Kenan Thompson became a gem of late-night cable comedy after appearing on Nickelodeon’s All That and Kenan & Kel in the '90s. Thompson, now 40, continues to be a Saturday night staple as the longest-running cast member of SNL. He recently completed his 15th season, and sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to reflect on the past two seasons and his future with the live sketch show.
In the interview, Thompson explained one of the reasons he may have lasted so long on the show. “Even if you are a great impersonator, if you are not able to contribute to the rest of the show, that becomes readily apparent,” he said. “I always wanted to be well-rounded. I’m a big-time team player...I’m humble enough to know that I do well when I’m working with others.”
He also commented on passing Darrell Hammond as the longest tenured cast member of the show. “I almost felt a little guilty because I’ve always been close to Darrell,” he explained. “When I started approaching the record, I was like, ‘Man, that’s crazy.’ I felt a little guilty at first, but he was always cool about it.”
As of right now, Thompson has no concrete plans about when he’s going to leave the show. But he admits the thought of it scares him, though he sees the need to leave space for future cast members. “I think about leaving and I fear it. This is such a special place, you want to do your part here, but you also want to make room for people that are coming behind you. This was the first year I really started feeling like, 'OK, I could push out of it now.'" he said. “I’m not overly excited about going back to auditioning.”