Kel Mitchell is not only a comedian and actor, but he’s a king of food humor. From his food humor on All That and Kenan and Kel, to his iconic character Ed and Good Burger, Mitchell said that he feels like he’s treated like a real-life burger king.
It was amazing to speak with Mitchell, who is coming back to Deliciousness for its second season. I asked him about his time on Nickelodeon, what’s it like to be back at Viacom, and got the scoop on the future of his Good Burger pop-up restaurant. Deliciousness‘ second season debuts tonight (March 22) at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on MTV. Episodes will also air throughout the week in celebration of the second season.
MONIQUE JONES: First of all, I know you get this all the time and this won’t be the last, but I literally grew up watching you. So this is like, wild right now.
KEL MITCHELL: Thank you, I appreciate that.
So, this season of Deliciousness: what can fans expect?
Oh man, I’m super excited. We’re back for seconds. It’s going to be super awesome. More crazy videos, funny food fails. We’ve kicked it up a notch. You’re gonna see animals cooking in the kitchen, people dancing in the kitchen and slipping and falling. We’re playing games now on the show, like guessing to see if an object is made out of cake. Like, [someone] will make an iPhone out of cake and they stop the video right before that and we have to guess if it’s an iPhone or a cake. We enjoyed that.
Throughout your career, you’ve had tons of moments with food humor, from doing Good Burger and the orange soda, the screw in the tuna, when you and Kenan [Thompson] were trying to put the Thanksgiving turkey back together and all that stuff. Do you have a favorite food moment from your career?
Well, because of Good Burger, I’ve been thrown into the whole burger world, where I’m like the actual Burger King, you know? Any type of burger place I go to people flip out when I walk into a room, which is pretty cool. I get free burgers and stuff like that because of Good Burger. That’s like a memory for me that’s still going on because people love the show and the movie so much.
Speaking of all these moments from Nickelodeon, since Nickelodeon is part of the Viacom family, what is it like to be like literally back where you started all those years ago?
Yeah, shout out to Viacom and Paramount, you know what I mean? It’s awesome to still be working with them and MTV. Growing up, I loved MTV and of course, being on Nickelodeon, MTV was like the big sister, big brother to us. It was all family. So it’s super awesome to now be on an MTV show ’cause I love all the MTV shows and I was a big fan of Ridiculousness. I’m still a big fan of Ridiculousness, so it’s super cool.
Deliciousness has a cast full of television and social media heavy hitters. What it like to be a part of such a cast so ingrained in pop culture?
It’s so cool. The Saved by the Bell fans are super strong, the Nickelodeon ’90s fans are super strong. The Office fans are super strong and Wild ‘n Out fans are the same way. It’s cool that they put us all together, people are really enjoying it. Whether you’ve watched our shows or just love MTV, it’s been great. Everybody in the cast has been super awesome and we have a great time. We’ve become like a big family, so it’s been great.
Are you adventurous in the kitchen? Like, do you think you would have a moment that is worthy of being roasted on Deliciousness?
I’ve definitely left the stove, you know, playing with the kids and then it was in there too long and burnt some lasagna on accident, you know? These things happen, you know what I mean? So it’s super funny to see other people do it and it’s like, “Oh, okay. I’m not the only one.”
Now I recently watched the first episode of the upcoming season and there was a scene that was particularly gross–a guy drinking a shake with bugs in it. From this season of videos, have there been moments where you were just grossed out?
Yeah–seeing a girl who’s about to throw up and she covers her mouth and it comes out through her nose. And another girl had noodles coming out through her eyeball and her nose. I was like, “What? How is this happening?” There’s tons of surprises on this show.
That is harrowing. But thankfully, you’ve been able to talk about good food on your castmate Tim Chantarangsu’s show Send Foodz on Thrillist. What is a favorite food or dish that you have?
Oh man, I love everything. I can go from empanadas to Italian food like spaghetti, lasagna. But I also love a good salad, like a kale salad. It all depends on how it’s seasoned, how it’s made. I love eating food; I think it’s awesome.
I guess a broader question is that food has really become a huge thing with social media and everyone’s just interested in seeing people make things, particularly extravagant things and there have been so many food trends that have happened because of the internet. Why do you think we have gravitated towards food content nowadays?
I would say that food brings nostalgia moments because it’s probably a food your grandmother made that the entire family likes, or just a recipe made a certain way that the entire family loves. Like when the family gets together and people are like, “Did Auntie Such-and-Such make her great sweet potato pie?” or “Did Such-and-Such make her mac and cheese?”
It’s just an awesome time to make different foods, especially during this time with quarantine, a lot of people have gone back into the kitchen and are having fun. My wife and I love the Tasty app and looking up different recipes to make for the family and cook together. There’s a lot of love put into cooking food. I think that’s why it means a lot to us.
I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to ask you about this, but since I can, I remember when there was a Good Burger pop-up–
Yeah, that was my pop-up! So what happened was Derek Berry, who does amazing pop-up restaurants, did the Saved by the Bell pop-up. My wife and I went there for her birthday, and Derek happened to be there. I was sitting there with my wife and we were like, “Yo, they need to make a Good Burger pop-up,” and Derek and his wife came out, and they were seeing all the fans going crazy because I was there, so he said, “You know what we should do? We should make a Good Burger pop-up,” and I was like, “Dude, I was just talking about that!” So we put our minds together to find a creative way to do it…and put it together here in LA. The summer of 2019, we took over. We were going to open up in Chicago, but that was before the pandemic. Once it’s over, we’re gonna do it again, and travel [the pop-up to other cities].
Since I’m Birmingham, AL, it’d be amazing if you could do it, if not in Birmingham, at least in Atlanta. I’d love to be able to go live out my Good Burger dream.
I’ve got family in Birmingham…We gotta put that on the top.
The last question I have is actually about Motorcity. My little sister loved that show and wants it to come back. Since we’re in the age of streaming and shows coming back with new life, do you think there’s a moment Motorcity could come back?
I would love for it to. I had fun playing my character on Motorcity. The cool thing is that the action by the animators is so amazing. Shout-out to the animators and illustrators of that show, it’s so good. I would love for Motorcity to come back, I think it would be awesome. We had fun.
- Interview edited for clarity