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Kenan & Kel is an American sitcom that originally aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. The show starred two friends played by former All That cast members Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. Sixty-two episodes and a made-for-TV movie (which made up the last three episodes) were produced over four seasons. The first two seasons were filmed at Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Florida and the following seasons were filmed at the Nick On Sunset theater in Hollywood.
The show was set in Chicago, Illinois and centered around the antics of two mischievous teenagers, Kenan Rockmore (Thompson) and Kel Kimble (Mitchell). Kenan is a high school student with a job at the grocery store, while Kel is his clumsy, orange soda-loving friend. Introduced to the show in 1998 were Sharla and Marc, both of whom had their own quirky characteristics.
Episodes of the series always opened and closed with Kenan and Kel breaking the fourth wall (while still in character) and interacting with the studio audience and each other while standing in front of a red curtain that is placed in front of the main set. A frequent running gag of the openings would be Kel never knowing what the night's episode would be about and Kenan refusing to tell him. This is not always the case, as in the episode "Car Trouble" when Kel asks Kenan for a hint about the episode, prompting Kenan to give him the word "the" from which Kel is able to figure it out. The closings would frequently feature Kenan coming up with a new scheme – often asking Kel to get assorted, various items and meet him somewhere. Frazzled, Kel would exclaim, "Aw, here it goes!"
The series was created by Kim Bass (who also co-created the teen sitcom Sister, Sister). It was reminiscent of the classic comedic duo stylings of Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis or Abbott and Costello (who were actually mentioned in the theme song's lyrics), with Kenan being the straight man and Kel his comedic foil; this was referenced in the show's theme. It was taped in front of a live-studio audience, and ran from August 17, 1996 to May 3, 2000, totaling 62 episodes. One full-length TV movie was created, titled "Two Heads Are Better Than None", which aired July 22, 2000, thus ending the series.
- Kenan Rockmore (played by Kenan Thompson): Kenan is the best friend of Kel, and usually the de facto leader of the two. In many episodes he concocts some crazy scheme that involves the two getting into trouble in some way, often at the hands of Kel.
- Kel Kimble (played by Kel Mitchell): Kel is Kenan's best friend. He usually tags along with Kenan's schemes, and in most cases causes their downfall, although he means well. He tends to act dim-witted despite having a genius IQ. He also loves orange soda.
- Kyra Rockmore (played by Vanessa Baden): Kyra is Kenan's sister. She's oftentimes critical of Kenan, although she has an enormous crush on Kel.
- Roger Rockmore (played by Ken Foree): Roger is the father of Kenan and Kyra. He tends to be cheap and short-tempered. His greatest annoyance is Kel, whom he is barely able to tolerate.
- Sheryl Rockmore (played by Teal Marchande): Sheryl is Kenan and Kyra's mother.
- Chris Potter (played by Dan Frischman): Chris is the owner of the Rigby's grocery store and Kenan's boss.
- → Main article: Kenan & Kel episode list
|Season Premiere||Season Finale|
|1||14||August 17, 1996||January 17, 1997|
|2||13||September 6, 1997||January 3, 1998|
|3||22||October 10, 1998||April 24, 1999|
|4||13||August 7, 1999||May 3, 2000|
|Series finale film||Television film||July 22, 2000|
A 3-disc manufacture-on-demand DVD set titled Kenan & Kel: The Best of Seasons 1 & 2, collecting 25 selected episodes from the first two seasons, was released exclusively on Amazon.com on May 20, 2014. It was followed up by a second set titled The Best of Seasons 3 & 4, which contained 34 episodes from the third and fourth seasons (including the full finale special), on November 6th of the same year. Unfortunately, both DVD sets were discontinued on June 4, 2021.
- 1999 - Directors Guild of America, USA nominated Howard Storm for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs for the episode "Haven't Got Time for the Paint".
- 1999/2000 - Image Awards nominated Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson for Outstanding Performance in a Youth or Children's Series/Special
Following the show's end, reruns continued to air on Nickelodeon from January 21, 2001, to February 15, 2004, though it returned from June 25th to July 12th, 2012, as part of the Nick at Nite block. Kenan and Kel later aired in reruns in the United States on The N (the network now known as TeenNick) from October 13, 2007, to August 2, 2009. It returned to the channel in 2011, when it began regularly airing as part of The '90s Are All That late-night block. It was shown there from July 25, 2011 to February 3, 2013, and later from March 4, 2013, to May 31, 2014. It sporadically aired on The '90s Are All That's successor, NickSplat, in later years, until the show was dropped in 2020.
|1992-1994||Clarissa Explains It All • Roundhouse • The Ren & Stimpy Show • Are You Afraid of the Dark?|
|1994-1996||The Secret World of Alex Mack • All That • Space Cases • Kenan and Kel• The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo • KaBlam!|
|1997-1999||Rugrats • The Journey of Allen Strange • Animorphs • Cousin Skeeter|
|1999-2002||SpongeBob SquarePants • The Amanda Show • 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd • The Nick Cannon Show • Taina|