August 25, 1978
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Actor, Singer, Songwriter
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Chicago native Kel Mitchell, the thin, hyperactive half of the Kenan & Kel comedy team, made his television debut on the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series "All That." Although his previous experience was only in community theater, the teenaged Mitchell enhanced the series with popular characters like Ed the Good Burger Guy, a confused fast food worker with a high-strung "dude" accent developed by the young actor while watching professional wrestling when he was eight years old. He was a stand out member of the "All That" troupe, particularly as Ed and as the amazingly inept Repair Man, his onstage performances exhibiting an enviable presence. It was on this program that the comedian met friend and collaborator Kenan Thompson, already a film veteran. Their recurring skit "Mavis and Clavis," an originally improvised routine starring the two as cranky old men, was a favorite with viewers. The strong comedic chemistry of the pair led to their own sitcom "Kenan & Kel," which aired on Nickelodeon beginning in 1996. On the highly rated series, Kel starred as the naive best friend of the mischievous Kenan, alternating straight man and zany comedian from scene to scene. Mitchell won a CableACE Award for his work on the series in 1997. Hardworking actors, Mitchell and Thompson continued to star on "All That" while on "Kenan & Kel" and managed to fit in recurring roles as wacky students on The WB's sitcom "The Steve Harvey Show" and guest spots on The WB's "Sister, Sister" (during the 1996-1997 season) and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" (ABC, 1998).In 1997, Mitchell made his big screen debut in "Good Burger," playing Ed, a sweet and simpleminded surfer dude who works at the titular fast food restaurant. A popular character on "All That," Ed was paired in the successful film with Kenan Thompson's Dexter, a lazy schemer forced to work at Good Burger who joins the well-meaning but impossibly dimwitted Ed in a quest to save the stand from a flashy cutthroat competitor. Mitchell showcased not only his capable acting skills and well-timed physical comedy in the film, but wrote and performed the movie's theme song "We're All Dudes," Ed's catchy homage to the unity of humankind. His next foray into film was the comedy "The Mystery Men" (1999), about a group of lesser known superheroes with odd powers.