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It’s Time to Recognize Kenan Thompson, ‘SNL’ Legend and Sitcom Star, With an Acting Emmy

It’s Time to Recognize Kenan Thompson, ‘SNL’ Legend and Sitcom Star, With an Acting Emmy

6/10/2021 6:06:00 PM

It’s Time to Recognize Kenan Thompson, ‘SNL’ Legend and Sitcom Star, With an Acting Emmy

When “Saturday Night Live” stalwarts Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong opened this year’s season finale with an emotional tribute to this most unusual year, it got tongue…

, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong opened this year’s season finale with an emotional tribute to this most unusual year, it got tongues wagging. Are we about to see another massive generational shift of “SNL” stars as the veterans roll out and a new cast rolls in?

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“SNL” has undergone plenty of cast changes in its nearly five decades on the air. Nonetheless, its evolution always conjures questions about the fate of the show, especially if executive producer Lorne Michaels ever retires. But more recently, as “SNL” has also turned into an awards juggernaut, it’s also worth wondering what a major cast change might mean to the late-night sketch series’ tally at the

Emmys— especially in the supporting comedy actor and actress categories.Until 2008, “SNL” performers competed in the variety or music performance categories, with Chevy Chase winning the supporting male actor statue on that side of the ballot in 1976, Gilda Radner winning supporting actress in 1978 and Dana Carvey winning in 1993, when both genders competed in a combined category. After that award was retired in 2008, “SNL” players moved to the supporting comedy actor and actress fields — with McKinnon (who has been nominated every year since 2014) winning supporting comedy actress in both 2016 and 2017. (Alec Baldwin, though not a regular “SNL” member, appeared often enough as Donald Trump to win supporting comedy actor in 2017). headtopics.com

This year, McKinnon is a shoo-in for a nom, while Bryant and Strong could very well make it in as well. (Bryant is also a contender in the lead comedy actress category for her Hulu series “Shrill.”)That brings us to the supporting comedy actor category and “SNL” legend Thompson. Nominated in both 2018 and 2020, Thompson has nonetheless never won an Emmy for performing. (He did win an original music and lyrics Emmy in 2018 for the “SNL” song “Come Back, Barack.”)

When he first joined “SNL” in 2003, much was made of the fact that Thompson was the first cast member to be born after the show’s 1975 premiere. Now, after 18 seasons, Thompson holds the record for “SNL” longevity. And although he’s now the star of his own sitcom, NBC’s “Kenan,” which was recently renewed for a second season, it’s clear he’s not ready to leave the comfort of “SNL.”

“I have a certain number I would love to get to,” he told me in a FebruaryVarietycover story. “I think 20 is a good, round, even number that I’m close to. I feel like that is in reach, but also it would be respected if I don’t get there. Eighteen is fine, 19 is fine. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is, will I have time for my family? There’s only 24 hours in a day.”

“Kenan” could land Thompson his first lead comedy actor nod. Michaels executive produces that comedy as well, and has long called Thompson his good luck charm. That’s why when Thompson and “SNL” co-star Chris Redd (who also plays his brother on “Kenan”) were still shooting “Kenan” on the Universal lot in Los Angeles in winter, Michaels made sure the two were on a plane and back in Studio 8H in time for the week’s “SNL” episode. headtopics.com

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I hope we don’t see that “SNL” exodus, but just in case, it’s time for Emmy voters to take heed: As Michaels told me earlier this year, point blank: “Kenan may be a genius.” Read more: Variety »

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iamalexispaige 90s legend I totally agree w this. Kenan is hilarious & he pulls off variety of characters on SNL w so much professionalism & he’s laugh out loud funny. Kenan started w Kenan & Kel as his first tv show & has a sitcom now. His talent on SNL is remarkable. He is well deserving of an EMMY.

Probably time for him to go…. He doesn't have one yet? I thought the article would highlight the impact of his comedy or acting, instead of just speaking to longevity. I was open to being shown just how underrated he is. I feel like we didn’t get that. He’s been a AWESOMELY GREAT ASSET ON SNL! 😀❤️ Absolutely

He hasn’t gotten one yet? What’s Up With That? Yes!! Sump'n Claus alone should have earned him one. Hell yes!

