Kenan & Kel
Kel Mitchell rose to fame as an original cast member of the hit Nickelodeon sketch comedy series “All That” (1995-1999), where he performed a number of popular characters. With co-star Kenan Thompson, the gifted performer enjoyed even more fame and recognition with their own show “Kenan & Kel,” a highly rated series that ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. He won a 1999 Kids Choice Award for his work in the two series as well as a 1997 CableACE Award. He also received two Image nominations for his work in the latter show and was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for his work in the animated series “Clifford the Big Red Dog” (2000-2001), in which he was the voice of T-Bone. He also voiced T-Bone in the 2004 motion picture “Clifford's Really Big Movie.” Other movie credits include “Good Burger” (1997), “The Mystery Men” (1999, also wrote and performed the film's theme song), “The Adventure of Rocky and Bullwinkle” (2000), “Where Is Love Waiting” (2006), “Honeydripper” (2007) and “X's & O's” (2007). Mitchell also has had recurring roles in such TV series as “The Steve Harvey Show” (1996-1998), “The Parkers” (2003) and “One on One” (2005). Upcoming appearances include roles in “Chicago Pulaski Jones,” “Caught on Tape” and “Pink Panther & Pals” (voice role).
Childhood and Family:
Kel Johari Rice Mitchell was born on August 25, 1978, in Chicago, Illinois, to Meredith Mitchell. He has two sisters named Keyana (older) and Kyra (younger) and was educated at Chicago's ETA Creative Arts Foundation, where he studied drama, dance and voice. He later attended Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California.
On October 16, 1999, Kel married Tyisha Hampton-Mitchell but they divorced in 2005. They have two kids together.
Kel Mitchell began his acting career with Chicago's ETA Creative Arts Foundation when he was 11 years old. The young performer charmed audiences with his onstage performances in theatrical productions like “Dirt” and “Kasimu and the Coconut Palm.” However, he did not win attention from a renowned agent until he delivered a standout performance in “Eden” at the historic Victory Gardens Theater.
Mitchell next flew to Florida and was cast in Nickelodeon’s “All That.” Joining the sketch comedy series in 1995, the teenaged Mitchell stayed with the show until 1999, during which time he performed such well-known characters as Ed the Good Burger Guy. In addition to achieving prominence, Mitchell worked with Kenan Thompson, who he would continue to work with in the years to come.
After the success of “All That,” Mitchell and his comedic counterpart, Kenan, were hired to star in the spin-off series “Kenan & Kel,” which ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. The comedy series was a hit and for his portrayal of the naive best friend of the mischievous Kenan, the comedienne took home a 1997 CableACE and two Image nominations for Outstanding Performance in a Youth or Children's Series/Special (1999 and 2000). Along with Kenan, he jointly nabbed a 1999 Blimp Award for Favorite TV Actor at the Kids' Choice Awards, which included consideration of their work in the series “All That.” Mitchell and Thompson were also busy on other projects while working on the show and received roles on The WB's sitcom “The Steve Harvey Show” (1996-1998), The WB's “Sister, Sister” (1997) and ABC's “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1998).
In 1997, Mitchell appeared on the big screen as Ed, who worked at a fast food restaurant, in “Good Burger,” which was directed by Brian Robbins. Thompson was also cast in the hit comedy. An accomplished singer, Mitchell wrote and performed the film's theme song “We're All Dudes.” Two years later, Mitchell made his next big screen outing with the comedy “The Mystery Men” (1999), opposite Hank Azaria, Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Geoffrey Rush, Janeane Garofalo and Greg Kinnear. The film was helmed by Kinka Usher.
After the demise of “Kenan & Kel,” Mitchell returned to film with a supporting part opposite Rene Russo, Jason Alexander and Robert De Niro in the box office flop “The Adventure of Rocky and Bullwinkle” (2000). The same year, he hosted “The Power of One: The Pokemon 2000 Movie Special.” In “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” an animated program starring John Ritter, Mitchell provided the voice of T-Bone and was nominated for two consecutive Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (2001 and 2002) for his work on the show.
Next up for Mitchell, the actor played Malcolm in two episodes of “City Guys” (2000-2001) and Freddy Fabulous in three episodes of the sitcom “The Parkers” (2003) before reprising his voice role of T-Bone for “Clifford's Really Big Movie” (2004). Also in 2004, he could be seen co-hosting the reality TV show “Dance 360” and received guest spots in series like “Half & Half.”
In 2005, Mitchell stepped behind the camera to co-write and produce the film “Ganked,” in which he also starred as the aspiring songwriter Ricky Barry. Directed by Kenn Michael, the comedy went straight to video release. It was also in 2005 that Mitchell took a recurring role on the UPN sitcom “One on One,” playing Manny. He next appeared as Tony in the dramatic film “Where Is Love Waiting” and starred with Jascha Washington in the direct-to-video-release “Like Mike 2” (both 2006).
In 2007, Mitchell teamed up with Victoria Rowell to star in the TV film “Polly and Marie.” He also supported Danny Glover and Lisa Gay Hamilton in John Sayles' “Honeydripper” (2007) and worked with Clayne Crawford, Judy Marte, Warren Christie and Sarah Wright on the comedy “X's & O's” (2007). He then appeared in such projects as “Don’t Touch If You Ain’t Prayed (2008, video), the movie “See Dick Run” (2009) and “Freaknic: The Musical” (2010, voice). His upcoming projects include a voice role in episodes of “Pink Panther & Pals,” costarring with Vivica A. Fox in “Caught on Tape” and Cedric the Entertainer in “Chicago Pulaski Jones.”
Apart from his work as an actor, Mitchell has a secondary career as a musician. His music has been featured in some of the movies he has appeared in, including “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Mystery Men.” In 1996, he was a featured rapper on the hit song “Watch Me Do My Thang,” which was popularized by Immature. He has also worked on songs like Sean Kingston's “Beautiful Girls” and T.I.'s “Big Things Poppin' (Do It).”
Kids' Choice: Blimp Award, Favorite TV Actor, “All That,” 1999 (also for “Kenan & Kel”)
Cable Ace: Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series, “Kenan & Kel,” 1998