Interview: Kel Mitchell Talks Book Blessed Mode, Career, and More

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Good Burger star, Deliciousness co-host, and comedian Kel Mitchell has a new book out called Blessed Mode. Available physically, digitally, and as an audiobook, the book is a 90-day guide on how to level up your faith and features plenty of stories from his career in show business.

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with All That and Kenan & Kel star Kel Mitchell about his book Blessed Mode, how the orange soda gag came about, and much more.

So you have this great book out called Blessed Mode. Tell me a bit about leveling up your faith. It’s a 90-day program and it’s to help people connect with their faith more, right?

Kel Mitchell: Yeah, man. So, Blessed Mode, it works on your mental, physical, and spiritual health. It’s really about getting up in the morning and just taking care of your day. Like we prepare for everything else, right? We prepare to put on our clothes because we know we’re gonna go outside. It’s gonna be cold. Or we’ll workout so we have the right endurance for the day. But then what about your mental and spiritual self? So it’s like waking up, having some time to pray to God, let him know about what you’re going through. Getting some help in that and just getting you ready for your day. It’s really a motivation.

So what I do is that I’ll start you off with a Bible verse in the book. Then after the Bible verse, I’ll talk about a story in my life that connects to that, and then after that, I’ll take you through a prayer and then it’s my favorite part. It’s called “go get them blessings,” where I actually have you apply what you just read to your life. I have you do something. It’s a call to action that day. It is really a family thing where I wanna let everybody know that they’re loved. Even if we’re not family, I wanna let everybody know that they’re loved and we’re all part of the same family.

It’s 2022 now, a lot of people are making New Year’s Resolutions. Probably people are failing at keeping them right now. Through this book, it’s a 90-day program but these lessons are gonna keep with you a lot longer. What are your tips for people when it comes to making meaningful changes and really keeping at it?

Meaningful is the right word. What you just said, like making it meaningful. Let’s say you’re working out. I heard Jay Shetty say this, which I thought was really cool way of thinking about it, where he was just like, if people were saying, “Oh, I’m going after a goal,” but then they say, “Oh, I’m gonna work out five times a day,” but then they only worked out one day outta that week. Then they give up because it’s like, dang my goal was five days. But look at it like this, did you do that one? Let’s celebrate that one that you did.

So then the next day let’s try to go for two. Let’s go. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If it’s a day where you didn’t really go for that goal that you set for yourself, it’s the intention that you did it, you know what I’m saying? Like you really did it. So, you can always be better than the day before. That’s my thing. I always say you could always do better than the day before. Never be too hard on yourself. When you make mistakes, just understand that they’re lessons. So it’s kinda like, okay, well what do I need to do? If it was working out, maybe I need to go to sleep a little earlier so I could get up. So I can do what I need to do. Maybe I need to switch my schedule around, kind of look at it like that in that way. So you can keep going.

I love it. Positive thinking is said a lot, but it really does make a world of difference. I saw you did the voiceover for the audiobook. These are a lot more work than people think, but you have such a history of great voiceover work. Did that really help you with this audiobook?

Oh yeah, man, like doing T-Bone for Clifford the Big Red Dog, Wild Grinders, all those different cartoons that I’ve done voiceovers, and then my show Best Friends Furever. I do a lot of voiceover work. So, that really did help prepare me for it. But I was very surprised that, because I was in there with the editor for like two days and he told me a lot of authors don’t like doing their audio. They have somebody else do it. They might not like the sound of their voice or things like that. But for me, I really wanted people to hear my voice and hear my passion behind it. I mean, no shot to anybody else, but just for me, I wanted them to hear my passion behind the words and why I wrote it. There was even a part in there [in the] acknowledgments where I got a little emotional because I was talking about my grandma and he was like, “Oh that’s great, but you can’t really cry on Audible.” And I was just like, I was like, “Oh yeah, yeah, right. Let’s retake. Let’s do that one more time.” [Laughs] But yeah, but that’s how raw I got in it.

