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Good Burger’s Kel Mitchell On How His Iconic ‘We’re All Dudes’ Song Came Together And The Awkward Way He Had To Pitch It

Kel Mitchell most definitely gave it his all while working on Good Burger, which I recently rewatched on the heels of the movie’s limited edition Blu-ray steelbook hitting shelves. The Nickelodeon alum was pitch-perfect in the role of the dense, but sweet, Ed, and the performance still holds up today. While Mitchell’s work on screen is commendable, he also deserves praise for providing the teen comedy with its signature song. “We’re All Dudes” is essentially the film’s anthem and is still fondly remembered by fans. According to Mitchell, the song came together in an interesting way too, and that process involved him pitching it in a somewhat awkward (but funny) way.

“We’re All Dudes” was performed by Kel Mitchell and Less Than Jake and was recorded as part of the film’s soundtrack in 1997. In the movie, the song can be heard during a montage that shows the titular restaurant thriving due to Ed’s sauce. Additionally, it plays during the end credits. As a fan of the track, I asked Kel Mitchell about its conception while speaking with him in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary and steelbook release. The beloved star explained that All That (where Good Burger originated) served as a solid jumping-off point for the soundtrack. And from there, it sounds like things moved rather quickly:

The cool thing about All That is that [it was] very music driven, you know? We had amazing musical guests, we had put out a soundtrack for All That. And so it just made sense to have an amazing soundtrack for Good Burger, which we did have. And then I was a rapper at the time, so I was just like, ‘Yo, I gotta do a record.’ And I had already did Ed rapping with Immature on the other album. And so when Good Burger came along, I always did that little ditty in the beginning, remember? Like, [sings] ‘I’m a dude, he’s a dude.’ And [director] Brian [Robbins] came up to me and said, ‘Yo, Kel, we need to make that a full song. And we're gonna do that, and then we're gonna have a meeting, but I need you to write the song today and go to this meeting.’ I'm like, ‘Today?’ [laughs]

The decision to craft a top-tier list of music for the movie definitely makes sense since the series that birthed it (which is streamable with a Netflix subscription) gifted viewers with awesome tunes. And creating a song around Ed’s “I’m a dude” jingle was also a good idea, though I’m not sure the actor could’ve imagined that he’d have such a short amount of time to get things together. However, he got to work right away, before pitching the song to the powers that be:

So I literally like, wrote a song. I remember I was at the hotel and I was writing and writing and writing it. [I] had a meeting at Paramount, and I didn't know they were going to have me sing it right then and there. They were just like, ‘Hey, just sing it to us while we're eating.’ I'm like, ‘Okay, cool.’ So I take out my notes, and I sing it to them, and they're like, ‘This is amazing. Okay, you're going to fly to Florida and you’re going to record this with Less Than, Jake. And I'm like, ‘Okay, cool!’ Because you know, ska band, super cool. Flew out there, did the song and shout out to the ‘I’m A Dude’ song. It's everywhere now, man, everybody loves playing it. And people still play it today, it's just a fun, really fun song, you know? And I love that song, still getting paid from that song right now.

I’m not sure that I could’ve performed the entire song in front of a group of execs. Then again, I don’t have the fearless attitude that the actor and musician has, and thank goodness for that demeanor. Had he not been eager, there’s a chance we might not have the fan-favorite track.

Of course, the “We’re All Dudes” song is just one part of the movie’s legacy. There are memorable performances and plenty of hilarious moments that can still crack up audiences today. During our chat, Kel Mitchell talked about the scene he shot with Kenan Thompson that still resonates with him after two decades. Mitchell also discussed not getting to do a sequel, which I still wouldn’t mind seeing if there’s a good story in mind. Despite that, the film has remained in the public consciousness. The Good Burger skit was revived for The Tonight Show several years ago and, while Mitchell was involved with the All That revival, he brought it back again. 

Kel Mitchell’s signature track may have come together in a way that he wasn’t expecting, but we’re all the better for having it. It’s wonderful to know that it still gets so much love today – and that Mitchell is still rightfully getting residuals as well. 

Good Burger’s 25th anniversary limited edition Blu-ray steelbook is now available.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.