Kenan Thompson, who is the longest-running cast member on SNL, says he wants to be on the sketch comedy show for at least 20 seasons.
Kenan Thompson says he wants to have at least 20 seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Created by Lorne Michaels, SNL has showcased and pivoted the careers of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, and many, many more. After laying tracks in the comedy world with memorable roles in Good Burger and Kenan & Kel, Thompson landed a regular spot on SNL in 2003.
Hailed as the longest-running cast member of SNL, with 18 seasons clocked in, Thompson’s tenure on the show has provided a plethora of genius comedic moments, including the sketch, “What Up With That?” – which has been noted as Thompson’s crowning achievement. Earlier this year, NBC announced the premiere date of Kenan, a sitcom that stars Thompson as a recently widowed father. Recently scoring an Emmy nomination for Kenan, Thompson continues to pack his schedule with new projects and has left fans of his work to speculate when he will quit SNL. Now, Thompson has declared how long he wants to stay on the sketch comedy show.
Speaking with EW, Thompson reveals that his goal is to be on SNL for 20 seasons. Solidifying that he plans on staying a cast member on SNL for as long as he can, Thompson said, “I keep saying I’m trying to get to 20 seasons. So if they don’t throw me out of there before, I’m trying to get to 20.” Thompson elaborated on his desire to remain a staple cast member of the series and declared he has no plans to quit SNL:
As long as the show keeps going and they want me to be there and I don’t feel like I’m in the way of somebody else’s opportunity, should I just oblige? I don’t really know what to do at that point, as far as leaving is concerned. Like, why should I ever have to leave?
Speaking on maintaining two high-profile jobs, family life, and upcoming projects, Thompson stated, “…it’s worked in my favor to be busy 10 months of the year.” Of course, SNL experienced a major overhaul amid the coronavirus pandemic and viewership fluctuated with season 46. As it stands, while Thompson can be expected to grace the series in the upcoming season, it’s still unclear if longtime cast members Pete Davidson and Cecily Strong will commit to season 47.
Since its premiere in 1975, Saturday Night Live has produced some of the greatest talents in television history. Of course, with longevity comes constant turnover in cast members. However, Thompson continues to shut down the speculations that he plans on moving on from SNL. Indeed, Thompson has shown exponential growth from his days on Nickelodeon, and his talent, work ethic, and devotion have made him legendary. For now, viewers can expect that Thompson still has many seasons ahead as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.
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