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December 3, 2011

Anyone who has seen an episode of Kenan and Kel all the way through knows that it was film in front of a live audience at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida.  So why does the show take place in Chicago?  It’s not that a show has to take place where it was filmed but I just wonder why specifically Chicago?  Was creator Kim Bass from Chicago?  No, she was born in Frankfort, New York.  Kenan was born in Atlanta, Georgia and Kel…was born in Chicago Illinois.  But that doesn’t mean anything.  It’s my reaction right now that the location of the show being Chicago has something to do with Kel being born in Chicago but that doesn’t make any sense.  He’s just an actor in the show.  It is possible, however that that has something to do with it.

A lot of Nickelodeon shows back then were filmed in Orlando.

Slime Time Live

Double Dare

What Would You Do?

But by the time I was able to visit around 2001, most of the filming had been transferred to Los Angeles.  Now Universal Studios Florida is just an amusement park to entertain these people:

But the only time it was really ever important that I know of for Kenan and Kel to be in Chicago is in the episode where Kenan climbs to the top of the Sears Tower in order to impress a girl.  One of my readers commented that Kenan and Kel live in Anytown, but I don’t think of Chicago as Anytown.  When I think of Anytown, I think of Mayfield, the fictional town that the show Leave it to Beaver takes place in.

It does work best that Rigby’s Grocery store is so small, it seems like it would be in an urban, down town area.

But I don’t think that it’s important what town the show takes place in because the world the show takes place in is not our own.  It is a fictional world and a parallel universe.  It’s a universe where a theatrically released movie can be called Nasty Puppy and where a television can be so powerful that it can cripple viewers in it’s brightness.  It’s a place where someone’s insides can turn orange from drinking several gallons of orange soda per day.  It’s a world where crazy old women wander into the same grocery store everyday and ask obvious questions and a concoction made out of marshmallows and orange soda can cure the common cold.  And it’s a world that still exists in the hearts of anyone who remembers the show fondly.  


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  1. This post made me remember so many great shows! I remember watching Nickelodeon and having them do the announcement about all filming being done at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. I wanted to go! It sounded like such a cool place. I know it’s a pretty cool theme park now, but it’s just not the same!

  2. aroth123 permalink

    Wow, Slime Time Live. That brings back childhood memories for sure. For some reason, I always wanted to be on the show for the chance to get slimed… Why someone would want to is beyond me, but I always had that desire. Slime Time Live and Keenan and Kel were a big part of my childhood for sure.

  3. Awesome blog. I like how you talk about how this world is a parallel universe, and that it is one that we carry in our hearts. I initially would not have thought about Kenan and Kel’s world like this until you acknowledged that their world is quite fictional, and irrational, and that is ok. I think one of the more memorable things of the show was Kel’s love for Orange soda. I don’t think I will ever meet someone who loves orange soda as much as Kel does. ooh, Memory lane.

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