Keke Palmer Gushes About What It Was Like To Work With Kel Mitchell And Kenan Thompson On ‘90s-Infused SNL Sketch

Keke Palmer, Kel Mitchell, and Kenan Thompson in SNL "Kenan and Kel" sketch
(Image credit: NBC)

Keke Palmer made a huge splash during her turn hosting an episode of SNL in the penultimate episode before the show’s winter hiatus. Viewers couldn’t help but gush over her surprise pregnancy announcement, comedic timing and characters throughout multiple sketches. However, one sketch stood out above the rest as it brought back some nostalgia for countless Nickelodeon fans – the “Kenan and Kelly” sketch. Not only did Kenan Thompson reprise his role from the classic teen sitcom, but his former co-star Kel Mitchell made a surprise appearance. The Nope cast member gushed about what it was like working with the Kenan and Kel stars following the ‘90s-infused sketch’s popularity.

The soon-to-be mom stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to talk about various projects she has coming up. The conversation soon turned to the SNL Kenan and Kel reunion. Fallon asked Palmer how the viral sketch came together. As the beloved actress revealed just how it all came together, she professed her love again for the 1990s children’s program.

Shout-out to Brian Robbins. Obviously, shout-out to Kenan Thompson [and] Kel Mitchell. I grew up on Kenan and Kel. I’ve always loved that show… So, I loved that when I came to Kenan with the idea, I was like ‘Man, we should do something like “Kenan and Kel” but like ”‘Kenan and Kelly.”‘ You know what I mean? So, I could be Kelly. And he immediately got on it, you know, wrote the great sketch with his writing partner over at SNL. They came up with this really funny sketch, which is what you guys saw.

The SNL sketch allowed Keke Palmer to pay tribute to the art of multi-camera sitcoms. The Hollywood star openly declared her love for multi-cam comedies as she mentioned the genre being made less frequently. Palmer gushed about enjoying the satire, drama, and “the heart of it all” that older sitcoms displayed. Of course, the Lightyear star cheekily commented that classic sitcoms were being revived as “deep-seated drama” (a la Bel-Air when they brought an alum back). Those reimaginings served as inspiration for the parody.

While fans got a kick out of seeing the real-life friends back onscreen again, Palmer admitted Kel Mitchell’s inclusion in the sketch came as a surprise to her. The multihyphenate revealed how she found out Kenan Thompson had bagged Mitchell for the nostalgic sketch.

I didn’t mention Kel. That was a surprise to me. When I actually read the sketch, I’m like ‘You got Kel.’… So, I was so excited to get the opportunity to work with Kel. And I was actually in the real throwback store. It was a dream come true for me.

As a Kel Mitchell fan, Palmer couldn’t help but gush over the All That alum. She even singled him out as the classic Nick sitcom’s standout character. However, her love for Mitchell goes beyond the show as she mentioned both actors are Virgos and from Chicago. So, the Hollywood A-lister shares a deep personal connection with the beloved actor. Check out the unlikely trio’s chemistry and timing in the viral sketch below.

While the 29-year-old actress awaits the birth of her first child, that doesn’t mean Keke Palmer is slowing down. She is currently hosting a weekly podcast Baby, It’s Keke Palmer, which is available through Amp. Fans can hear Palmer on Human Resources and The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder through a Netflix subscription and a Disney+ subscription, respectively. Both animated series’ second seasons are currently in production. Also, be sure to check out some of Palmer’s best TV and film projects in the meantime.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).