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The Inexplicable Truth by Kenan Thompson

Ilya S. Savenok / Getty ImagesBy Nina Starner / .6. March 2020 12:51 p.m. EDT

If you've caught a single episode of Saturday night live Over the past few decades, you've definitely seen Kenan Thompson, who has been a member of the cast since 2003. There's always a lot of sales going on Saturday night live;; In the show's history, cast members like Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Dana Carvey, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and others have come and gone, but some longtime players like Thompson have stay on course Saturday night live Lively and fun week after week.

Thompson has worked in sketch comedy his entire career, but if you think you know all of this about Thompson, there is probably a lot left to learn about this incredibly funny actor. From his start on Nickelodeon to his work outside of Saturday night live and every record he holds at Rockefeller Center is the immeasurable truth of Kenan Thompson.




Kenan Thompson started on the news

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Kenan Thompson was born in Atlanta, Georgia and began his long acting career at the age of five in a local production of The Wizard in which he didn't even have any lines. In his childhood, the young comedian developed a love for The price is correctthat he obsessively watched; like he said Vanity FairThe game show earned a place in his heart because 'it's just a very joyful contemplation' and as he progressed as a funnyman, 'he always wanted to mimic that in some way'.

Ultimately the future SNL Star started off in a fairly appropriate fashion, making an appearance on a children's newscast. Thompson's first real screen role was on the CNN series Real news for kidswhere he worked as an entertainment reporter. With Thompson ultimately mocking the news instead of reporting it, this launch feels especially prescient for this future comedy star.

The beginning of Kenan & Kel

If you're a 90s kid, you probably met Kenan during his appearances on All that and Kenan & Kelwhere he starred in a children's version of his future job along with a number of other talented young artists Saturday night live. On Nickelodeons All thatThompson played memorable characters like Pierre Escargot, but he turned out to be a lot bigger than that All that himself. Because of his chemistry with co-star Kel Mitchell, Thompson and Mitchell earned their own show. Kenan & Kelwhich itself resulted in a feature film spin-off film, Good burger, based on one of the couple's favorite sketches.



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You may be pretty familiar with the work history of Thompson and Mitchell, but even so, you may not know that the duo didn't team up at first All that, but a completely separate platform. The two actually started their partnership on The Steve Harvey Showwhich is especially amusing when you find one of Thompson's many signature impressions on SNL is none other than Steve Harvey.

Kenan Thompson has won new fans with Fandango

Many actors and stars work in commercials or become brand ambassadors as a side concert. Think Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln ads, Terry Crews as the face of Old Spice deodorants, or the real revolving door of famous faces that represent the Old Navy, from Amy Poehler to Busy Philipps to Neil Patrick Harris and Billie Lourd. Although Kenan Thomspon is definitely busy with his work Saturday night liveHe's also found time to work as the public face of a huge entertainment company.

In 2015, Thompson signed to become the face of Fandango as part of their We Love Movies marketing campaign, despite not acting himself. Instead, Thompson starred as the original character Miles Mouvay, a fanatical film buff who was actually born in a movie theater and wasn't really born until his mother finished the film. Thompson played Mouvay over nearly 20 videos and other appearances, which made him even more visible on a new platform.



Kenan Thompson got his hands dirty with The Splat

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Nostalgia is always a safe bet, and although Kenan Thompson worked on it Saturday night live For years he has still had a lot of fans who fondly remember his Nickelodeon days. In 2015, Thompson made his first tentative return to his All that Days on the Splat, Nickelodeon's official 'nostalgia' channel.

On the 22nd anniversary of All that, Thompson, and other former cast members Danny Tamberelli, Kel Mitchell, Josh Server, and Lori Beth Denberg made a triumphant return on Nickelodeon's orange couch for a special program block that wasn't just included All that Reruns but reunion scenes where these original cast members discussed their time on the show. Though they may have missed other old school All that Alumni like Amanda Bynes, it was certainly exciting for classic Nickelodeon fans to put so many of their favorites back together, especially considering how difficult Thompson's schedule can be during the hardships SNL Seasons.

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Back to 'All That'

Kenan Thompson's return to the orange couch in 2015 was just the beginning of his final return, too All that: In February 2019, Nickelodeon announced it has completely restarted All that with a completely new cast of young actors.

Some of the old skits, including 'Good Burger' and Lori Beth Denberg's signature 'Loud Librarian' (which constantly contradicts itself by yelling at library users to be quiet), are alive and well and good on the reboot, but during a profile about the new show shortly before its premiere in the New York TimesDenberg said the show would have an absolutely modern sensibility even if younger viewers were unable to recite 'Good Burger' from memory. Of course, Thompson is acting as executive producer on the reboot, making it clear that he respects and fondly remembers his roots in sketch comedy even as his star rises Saturday night live.

A young new SNL star

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Anyone with whom one is only vaguely familiar Saturday night live Tradition knows how long the show has been around. a weekly television show since 1975, SNL Obviously, it's going nowhere, giving young comedians across generations a goal to work towards. As it turns out, Thompson, one of SNLThe most valuable players in decades almost didn't make it onto the show at first thanks to his youthful demeanor.

The firstSNL Actor born after the show premiered (Thompson was born just a few years later in 1978) he tried out Saturday night live several times only to find out that it was a little too fresh. After that they do Good burger Movie at 18, said Thompson Vanity Fair Waiting four years to even send in an audition tape, he said, “I kept broadcasting tapes when I left Nickelodeon and said,“ I'd love to graduate now! " SNL I played hard to get up at first and replied, “You look a little young. Have a look at us. 'It was worth a couple of years.

At 25, Thompson finally got his first real audition for SNL and never looked back; Despite a disastrous attempt to do a stand-up comedy for his audition (which he had never done before), he joined the cast in 2003.

