by Kevin J
Growing up as a kid, I relished the times when Friday nights came, because it meant cartoons and kid’s shows, and among my favorites had to be “All That” and “Kennan and Kel.”
“Kennan and Kel” was a 30 minute comedy of pure joy and hijinks, with much of it provided by Kel Kimble, who was portrayed with vigor by Kel Mitchell.
From 1996-2000, the “Kennan and Kel” show ran on Nickelodeon, and almost instantly seemed to become a cult classic. From the catchy theme song to Kel’s memorable one liners, “you better watch your butt,” the show seemed to always deliver.
While I appreciate both actors who appeared on the show, I think it’s safe to say that Kel was a clear standout. As a kid, he just seemed so colorful, and I was easily captivated. However, as much of a fan as I was, and still am, I slowly forgot that Kel even existed. As history will show, Kennan Thompson went on to have a successful career on “Saturday Night Live,” while Kel seemed to pop up at random occasions, not enough for me to ever truly wonder what he was up to. So, when I heard that Kel would be coming to Sacramento State, curiosity got the best of me.
Walking into the event, I will admit that my expectations were not very high. I mean yes I was a fan of the show, but it had been years since I saw Kel do, well anything. How would he look? What was he going to do? Would he be funny? All of these questions lounged in the back of mind, and then the show started.
When Kel first came out, I was relieved to see he actually looked good. I haven’t heard a lot of news about him, so I didn’t know what condition he might be in, but he didn’t look out of shape or fatigued, so that was a good sign.
The show started off with a ton of high energy, as Kel got the crowd hyped up with some throwback tracks. I have to be honest here, hearing some of songs that I grew up with, combined with the energy of the crowd, was an amazing feeling. It was like I was a kid all over again.
As Kel got into his actual act, he proved to be funnier than I expected. While I wasn’t rolling the floor with laughter the entire time, Kel definitely got a some fantastic zingers in. I think what I liked most about Kel’s set, though, was hearing more about his personal history.
As I said, I had no clue what Kel had been up to for quite some time, so I was unaware of his struggles with alcohol. Having seen the damaging effects of alcohol in may people, I applauded Kel on finding the strength to put the bottle to the side, and remain clean for his health and sanity.
I was also pleasantly surprised when I found out Kel was married with kids. I’m not sure what it is, but there is something very comforting about seeing someone you practically grew up with, achieve his happy ending.
Towards the end of Kel’s set, he answered some questions which I can only assume have become routine for him. However, he answered them all gracefully and with a good sense of humor, which I can respect.
Overall, my experience at the show was a fun one, full of laughs and reminiscing. I can’t wait to see what Kel has in store for us, because I’m sure it will be a hit.
Kevin Hendricks is a DJ for Sacramento States only Student Run radio station. Listen to him on KSSU