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The Real Reason You Don't Hear From Kel Mitchell Anymore

The reverence for the '90s Nickelodeon is truly something to behold. The love people share for shows like Double Dare and Spongebob Squarepants runs deep. In creating such nostalgic entertainment, the network also minted some bona fide stars who would live on in pop culture for years to come. One of the most prominent names of the bunch is Kel Mitchell — the one who welcomed us to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, and wanted to take our order.

Mitchell's rise to fame started in 1994 when he became a main cast member on All That. From there, his star continued to rise, spinning off from All That alongside Kenan Thompson in the ever-popular Kenan & Kel. In 1997 he scored his first — and best known — big-screen role as the lovable goofball Ed in Good Burger, based on the All That sketch of the same name. While his film career didn't take off to glamorous heights, Mitchell found his niche on TV, where he's continued to work.

Over the past couple decades, Kel Mitchell has stepped further and further out of the spotlight. He isn't retired (nor is he dead, as MySpace claimed in 2006), but he isn't reaching the same heights as he was back in the day. As it turns out, Mitchell didn't fall off the face of the Earth. Instead, he chose to steer his life in a different direction.

Mitchell is focusing on his family these days

As Mitchell's career on the screen has slowed down, his life has off of it has only sped up. In recent years, he's begun to put a focus on staying at home and being a family man. He's married to his second wife, rapper Asia Lee, and the couple are currently expecting their second child. Their first daughter was born in July 2017, and he has two other children from his previous marriage — a son born in 1999 and a daughter born in 2002.

All things considered, Mitchell has the right idea in dialing things back to be a father. The bright lights of television and the movies can wait — family should always come first. While he isn't completely retired as an actor, if he were to call it quits today, he'd have nothing to be ashamed of. He's filled some iconic roles and left a profound impact on so many childhoods of the late '90s and early '00s. As they say, there's no more rewarding job than being a parent.

Mitchell hasn't strayed far from his Nickelodeon roots

Even though his primary MO is fatherhood, Mitchell still finds himself on TV on a semi-frequent basis. Most notably, he's worked on a few projects with Nickelodeon in recent years, both big and small. He is a regular on the reboot of All That, even contributing as an executive producer during the most recent season. He also enjoyed a solid run on the sitcom Game Shakers — playing the fun-loving rap artist Double G.

While these roles are on long-form series, Mitchell isn't one to shy away from the odd cameo here and there — especially at his old stomping grounds. In 2018 he and his comedy companion Kenan Thompson teamed up as contestants on the Double Dare revival. He also took part in the program two years before, during its anniversary special at San Diego Comic-Con 2016. He even took on a voice role as Beanie McBean on Spongebob's Birthday Blowout in 2019.

Mitchell likes to put on his dancing shoes

Moving away from his past, Mitchell made a bold move toward his future. He got in rhythm for the 28th season of Dancing with the Stars, where he did quite well. He and his partner Witney Carson dazzled viewers with their fancy footwork in a wide variety of styles. Although the duo came up short — finishing in second place behind Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten — Mitchell took it all in stride and still considered being the runner up as a win.

Aside from busting a move in front of the camera, Mitchell enjoys recording others tearing up the dance floor. His YouTube series titled The Back House Party invites young dancers to stop by and show off their skills. Although he hasn't updated it in over a decade, it was clearly a fun experiment to get the youth in touch with their creative side. It even got Mitchell and his wife an award from the Carson Black Chamber in 2016 for its lively nature and connection to the community's kids.

He's dedicating himself to his faith

Back in 2004, Kel Mitchell was in a rough place. Work was scarce and his first marriage was on the rocks — eventually ending altogether. As he told People, he felt as though he'd "hit a wall" and turned to drug use, leading himself down a very dark path with no way out. Growing up as the grandson of a pastor, religion was instilled in him at a young age, but he lost his way as he grew older. As it turns out, his reunion with his faith was all it took to put things into perspective and turn his life around.

"Once I found that clarity with Christ, I knew everything would work out," Mitchell said in the interview, explaining that his rekindled relationship with spirtuality is what brought him peace. As a result, he can now enjoy life with his family and find joy in all of the work he has coming his way. In 2019 he became a youth pastor at Spirit Food Christian Center in Los Angeles, California, spreading his positive message to the next generation.

Mitchell is lending his voice to various projects

Even though his star isn't what it was in decades past, Mitchell is still working consistently — at least, his voice is. One of his most popular roles was on Clifford the Big Red Dog, where he played the yellow bulldog T-Bone. In 2010 he provided the voice of Ant in Pink Panther and Pals on Cartoon Network, also voicing Dutch Gordy on Disney Channel's Motorcity that same year. While he was a main cast member, sadly neither of these programs got off the ground.

Not to be deterred, Mitchell is still taking voice acting work to this very day. He spent a few years on Rob Dyrdek's Wild Grinders, playing Jay Jay for the toy-based Nickelodeon program. As for upcoming work, he will appear in the second season of the revived Animaniacs series on Hulu. He will take on the role of Newt, a hunting dachshund previously performed by the late Arte Johnson in the series' original run.