Reunited and … we should be concerned. Yes, a fateful reunion of the '90s variety occurred on "Saturday Night Live" last night and, while well-executed, it'll also have you nodding along with Kenan Thompson's behind-the-scenes commentary throughout. The reunion in question? Well, the reunion between Thompson and Kel Mitchell, of course!
Styled as a meta parody, the sketch begins with Kenan Thompson looking back. "It all happened so fast," he says before we're taken back to a moment between Thompson and "SNL" host Keke Palmer during rehearsals. After a heartfelt exchange between them, where Palmer fangirls over working with Thompson, she pitches to him the idea of a reboot of "Kenan & Kel." Because you see, the '90s IP is ripe for reimagining.
It's a natural fit. Until it isn't.
Palmer has a vision, and once they start shooting the reboot, Thompson quickly has second thoughts. But he is a man who commits even if the project isn't exactly what he thought it was going to be. "I had already sold it before I even met Kenan. I told the producers we wrote it together," Keke shares in a behind-the-scenes confessional.
These confessionals are gold. We flip back and forth between them and scenes from the upgraded "Kenan & Kelly." Then viewers get what they've been waiting for: Kel Mitchell makes an appearance that immediately goes in unexpected directions.
Drama And Orange Soda!
Now thing about "Kenan & Kelly" is that it's not a straight up comedy. No, Keke Palmer is trying for a gritty reboot vibe. Kenan Thompson explains that Palmer is gunning for an Emmy. Her approach to try to get that Emmy? Mixing in dramatic moments between the sitcom-style comedy. As he so aptly puts it, it doesn't work.
We see how this goes when Kel Mitchell makes an appearance. He joyously runs over to an orange soda machine before the happy moment gets ruined by a robber (played by James Austin Johnson). Mitchell mimics karate moves to try to ward off the thief, who quickly guns Mitchell down. Cue dramatic moment. As Palmer's Kelly cradles the fallen Mitchell in her arms, she reveals dramatic information before he goes.
Thompson reappears in another confessional, sharing that the series is "not good" before the camera zooms out to show Mitchell next to him. What did they get out of this? Jokingly, they share that Jordan Peele hired them to star in a sequel to "Nope" titled "Yep."
The reunion itself is lovely. How the cast blends the over-the-top dramatics with the calmer confessional moments balances out the sketch, and also feeds into the absurdity of the situation. While we might not tune in weekly for "Kenan & Kelly," it was a blast to watch Mitchell, Palmer, and Thompson interact with one another onscreen.
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