While the book is more serious, you’re obviously known for your comedy. Who were some of your influences? Who did you watch growing up that made you laugh and kind of imitated until you found your true voice?

Martin Lawrence, I definitely watched his character work and his physical comedy is amazing. John Ritter, I always say that I used to watch Three’s Company late at night when I was supposed to be asleep as a kid. School was the next day, but I used to watch Three’s Company on my little TV, and it was a scene where he played his cousin and himself at the same time and had to fool everybody. That scene just really changed my life. Really physical comedians are the ones that I kind of gravitated towards and I’m sure you could see that in the work that I do. But yeah, they were just really instrumental, definitely. Eddie Murphy, all the Wayans brothers.

So let’s take a trip back into your past here. Kenan and Kel and All That. How instant was your chemistry with Kenan Thompson and when did you know that you two just had that connection and just had that magical chemistry?

What’s crazy is that when we did All That it was a nationwide search. So they went all over finding kids and teens. When we got the job, I remember we were on set and I would say a joke. He would say a joke. It just worked. You know what I mean? I remember the one that worked the most was the Mavis and Clavis sketch that we did together, where we were introducing TLC. It’s actually the tag at the end of All That when you say, “Oh yeah, kick it.” So when I remember that day, I just remember I would tell his joke, he knew what I was gonna say right afterwards, and we didn’t grow up together. It was just like a click, and then they started putting us in sketch after sketch together and then spin it off and doing the Kenan and Kel show.

Then what’s cool is Kim Fields, who I have a movie with which I just did this year for the holidays, but she used to direct Kenan and Kel. What was super cool is she introduced us to Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. It was just like all these cool comedy duos and was like, you guys are like that. We had no idea, you know what I mean? We were just like, oh, let me see these. We watched all these old tapes and we’re like, wow, and that really opened up our eyes too.

You also had a cameo in Kanye West’s video for “All Falls Down.” I’ve been wondering for like over a decade now, how did that come together?

Well, I grew up on the south side of Chicago, so did Kanye, Common, and all of us. So we all know each other. So it was, it was super awesome. I’m a little younger than them, but it was super, super cool that they hit me up. Kanye hit me up and wanted me to be in the video. I love the city of Chicago. I’m a hip-hop head, so I love hip-hop, and so when I got the call, I was like, “I’m there. I’m there, no matter what. Let’s do it.” And yeah, it was just a great song. That was a great album too.

I love that you’re both using your platform for so much good. He’s doing the Sunday Service now and putting out a lot of spiritual music. How great is it to see people reinstill faith with their platforms?

Yeah, man. I love that, especially in music and within entertainment. It’s so many different ways to let people know about your faith. I think that’s awesome. Yes, I am a youth pastor, but also it is ministry within entertainment, you know what I mean? How you could reach people, sometimes everyone’s not just in the four walls of the church. So it’s other ways you need to reach them. So if it’s through social media, it’s all ministry. If it’s through music, it’s all ministry. So just to reach somebody and show them God’s heart is so important, and that’s another reason why I did the devotional as well.

Speaking of another great musician, you did a great Loiter Squad appearance with Tyler, the Creator. You put the beating on him. How fun was that to record?

That was awesome, man. Tyler’s great, and I love his creativity. It’s super cool. I remember the day we filmed it, we got there, and it was like, “Well, it’s no scripts.” And I was like, “No script?” He was like, “Nah. We were just gonna figure it out on the fly.” I was like, “Word?” He was like, “Yeah, it’s gonna be all improv,” which is cool because I come from a comedic improv background, so I was like, let’s go. We just put that whole thing together at that moment and then turned the cameras on and it worked out.

It was so super funny and the whole squad, his whole crew that was there, was super dope. But what’s cool about All That is a lot of artists grew up watching the show. It’s super cool hearing their stories of how they enjoy watching All That. These are artists that I listen to and I like vibing to, and then also to be able to meet them in person and have those conversations and even work with them in sketches is awesome.

So many songs reference you and Kenan. Tyler even did it on a Westside Gunn song. He said “I’m all that, all that Kenan, Kel.” What goes through your mind when you hear your name mentioned through an artist that you like?

