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After more than a decade of hilarious and steady work on Saturday Night Live, Kenan Thompson may be ready for a new challenge. The seasoned comedian hasn’t announced his plans publicly, but rumors are swirling that he’s going to depart the SNL cast after this upcoming season.
According to TMZ, Kenan Thompson was considering an exit from the show after this past season, but he was allegedly asked to stay by creator and showrunner Lorne Michaels in order to give everyone else another year to grow and adapt to the huge recent losses of Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader. From a functional standpoint, it makes a lot of sense too. Thompson has never been the type of cast member to be in every sketch, but he is one of the few who can almost single-handedly carry a sketch by himself. As such, if the material is particularly soft during a given week, he can easily be called in to throw together a “Scared Straight”, “What Up With That?” or some other slice of weird greatness. Like the Steve Havey sketches, for example…
Kenan Thompson is not only one of the long-tenured cast members in the history of Saturday Night Live, he’s also one of its most underrated. During his eleven-year-run, he’s been consistently overshadowed by co-stars who have gotten more credit and more critical buzz. He hasn’t complained. He’s just put his head down and continued to crank out absolute hilarity whenever needed.
Of course, there’s always a chance he may not end up leaving either. Vulture was able to catch up with a spokesman for the show who told the outlet no final casting decisions have been made and won’t be made until the upcoming season has finished. Obviously, he or she is obligated to say that, but keep this question in mind: how much in your life typically changes in nine months? With a wife and a new baby, Kenan Thompson is reportedly excited about moving to Los Angeles, but it’s entirely possible life may get in the way. We’ll see.
Regardless, here’s to hoping Kenan Thompson crushes every chance he gets on Saturday Night Live this year.