Saturday Night Live just kicked off its 47th season, and Kenan Thompson has done something no other SNL cast member has done before. With Thompson joining SNL in 2003, he is the longest-tenured cast member in the show's history. PopCulture.com recently caught up with the 43-year-old actor and comedian who opened about his SNL career.
"I never even thought I would get the job," Thompson told PopCulture. "I even never even thought I would have the chance to audition because I was sending tapes for a couple years and they kept telling me I looked too young or whatever. So I didn't even get a chance to audition for a couple of tries, but I kept trying, and then I got the chance to audition and made it through that whole process and wound up on the show, but they let you know every summer whether or not you're coming back."
"So it was never like, 'Oh, I'll be here for a while type of a mentality.' I don't know even though if I still have that mentality. It's always just like every joke has to be earned so we never really have that sentiment of just sitting back and they'll just love this because they loved the last one. It doesn't really work like that, which is why 19 years just flew by."
Thompson's 18 years with SNL surpasses the all-time record. Before Thompson, Darrell Hammond was the longest-tenured member as he was with SNL for 14 years. Thompson is also the longest-serving Black cast member, surpassing Tim Meadows who was on the show for 10 seasons. Over the course of Thompson's 18 years, he has done a number of skits that he loves.
"Man, the [Weekend] Update Desk was so much fun. I had so much fun with [Michael Che] last week," he said. "Just doing a funny bit about being hypnotized and just shouting out Zendaya's name a million times, it's just a lot of fun to be wacky there. Anytime I do my own type of thing like David Ortiz is always fun on the Update Desk, but I remember Steve Harvey doing Family Feud, which was always a lot of fun."
Along with Thompson's work on SNL, he has a partnership with Autotrader and can be seen in a few new commercials. Autotrader gives consumers an easier way to buy a car, which is ordering online and having it delivered to their home. In the commercials, Thompson is seen talking to his Al-enabled smart devices and appliances about how easy buying a car is through Autotrader.
"Once they really broke down exactly how awesome they have kind of changed the whole car buying experience then I was like, 'Yeah, well, I think we should really try to get the word out there much, much further,'" Thompson explained. "If I'm the guy to help them do that then, hey, so be it, and that's how they felt. Then we did it, and we shot it, and it's out there, and hopefully, people are going to be grabbing on the fact that... I don't know. It's a pretty great tool to have in the palm of your hand."