It’s difficult not to automatically connect Kel Mitchell’s name to Kenan Thompson. The All That, Kenan & Kel, and Good Burger co-stars have been collaborators and friends for decades. Most people associate one with the other, and while the actors have remained close, they’re walking vastly different paths. Kel recently visited Fox Soul’s One on One with Keyshia Cole where he talked about becoming a youth pastor as he continues to pursue his entertainment career. He also shared that there was a point when wanted to give up and take his own life, but opted to move forward with hope.
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Kel revealed that his career began when he was a 14-year-old theater student on the South Side of Chicago. As the young Kel watched some of his friends die by violence or get sent to jail, he used theater as an outlet. “[My parents] wanted me to do something that was...be in the arts and do something positive so that I wouldn’t follow the wrong crowd.”
The comedian would later meet Kenan on the set of the original All That series when they were teenagers. The pair went on to work together on multiple projects, but Kenan has found his greatest success as the longest-running cast member on Saturday Night Live. Yet, Kel shared that he, too, was up for a spot on SNL and auditioned the same time Kenan did.
“That was years ago,” Kel recalled. “That was like way back. But yeah, it was me, Kenan, DeRay [Davis], whole bunch of host of other comedians that went in and Kenan got it. So, shout out to Kenan. Super excited for him. That’s my bro.”
During his discussion with Keyshia, Kel talked about a time when he contemplated suicide. Keyshia wanted to know how he handled that because “it’s a real sin to kill yourself.” Kel replied, “No, what that is, is an emotion. In that moment, it’s a mindset. Okay? So what you gotta do is, you gotta think with your spirit.” Check out his interview in full below.