kenan and kel

When one thinks of young black comedic duos in the late 90’s, Kenan and Kel are the names that are top of mind. And their sitcom was a hilarious and ahead of it’s time certified #CultureClassic.

Debuting in 1996, Kenan and Kel was a sitcom starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell on Nickelodeon. Set in Chicago, the show was all about comedic misadventures of the two best friends.

The show always started with Kenan and Kel breaking the fourth wall and speaking to the live studio audience. Kenan would tell the audience that the two had gotten into trouble, much to Kel’s surprise who had already forgotten what happened.

Kenan’s constant scheming combined with Kel’s innocent and lovably oblivious nature led to the duo getting into a variety of unnecessary yet comedic situations. Basically Kenan came up with ways to get what he wanted and recruited Kel to help him out. Oddly enough, their plans never went smoothly.

After hilarity ensued and a lesson should be learned, the show would always end with Kenan explaining why their scheme didn’t work, and insisting he had a better idea to make it work next time. Kel would then yell out “Awwwww, here it goes!!”

The duo were comedic gold and the show was a major hit for Nick. Kenan and Kel lasted four seasons, was critically acclaimed, and even spawned a TV movie. Kenan and Kel’s antics gained cult status with ’90s babies. With memorable bits including Kenan’s catchphrase “Whyyyy?!?” and Kel’s obsession with orange soda still being referenced to this day.

And let’s not forget the series’ opening credits, performed by “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper Coolio. A certified banger widely regarded as one of the best TV theme songs of all-time within The Culture.


Kenan and Kel was as one of several spin-offs from Nickelodeon’s sketch comedy show All That. All That was basically the kid’s version of Saturday Night Live which ironically Kenan has recently become the longest running cast members of ever and even won himself an Emmy in 2019.

Written by @TalentedMrFord

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