Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson has been entertaining audiences for three decades. And on August 11, 2022, he added “Hollywood Walk of Fame Honoree” to his lengthy list of accolades. And what makes this honor even more special is that Thompson’s star neighbors the star of his long-time friend and mentor, Lorne Michaels.
Kenan Thompson is the longest-running cast member on ‘Saturday Night Live’
Thompson has been a part of the Saturday Night Live cast for 20 years, making him the longest-running SNL cast member in its history. He has appeared in numerous sketches as a variety of characters but is best known for his impersonations of celebrities like Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey, and Oprah Winfrey.
But Thompson was a TV star long before joining SNL. The actor started his career as a young teen with the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series All That. His success on the show earned him and co-star Kel Mitchell the spinoff movie, Good Burger. The two also landed their own Nickelodeon sitcom called Kenan and Kel in 1996.
In 2021, Thompson’s new sitcom Kenan earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He then went on to host the Emmys telecast in 2022.
Kenan Thompson reveals his Hollywood Walk of Fame star is next to Lorne Michaels’ star
Michaels is responsible for making Saturday Night Live the cultural phenomenon it is today. He created the show in 1975 and has remained executive producer ever since.
In an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Thompson talked about his 20-year run on SNL and shared his appreciation for the show and his place in its legacy. The actor noted that his old SNL co-star Leslie Jones joined him for his Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony. And he then revealed how excited he was to see that his long-time friend and boss had the neighboring star.
“Crazy enough, I saw an ‘L-O’ because the carpet was covering one, and then I saw an ‘L-S,’” Thompson told host Seth Meyers. “So, I couldn’t see the full name. I was like, ‘Is that Lorne Michaels?’ And I’m right next to Lorne Michaels — literally touching stars.”
Kenan Thompson says he will stay on ‘Saturday Night Live’ as long as Lorne Michaels wants him there
With 20 years on SNL, and co-stars like Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, and Aidy Bryant leaving, Thompson is often asked about his own exit. When talking to E! News recently, the 44-year-old noted that he’ll be on the show as long as Michaels wants.
“I don’t feel pressure to stay, I don’t feel pressure to go either,” Thompson said. “If Lorne says he wants me to be there, I should be there.”
Thompson also explained how he approaches his contributions every week. And he also explained what it would take for him to consider leaving.
“I can tell when I’m bringing something to the table on Wednesday, and the people in the room sound like they’ve heard this before, as far as their laughter is concerned, it’s a major difference than when somebody really finds something hilarious,” Thompson said. “I’m always trying to hit that note.”
“Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t,” he added. “So, I guess whenever it starts to become more often than not, I’m actually not doing well, it’ll probably be time to do something else.”