The man on the other end of one of Nickelodeon’s most famous ampersands is headed back to the network.
Kel Mitchell, formerly of Kenan & Kel, has signed on to star in the upcoming Nickeldeon comedy Game Shakers, EW has learned. Created by Dan Schneider (iCarly, Victorious), the show centers on a pair of 7th grade girls, Babe (Cree Cicchino) and Kenzie (Madisyn Shipman), who after creating a wildly successful mobile gaming app called Sky Whale start a company in Brooklyn called Game Shakers with their friend Hudson (Thomas Kuc). Mitchell enters the picture as Double G, a super successful, unpredictable rapper who first threatens to sue the girls after they use a song of his without permission. He then joins forces with them as a partner in the business.
“I get to play a hip-hop mogul who is the comedic version of artists like Kanye, Diddy, Eminem and 50 Cent,” Mitchell tells EW. “Double G is a rapper/singer/dancer/entrepreneur/investor, which gives us great story lines on the show. I love playing such a wild character, because you will see some great physical comedy, but he also has heart; he is a single dad that loves his son, Triple G, played by the very talented Benjamin ‘Lil P-Nut’ Flores, Jr. There are so many layers to this character that it is one of those dream-come-true roles.”
This role brings Mitchell home to Nickelodeon, where he rose to fame in the 1990s as a star of All That, and Kenan & Kel. He and Kenan Thompson — who is currently SNL‘s longest-tenured cast member — also starred in the 1997 big-screen comedy Good Burger, which was based on an All That sketch. Mitchell has popped up briefly on Nick in recent years, guest-starring on such shows as Sam & Cat and The Thundermans. “I fit in well with Nickelodeon — my name is even in the middle of the word Nic-Kel-odeon,” quips Mitchell. “It’s great to be back on the network that gave me my first big television job. It was an awesome network then and is still an awesome network. Now the whole family is excited to meet me — moms and dads quote my characters from the 90’s and their kids are quoting my current characters on Nickelodeon. … I’m ready to shake up the game again.”
Game Shakers also reunites Mitchell with Schneider, who was an executive producer of All That, Kenan & Kel, and Sam & Cat, a co-writer of Good Burger, and is one of the reasons Mitchell chose this show as the vehicle for his return to weekly television. “Dan and I go way back and have a history of great characters together on Nickelodeon,” notes Mitchell. “We understand each other’s comedic styles and have so much fun on set playing around with different scenes and takes.”
Outside of Nickelodeon, Mitchell — who was the subject of a viral Internet death rumor in 2006 — has appeared in Mystery Men, and voiced characters on the PBS’ Clifford the Big Red Dog, Nicktoon’s Wild Grinders and Netflix’s Veggie Tales. He recently popped up on truTV’s Friends of the People and Cartoon Network’s Loiter Squad.
Game Shakers is slated to debut in September.