Man, I’m still like a kid. I’m always excited when I hear artists mention my name. I’m always super excited and then I’ll turn it up, listen to it again. It’s super cool, man. Working with Chance the Rapper, Chance hit me up to be in the “Hot Shower” music video. He just keeps talking about Good Burger within it and that was super cool. Another Chicago native and yeah, man, it’s a lot of different artists that shout us out and I think that’s cool. It’s real humbling and it’s awesome.

Kel Mitchell interview Good Burger

Kel Mitchell interview Good Burger

You mentioned Good Burger. I know you and Kenan have both been open about being on board for a Good Burger 2, and I know there’s so much going on behind the scenes, so I’m not gonna ask you for an update. But if it were to happen, what would you like to see from it? Where do you think those characters are in life in 2022?

I definitely think Ed would be running the place at this point. So, how chaotic or funny that would be with him running Good Burger and managing it. I think them looking for [and] seeing these new employees that are there now, with a whole new generation, I think would be really dope too. Having that and them having new adventures throughout that, trying to show these other workers how to get through and them learning them and navigating their stories within it. I think that would be really, really fun. And then having some of these acts that I just talked about earlier, musical acts be in the movie because we had so many good special guess in the first one. I think it would be cool to do that in part two as well.

That sounds great. I know we won’t get a Mystery Men sequel. That was a bit of a bomb, but I really liked that movie and it had such a talented cast. You were probably 20 when you filmed that. What was it like working with Ben Stiller and that cast?

Here’s the thing. We were up against The Sixth Sense. I remember The Sixth Sense changed their date and that’s what happened. Everybody wanted to see Sixth Sense because of the ending and it was just like, “Oh man.” But, what’s cool about Mystery Men is that it’s become like this cult classic. I’ve seen people at Comic Cons dressed as Invisible Boy, Shoveler, and Spleen. People wanted two for Mystery Men. So I know a lot of people talking about Good Burger, but I’m like I wanted two for Mystery Men as well because it would be really, really cool.

I was a superhero as well, so I’m excited about that. I’m a Marvel guy. I love Marvel. So for me, it was just like super cool to actually be a superhero and then working with all these amazing comedians that I looked up to was super awesome. We were on set for like six months because CGI wasn’t, I mean it’s still not easy, but CGI wasn’t as advanced as it is now. So it took a while with all the crazy CGI that we did in it. So, it took a while to shoot. So we all became like a family during that time, you know? It was awesome.

You also did a great All That sketch with the WWE stars The New Day. Those guys are a bunch of characters. How fun was it getting to play off their comedic chops?

That was a dream come true to me. First of all, we brought All That back and then having them come on, because I’m a huge WWE fan, you know what I mean? So that was cool. Me and my wife. We love the WWE and so when New Day came on, they were excited and I was just as excited as them. It was really funny because I remember I got to like knock a chair over and hit them, and it was just them looking at me like that. I was like, “Oh, I feel like I’m in the WWE. This is crazy. I’m about to wrestle.” So, yeah man, we had fun. We had a lot of fun.

Then my last question, I’ve got to ask it. Who loves orange soda?

I don’t know. [laughs] Kel loves orange soda. I do. I do. I do-oo. But drink water guys, drink water, and put orange electrolytes in there because I work out now.

How did that recurring gag come about? Were you drinking it backstage constantly or what happened there?

That was from the mind of our writers. You know what I mean? Dan Snyder came with this crazy idea and it was, he wrote it as, “Who loves orange soda? Kel loves orange soda. I do, I do.” And he didn’t have the sing-songy in there. So what I did was I just T-Pain’d it a little bit, you know what I mean? I came in and I just threw a little remix on it and who knew that it would take off. Even to this day, me and my wife will go to like a real high-end restaurant and the waiter will laugh if I don’t get orange soda. They’re like, “No, you supposed to get orange soda, man.” Like even to this day, like that just happened. But I love it. I love that people love it. It’s super cool.

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