...uh... I will be going back! Check my tour dates, but I believe I'm doing a standup show in Florida, so I will be back out there! I was talking about it, telling my wife I want to take her to Universal Studios and all that stuff, and show her all the places that we were filming, all that crazy stuff.