On this episode of "Couch Potato" Kel Mitchell of "All That", "Kenan and Kel", and Good Burger walks us through growing up on the Nickelodeon campus with Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes and everyone else you miss from SNICK.
"I don’t say I’m a child actor because I think I got into acting when it was time to get a job, like in your teens. Teen actor I would say."
Kel Mitchell auditioned for All That when he was 15 years old and still living in his hometown of Chicago. Kenan Thompson was 16, Amanda Bynes was 10, Lori Beth Denberg was 18 and everyone else was somewhere in between.
"To have all the writers with that type of talent and each kid having fun together, it just meshed so well. They’ve tried to duplicate it but… you know," the 35-year-old standup comedian laughs.
"When we would go to the mall we couldn’t move. Anywhere where there were kids we couldn’t go. No Chuck E. Cheese. That’s when we knew we were big."
For anyone who doesn't know, All That, was a sketch comedy show that first aired in April 1994 and was essentially the kid version of Saturday Night Live — it even aired on Saturday nights, but ended safely before bedtime.
The show was so on point with what kids (myself included) really wanted to watch. There was nothing better than getting some popcorn and friends on a Saturday night and cozying up to watch your favorite cast-members joke around for half an hour before closing the show with an amazing musical act. Admit that your musical taste was ahead of the game because of All That, it’s true. I even asked for an “All That CD” for Christmas one year. I don’t even know if All That made CDs.
TLC, Outkast, Salt N Peppa, MA$E, Aaliyah, Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, NSYNC, Usher… is your head spinning yet?
"I was already a fan of TLC and then to have them do the theme song and come on the show and hang out," Kel says, "You've got to remember a lot of the musical guests were young too. We shot in Florida so we could go on the rides in the theme parks and get on roller-coasters with them. It was a lot of fun."
Besides riding free roller-coasters with 16-year-old Usher, Kel spent a lot of time off set goofing off with Kenan Thompson. Eventually one of the producers approached them to do a show together so they shot the pilot for Kenan and Kel while their castmates were on hiatus — and thus was born one of the greatest theme songs of the 90s thanks to Coolio.
Then came the year 2000 and the 90s were over. Kenan and Kel went their separate ways and Kel started doing movies… like Mystery Men . Remember Mystery Men, the satirical superhero comedy staring Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, Greg Kinnear, and Kel Mitchell? Kel played Invisible Boy, who could only turn invisible when nobody was around.
He was also in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and voiced T-Bone on Clifford The Big Red Dog.
"I really got into animation. I’ve always loved cartoons," he says.
Today he’s back on Nick voicing the Nicktoons show Wild Grinders and traded his soul to voice Motorcity on Disney XD — THE ENEMY (just kidding about the soul thing). He also set to voice 'Little Pea' on Veggie Tales.
But what about Ed?
“People always make me do it. All the time. At a red light, at a bathroom… Weirdest place was in a church and in a bathroom, not WHILE I was doing my thing, but while washing our hands they were like ‘Hey do the Good Burger thing!’”
So long as Kel's not sick of doing the Ed-voice, we'll keep asking to hear it. I mean what other movie did you rent every Friday as a kid that was as quotable as Good Burger? After all "I'm a dude, he's a dude, she's a dude, we're all dudes HEY!"
Plus, who else could make a bunch of people in an insane asylum dance to the Parliament Funkadelic's "Not Just Knee Deep" with a cameo by George Clinton himself??
Romina Puga is a pop culture reporter and producer for Fusion. You can find her on "Fusion Now," Fusion's daily TV updates, going over new movies, music, apps, and why D'Angelo is still sexy.