Kel Mitchell

Active - 1997 - 2014  |   Born - Aug 25, 1978 in Chicago, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Children's/Family

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Biography by Nathan Southern

Actor Kel Mitchell swept up a widespread and loyal fan base in the mid-'90s as a teen comic. Mitchell initially joined the cast of the mid-'90s Nickelodeon sketch comedy show All That (1995) -- an unofficial variant of Saturday Night Live, retooled for the preteen set -- and soon became professionally attached to another up-and-comer on the program, Kenan Thompson. The two paired off as the comedy duo "Kenan and Kel," and the meteoric increase in their popularity among viewers prompted Nickelodeon to offer Thompson and Mitchell their own 1996 sitcom, aptly titled Kenan & Kel, which in turn spawned its own 1997 movie, also starring the boys and based on one of their recurring All That sketches. As directed by All That progenitor Brian Robbins (C.H.U.D. 2), the 1997 Good Burger follows the nutty adventures of a couple of short-order cooks, as a corporate fast-food giant sweeps in and threatens to close down their establishment.

For several years thereafter, Mitchell chalked up a resumé of contributions to family-friendly productions, including Mystery Men (1999), The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000), and Two Heads Are Better Than None (2000), but he also achieved prominence in the music realm for his goofy music-video parodies of popular songs. Mitchell unveiled even greater ambition by scripting, executive producing, and essaying the lead role in the showbiz comedy Ganked (2005); he stars as Ricky, a young man who wins a songwriting contest but falls prey to the exploitation of a record company. (Astute viewers will also note Mitchell's presence, amid heavy makeup, as Ricky's uncle.) Mitchell tackled one of his most earnest roles two years later, with a supporting contribution to John Sayles' period musical drama Honeydripper (2007).

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Studied drama at the ETA Creative Arts Foundation since he was 12.
  • At 13, was a member of MWAH! (Messages Which Are Hopeful) team in Chicago, Illinois.
  • At age 14, beat out thousands of actors in a nation-wide search to be cast in Nickelodeon's All That.
  • In 1996, was featured as his Good Burger character Ed in IMX's "Watch Me Do My Thing" music video.
  • Recipient of a 2016 award from the Carson Black Chamber for his work in The Back House Party.
  • A member of the group M.A.F.T. (Minds after future thought).
  • Motivational speaker and spokesperson for many organizations, including the National Center for Child Safety and Awareness, The Black College Expo, The Boys & Girls Club, Black Carson Chambers of Commerce, LA's Best After School Enrichment Program, Young Visionaries, among others.
  • Youth Pastor at Spirit Food Christian Center.