Kenan and Kel were the best comedy duo of the 90s, and it's not even close. Their show ran for a whopping 65 episodes, which for a show in the 90s is a decent stint. The friends shot to fame with the movie Good Burger, which is still quoted today.
Though we watched Kenan and Kel grow up on screen, and continue to watch Kenan on Saturday Night Live, there are still some things you may not know about your fave 90s friends.
The first two seasons of Kenan & Kel were filmed in Florida at Universal Studios. Once it started to gain a little more popularity, the show moved to California in order to feature bigger celebrities. For show-runner Dan Frischman, the move could not have come at a better time.
“There was a TV monitor outside the dressing area in Orlando that had a goofy Nickelodeon cartoon character singing a very annoying jingle,” Frischman said in an interview. “It ran on a loop and they wouldn’t turn it off!”
2. Making History
When Kenan & Kel first aired, it made history by becoming the first Nickelodeon primetime sitcom to star two African-American leads.
Coolio loved Kenan & Kel, and it's not just because he wrote and sang the theme song. The artist also directed the show's opening sequence. When asked who he thought was better, Kenan or Kel, Coolio was not impressed.
"Kel, excuse my French, wouldn't have been sh*t without Kenan, and Kenan wouldn't have been sh*t without Kel. They go hand-in-hand."
“Shout out to Coolio,” Thompson joked in an interview. “It was the best. He had been on All That before at that point, so we felt like we knew him. That’s how you are when you’re young, ‘Oh yeah, Coolio’s my best friend.’”
When a poll of the Greatest 90’s TV Stars was taken for VH1, Kel was the resounding favorite out of the comedic duo. However, it didn't seem to translate to adults. Both Kenan and Kel auditioned for Saturday Night Live, but Kenan was the only one to land a spot.
5. Mom and Me
Kenan and Kel were inseparable off screen, just like their characters. But it wasn't just them, both their moms were close as well. They would all hang out together and the boys would pull pranks on their moms. Kel recalls a time when they replaced the dishwasher soap with laundry detergent.
“It was bubbles everywhere. The whole apartment was just with bubbles,” Mitchell said in an interview with ABC News. “It was like an episode of Kenan & Kel but real life. It was pretty funny.”
6. Name Game
When the show was first being shot, it didn't really have a name. There were working titles, like Me and My Friend and Me and My Homeboy, but none of them stuck.
“I remember there was a list of them at a meeting we had, but then someone at the table was like, ‘Just call it, Kenan & Kel. That’s their name,'" recalls Kel. "That’s how it came to be.”
Though they were popular in their own right, Kenan and Kel made a ton of appearances on other shows as a duo. They had parts on The Steve Harvey Show, Sister Sister, Cousin Skeeter, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Nothing topped their own show, of course.
8. Orange Soda
The boys loved orange soda so much, it actually boosted sales for Fanta and Tango. Both companies reported soaring sales of the fizzy drink during the show's four-year run.
“I don’t think any of us knew how big that was going to be, even today I still get that,” says Mitchell his character's orange soda obsession. “When my wife and I go out to eat, it doesn’t matter what type of restaurant we’re at, whether it’s a five-star restaurant or a burger shack, people go crazy if I don’t get an orange soda. And they’re like, ‘Oh, what are you going to drink? Orange soda?’ And they just crack up, but I enjoy it. I’m happy that people enjoy the show and are still drinking orange soda.”
9. Possible Reunion
“Oh yeah, we’ve definitely been talking about it," Kel told Jimmy Fallon "Just to get back in those shoes, on stage together, we were both like, ‘Oh man, we gotta do something together again.’”
“I mean, we might as well; it couldn’t hurt, “ teases Thompson. “If people want it then they should have it.”
There was already a mini-reunion on The Tonight Show, and it was a hit with fans. It has over 16 million views on YouTube.