Kenan Thompson Reveals Why He and Kel Mitchell Didn't Speak for Years

The SNL star shares why the former child actors fell out and how they came back together.

In the '90s, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell were known as a comedy duo. They came to fame starring together on the Nickelodeon sketch series All That beginning when they were 15 years old and teamed up for the spinoff movie Good Burger. Additionally, they led their own sitcom, Kenan & Kel, which aired on Nickelodeon for four seasons.  But, as they moved from being teen stars to adult actors, Thompson and Mitchell went their separate ways, both in their careers and in their personal relationship.

But now, to the delight of their many millennial fans, the pair are working together again. Thompson and Mitchell reunited for Good Burger 2, which premiered on Paramount+ on Nov. 22, and in a new interview, Thompson explained what went wrong in their friendship and how they were able to reconcile after not speaking for years.

RELATED: Chris Kattan Says Will Ferrell Stopped Taking His Calls After A Night at the Roxbury.

Speaking to Today, Thompson shared that he and Mitchell decided to find their place in the world and the industry as individuals as they got older. As he explains it, this gradually led to them not talking to one another.

"It was more of a separation that kind of grew into the traditional terms of what a falling out is, which is like not a lot of communication," the Saturday Night Live star said. "Originally, it was just us kind of looking for our own individualism, basically, as adults, taking a breather from being a duo because we both came into the game as individuals."

Thompson said, "Time passes and more time passes and it just became ridiculous," to the point that they couldn't "even remember what it was" that made them not keep in touch in the first place. A phone call brought them back together, and Thompson said that five minutes into talking "[they] were back."

The comedian added, "One of the biggest crimes I think you can do in life is just waste time," which is what he and Mitchell, both 45 now, had been doing. "It feels so good to be back with my brother and [Good Burger 2] is doing well. We're so appreciative, looking forward to the next chapters," he said.

Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell at Nickelodeon's 1997 The Big Help
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc via Getty Images

Mitchell has also opened up about drifting apart from Thompson. "[W]hen you're adulting within the limelight and you are just trying to find yourself within this business … we just went different ways," the actor told Us Weekly in March. "But I think that happens with everybody." He explained further, "[It's like] when you're in high school and your friends went to different colleges, but then you stayed in contact and now you're experiencing life as adults now. It's just such an awesome thing. And to still be friends after that entire journey is awesome."

The two former Nickelodeon stars plan to keep working together following Good Burger 2, which was Mitchell's first movie in 10 years. "It would be only right for us to continue to go explore what Kenan and Kel could have been when we were in our 20s when we left Nickelodeon and decided to try to figure it out, instead of just automatically doing the Abbott and Costello thing," Thompson told Variety during a joint interview with Mitchell in November. "There's so many different parts to the business. There's so many different opportunities and we're just ready to tackle all of that."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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