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‘SNL’ Cast Member Kenan Thompson Talks ‘Emotional’ Reunion With Kel Mitchell



Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson surprised viewers with a throwback sketch to his ’90s TV show, Kenan & Kel. And when talking about his reunion with Kel Mitchell, the comedian recalled how “emotional” the moment was. 

Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell revived ‘Kenan & Kel’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’

On the Dec. 3, 2022, episode of Saturday Night Live, Thompson and host Keke Palmer appeared in a sketch paying tribute to Thompson’s sitcom Kenan & Kel. Thompson portrays his old character, as Palmer plays a female version of Kel — Kelly. 

The sketch begins with Palmer, as herself, on the set of SNL, telling Thompson that she loved Kenan & Kel growing up and wants to reboot it. Thompson is excited at first. But as clips from the new sitcom Kenan & Kelly are shown, Thompson begins to admit how the ill-conceived, partly dramatic, and partly cheesy show turned out to be “not good.”

At one point, Kelly reveals that she’s pregnant with Kenan’s baby, just before dramatically uttering her hilariously corny and nonsensical catchphrase, “Uh-oh, here comes the bus.” Eventually, Mitchell appears as Kel, and rejoices as he embraces his iconic orange soda. 

Toward the end, Kel is shot by a robber. And as he dies, Kelly turns to Kenan to reveal Kel is her baby’s father. “I slept with him just to hurt you,” Kelly cries. “Why do I hurt the ones I love most? Uh-oh, here comes the bus!” 


The sketch concludes with Thompson and Mitchell revealing that Kenan & Kelly did not work out. But the two excitedly announce Jordan Peele reached out to them to make a sequel to Palmer’s 2022 film Nope called Yep

Kenan Thompson reveals how ’emotional’ his ‘SNL’ reunion with Kel Mitchell was

In an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Thompson talked about his “Kenan & Kelly” sketch. And he revealed that Palmer suggested it to him when she came on as host. 

“It was Keke’s idea,” Thompson said. “She was like, ‘Kenan and Kelly.’ I was like, ‘Say no more, I get it, one thousand percent.’” 

Thompson admitted that he truly enjoyed recreating the ’90s Nickelodeon moment for a modern adult audience. He praised Palmer and SNL co-star Mikey Day for killing their parts in the sketch. And he also pointed out how special it felt to reunite with Mitchell in such a familiar setting. 

(l-r) Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson during the ‘SNL’ Nickelodeon Reboot sketch on Saturday, December 3, 2022 | Rosalind OConnor/NBC via Getty Images

“Kel came in and just destroyed it,” Thompson recalled. “It was very special — it was very emotional even for the crew.” 

“Walking onto that set in a place that I’ve been knowing for 20 years is something else,” he added, noting how exciting it was for everyone to see all that Kenan & Kel nostalgia. “It was such a blast from the past. It was amazing. So, I’m beyond blessed.”

Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell have revived their old characters before

Thompson and Mitchell have known each other for nearly three decades. The actors were 15 years old when they started working together on the 1994 Nickelodeon series, All That


On All That, Thompson and Mitchell appeared in a popular recurring sketch called “Good Burger.” The sketch spawned a feature film which was released in 1997. And the actors’ success landed them their own sitcom, Kenan & Kel, which ran for four seasons on Nickelodeon. 

Thompson and Mitchell have since revived their popular old characters a few times. In 2015, the comedians reunited on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon for a “Good Burger” sketch. Mitchell reprised his role as Ed, with host Jimmy Fallon mimicking him with a similar character. Thompson appeared as a customer walking into their shenanigans. 

The two also reunited for the 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards. During a skit, Thompson, who hosted the event, goes back to a bar that Kumail Nanjiani is tending. When he asks The Eternals star to take the order of a man at the bar, Mitchell reveals himself asking for a “good burger.” 

After Thompson and Mitchell hug, Thompson suggests that they hope to make another Good Burger movie. “Make it two good burgers,” he says. “The sequel’s coming at you!” 

Source: Cheat Sheet


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