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He’s so fucking funny. This skit makes me think that they just pull the name of black actors out of a hat for Kenan to play and for the most part he just does the same impression regardless of who it is Totally agree.He is a wonderful actor. Agreed. No matter what he’s in, I laugh ridiculously. Yes. Fix it!

Definitely He is an icon on the show. His facial expressions alone are a craft. nocombnobrush 'Fix it!' How does he not have one already?! A rare unfiltered look into the treatment of Palestinians inside Israeli Occupation prisons: this 2019 vid reveals the IOF storming Naqab prison, barbarically assaulting 55 prisoners for 10 mins straight & leaving them tiedup atop each other for many hours

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An Emmy for laughing and smiling throughout sketches, when he hasn't gotten to the punchline?!-i don't think so.or for staying on the show too long?! Why. CROWN HIM!! “What’s Up With That” alone is in my top 5 of comedy GOLD!! I regularly revisit those episodes, rhyme words to interrupt people, break out in song, etc…Kenan is truly legendary! Greatness unmatched!

Agreed It’s been long overdue. About time, been a fan since All That. Thought he died 😅

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Kenan and Kel is my all time favorite Nick show! Concur This deserved an Oscar. “I’m Reba” kaylthyse one word yes Is there an Emmy for lackluster performances that are all the same? Or one for laughing in every skit? The lobster bit alone qualifies him.

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No fucking shit. He is the anchor of the show and a gem Friendos should've done that. Totally agree. He is fantastic. SNL also needs to put him first in opening credits. I know they do it alphabetically, but the man has been their 18 years and has carried that show many times over the years. But that's Chris rock picture.... ( but maYbe that's a quote ? )

Wait what!?! How does Kenan not have an Emmy!? I agree Gtfoh GIVE kenanthompson ALL THE THINGS!!!!

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ava When Millennials run things, errors such as this will be corrected. Kenan has been in our lives for as long as we can remember. All That, Mighty Ducks, Heavyweights, Kenan and Kel, Good Burger, SNL, etc. He’s the shining example of childhood fame not ruining someone. ava 🤴🏾 Absolutely! ava Love him!! Thompson is my favorite SNL cast member!!!

ava He is never not hilarious. It’s about time! 👏👏 Agree I mean for Black Jeopardy with Tom Hanks alone!

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Kenan is absolutely hilarious!!! Deserves a mountain of accolades! CORRECT. It is beyond time! kenanthompson has been my favorite SNL cast member for years. He just shows up in a sketch & I preemptively begin smiling because I know I'll be cracking up in no time! 100% agree He is such a funny guy!! And his expressions crack me up!

kenjeong Snl longevity award sure, not exactly an acting legend. Lol. HE DOESN’T HAVE AN EMMY? BLASPHEMY I love watching him, but he does the same “Smiling, giggling, & staring at the Camera” shtick that Fallon pulled. Not as bad as Fallon. Still hilarious to watch. Does deserve recognition. 👏🏼 Wait...WHAT? kenanthompson doesn't have an TelevisionAcad TheEmmys? WTF?

It's been long overdue!!! Seriously? That is just ridiculous! He must be due at least t, retroactively given. I adore him. Also how he seems to not age. He barely looks older than he did on Kenan & Kell. Keenan's 'What up with that' is my favorite sketch comedy of all time. ... said Kenan Thompson. 👍👍👍👍👍

He and Kate McKinnon are the best performers on the show right now. I have been saying this for years. kenanthompson is a legend Why? Emmys are for good actors, not scenery chewers like Kenna Thompson

Agreed!!!! I love Kenan! Even if the only thing he’d ever done in his life were BlackJeopardy - he’d deserve one. He is easily the best part about new SNL. Yeah… 100 percent! He carried SNL on his bacl for years He’s deserve recognition...been around a long time but imo he not very funny I’d love to see Kenan win an Emmy, but I always feel the word ‘legend’ is misused to the point of making it lose its true meaning.

He deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award.

YES! It is about time. Kenan is the funniest man on television. No one is even close. That would be like giving the MVP award to a player on a last place team. That's jacked up. He’s only one of the greatest improv actors of the last 20+ tears. The man has been on SNL since 1926. He's overdue for recognition.

But it’s for acting. Or, is it possible the show really hasn’t been that good for his entire run? He should of had one as soon as he played Pierre Escargot on All That.

Who Yes, please! He's probably the most underrated SNL Cast member ever! He can and does do it all! no