Aww here it goes! Classic 90’s Nickelodeon at it’s finest. The show Kenan and Kel, originally a spin-off of All That, was granted due to the impressive chemistry displayed by actors Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell during recurring All That sketches such as Good Burger. Thomspon’s portrayal of nonsensical Frenchman Pierre Escargot in certian bathtub sketches, though, certainly had to help his case for getting his own show.
Kenan and Kel takes place deep in the heart of Chicago with main characters Kenan Rockmore (Thompson) and Kel Kimbell (Mitchell), a hilarious double act in the classic vaudeville style, Their uneven relationship accounts for a tremendous amount of laughs over the show’s 61 episodes.
Thompson’s character is generally the “straight man,” intelligent and reasonable, while Mitchell’s is the comic foil, accounting for most of the laughs as he bumbles through a variety of situations like losing a $64,000,000 lottery ticket in a cart of groceries belonging to an elderly woman.
This is not to say Thompson does not garner any chuckles, though, as his reactions to Mitchell’s antics, most often his catchphrase “Why!?” after Kel screws something up, often account for much of the humor. Also, Thompson’s character often uses his intelligence for all the wrong reasons by pursuing outrageous schemes to obtain fame and fortune, like attempting to develop a cure for the Common Cold by using ingredients such as chicken, eggs, sardines and Orange Soda.
In another episode, Kenan finds inspiration in a Hemingway novel and decides that he would benefit from having a list of personal life goals to complete, but by the end of the episode he and Kel manage to get themselves stuck in a window washing cart at the very top of the Sears Tower.
The pair have been likened to Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis and, as Coolio’s opening theme suggests, “Siegfried and Roy, Abbot and Costello, Magic (Johnson) and Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) or Penn and Teller.”
Role of Catchphrases and Recurring Skits
Throughout the show, interesting catch phrases, similar to tickle city, play a strong role. Kenan’s “Why!?” has already been discussed, and is one of the most prominent. Perhaps more popular, though, is Kel’s “Aww here it goes,” uttered by Mitchell at the end of each episode’s opening scene.
Also, at the end of every episode, Thompson and Mitchell perform a variation on a “Random Item” skit in which Kenan asks Kel to “grab” a series of items that are never logically related, and gives him a random location at which to meet him. Kel replies that he has no idea how to amass the items, which have ranged in different episodes from “a door, a talkin’ cow and a throat lozenge” to a “seal, some Aveel and Shaquille O’Neal.”
The meeting places are also highly ludicrous, such as Mt. Fuji, the circus, or the library, which wouldn’t be too outrageous if the items Kel was supposed to be bringing there weren’t a waffle iron and an octopus. After Kenan abruptly leaves, Kel, alone and confused, exclaims “Aww here it goes!” once more.