Kenan Thompson was an advocate for diversity at SNL

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SNLhas definitely always dealt with a fairly serious diversity problem. Many of SNLThe most famous cast were whites, and while stars like Eddie Murphy and Kenan Thompson are obvious exceptions to the rule, the show didn't add its first Latina star to the full repertoire until Melissa Villaseñor was hired in 2016 when Bowen Yang, the first Asian- American performers on the show, was discontinued in 2019. Over the years, Thompson has done his part in making the representation of the show match the snuff.

In 2013, with just three colored people in the main cast - Thompson, Jay Pharoah, and Iran-born Nasim Pedrad - Thompson was often forced to dress in drag to play pop culture icons like Rihanna and Oprah, and it is revealed Television program that he simply refused to continue doing it until the show hired a black woman. After Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007, the show went out without black actresses for years, and although Thompson controversially said the pool of applicants might not be up to the job, his refusal to put on a dress likely contributed to it at Sasheer's ZamataCasting at the Sasheer ZamataCasting Year 2014.

An SNL employee

Stars can come and go Saturday night live, but nobody stayed as long as Kenan Thompson - literally. Thompson is no ordinary SNL Performers, and actually keeps a ton of records on the show after decades in Studio 8H.

In the 2013-14 season, following Seth Meyers 'departure, Thompson became the oldest member of the cast, and he eventually knocked out former actor Tim Meadows' ten-year run to become the longest-running African American actor in the show's history. He also hit SNL The number of impressions of legend Darrell Hammond with 139 celebrity parodies of Hammods 107. By 2018, Thompson was officially the longest SNL Performed throughout the show's tenure. Even as Saturday night live As it adjusts to new political administrations and a changing world, one thing is clear: Thompson is about to joke week in and week out for the long run.

Kenan Thompson supports SNL from within

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Producing a one-hour sketch show once a week is no small feat, butSaturday night live is a well-oiled machine supported by Kenan Thompson's talent. In one piece for slate written in memory SNLIn the 40th season of 2014, the series' then chief writer Bryan Tucker explained the real secret to the outlet SNLSuccess: Thompson's quick joke. Like Tucker said slateHere's a secret. If you are one Saturday night live Writer, and you want to get an extra laugh in your script, just add this line: 'KENAN REACTS.' Sure, it's kind of a scam. But we still do it sometimes. Because it works. '

Tucker continued, “Kenan was one of the few actors that writers rely on. Put it somewhere in your sketch and your sketch will get better. Because Kenan knows how to take ordinary lines and make them funny, and take funny lines and make them special. 'Of course, Tucker isn't the only one appreciating Thompson's talent. after several Emmy nominations for his time on SNLThompson finally picked up a statue next to Chance the Rapper for writing 'Come Back Barack' in 2018.

Kenan Thompson brought back another Nickelodeon classic

Even if Kenan Thompson is at shows such as All that and Kenan & KelHe clearly understands that Nickelodeon made him the star he is today. That's why he's likely agreed to help another classic Nick show come back from the dead in the 2010s.

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In 2018 Weekly entertainmentreported that Thompson would team up with Kel Mitchell to resuscitate Double dare, one of Nick's most popular and chaotic game shows. Hosted by television personality Marc Summers, the original iteration of Double dare featured a super sloppy obstacle course with lots of goosebumps and even a huge runny nose, while the new version cast YouTube personality Liza Koshy as the show's new host. Meanwhile, Thompson and Mitchell stepped up against each other on the show on two contestants, which turned out to be as fun (and disgusting) as one might expect.

Kenan Thompson is popular behind the scenes at SNL

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Fans of Saturday night live I definitely love Kenan Thompson between his absolutely perfect reaction shots and creepy celebrity impressions, but rest assured, no one loves Kenan more than the team behind the scenes at SNL. In a profile from 2019 in The Washington Post, SNL Chief Honcho Lorne Michaels went so far as to say that Thompson is' a master in this studio ... he knows how to do almost anything the best 'before giving Thompson the ultimate compliment by saying the performer was' the Person who I am. ' Most rely on the cast. '

Likewise a 2019 profile in vulturepositioned Thompson as the 'obvious heir' of the legend SNL Comedian Phil Hartman, who was known as 'The Glue' while on the show. Praising its versatility, ability to save every sketch, and incredible presence, the piece now pays a bittersweet compliment: Thompson is 'like Kobe Bryant if Kobe Bryant were the consummate team player'.

As for Thompson, he's perfectly happy to continue basking in love SNL;; in the same Washington Post"Profile," he called SNL His 'Eternal Plan', which is a relief for his many fans both behind the camera and in front of the TV on Saturdays.

A new political appearance

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In recent years, the correspondents' dinner at the White House in the country's capital has been a bit crowded. Although the so-called 'nerd prom' was always popular during the Obama administration, it fell out of favor during the Trump administration. After Thompson's former SNL Castmate Seth Meyers wildly mocked Trump during the 2011 trial that apprentice The host and future Republican president soured this typically good-natured roast. As if things couldn't get any more irritable, Republicans complained about Michelle Wolf's now infamous 2018 hosting gig, which she turned his administration into a task, and the following year it seemed like comedians unwanted person at the correspondent's dinner, especially since Wolf was followed by historian Ron Chernow in 2019.

That seems to have changed in just one year, however, early 2020 brought news that Thompson, along with former ones Daily show Correspondent Hasan Minhaj would share the hosting responsibilities for the 2020 dinner. After Meyers and Cecily Strong, Thompson will be one of many SNL Cast members to take the stage, but at least he probably doesn't have to worry personally about the President's anger tonight; Trump has not attended the correspondents dinner since taking office.