Kenan Thompson Shares His Favorite Memory From An SNL Afterparty And The Great Maya Rudolph Is Involved

Kenan Thompson Maya Rudolph
(Image credit: NBC/Apple TV+)

Kenan Thompson absolutely killed it hosting the 2022 Emmys. He brought all of his charm and wit to the hosting gig, and we couldn’t have been happier to see him in action. He is no stranger to live television, as he has been on Saturday Night Live for 20 years (and appeared in over 1,500 sketches), making him the cast member with the longest tenure ever. Over the years he's met incredible people, worked with huge stars, and of course, attended numerous legendary SNL afterparties. In a recent interview, the Kenan star reflected on his favorite moments during his stint, as well as his favorite afterparty moment. Of course it involves the iconic Maya Rudolph!

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of his hosting gig, Thompson talked about his friendship with Maya Rudolph, her influence on him as a performer, and an afterparty to remember. When asked which afterparty was the most memorable, he revealed: 

It’s probably the most recent season finale, when Maya Rudolph performed with her Prince cover band. I love her so much and owe damn near my whole life to her. I’ve performed with her a million times but never seen her in full rock-star mode. It was incredible, incredible, incredible. Type it three times!

What an incredible show to have seen, and it clearly was very special to Kenan Thompson. Also, now knowing Maya Rudolph performs in a Prince cover band makes her infinitely more cool, which I didn’t think was physically possible. Thompson and Rudolph have known each other for years. They performed as cast members on SNL together from 2003-2007, until Rudolph left the show. Clearly they have still remained friends, and the love is very much still there. Rudolph has come back to the network mainstay several times for hosting gigs and cameos, most notably to portray Vice President Kamala Harris.

Maya Rudolph found even more success following her stint on SNL. She notably starred in the 2011 comedy sensation Bridesmaids, as well as Grown Ups, Wine Country, and Sisters. She voices the “Hormone Monstress” on Netflix’s Big Mouth, a voice performance for which she won an Emmy. She is currently starring in Loot, a comedy series that follows a woman who is recently divorced from her billionaire husband. The show is streaming exclusively for Apple TV+ subscribers, and has already been renewed for a Season 2. Loot is some of Maya Rudolph’s best work yet.

Following his short-lived sitcom on NBC titled Kenan, Thompson is carrying on his historic run as a SNL cast member for season 48. The season premieres on October 1st, with several new cast members making their debut. I’m sure Kenan will do a great job showing the new cast the ropes. 

It probably won’t be long before we see these two comedy icons perform together again, as we are all hoping Rudolph returns to play Kamala Harris this season on SNL. To relive old sketches featuring Thompson and Rudolph, you can watch previous seasons of SNL currently streaming for Peacock subscribers. 

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.