Kenan Thompson on Losing $1.5 Million Due to ‘Dirty’ Accountant and Being Broke: ‘I Never Saw None of It’

The comedian said he struggled being an adult actor for hire following his exit from Nickelodeon in the early 2000s.

(Photo by Lloyd Bishop / NBC via Getty Images)

Kenan Thompson has revealed he once lost $1.5 million thanks to a shady accountant who took all of the money earned from his Nickelodeon shows. 

During his visit to The Breakfast Club, Thompson recalled missing out on a $1.5 million check from Nickelodeon once he left the popular children's network. According to Thompson, the accountant never got him his money, and he was stuck working as an adult actor for hire, which had its roller coaster moments. 

"I had a bad accountant, and it came to the light around '99, around 2000, which was really bad timing cause that's when I left my consistent gig," Thompson said at around the 9:30 mark. "So then I went into being an adult actor for hire, and that is very hit and miss, so there was some good jobs like I did Felicity. That was cool, and I got to meet J.J. Abrams when he was young, and that's like a priceless kind of friendship, I would say, because he's grown to become such a major force in the industry. But it was like six months until Love Don't Cost a Thing."

He continued, "That was fun, but we was still broke, like just money enough for the rent kind of thing, and that accountant was dirty. I ended up not letting that be the end all be all of what my life was going to be, so I just moved back to Cali and continued hustling."

"How much did the accountant get you for?" asked Charlamagne.

"A million and a half. Something like that. It was my contractual deal at the time for the overall Nickelodeon existence. I never saw none of it," he said.

View this video on YouTube

Thompson eventually found his way to success as he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2003 and has become the longest-tenured member of the show. He has also been nominated for five Primetime Emmys for his work on the sketch comedy show and took one home. 

Thompson also received three nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, in 2018, 2020, and 2021.

The rest of his interview touches on parenting, his relationship with Kel Mitchell, and more.

Latest in Pop Culture