Kenan Thompson Is Not Leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’

Kenan Thompson SNL

Is Kenan Thompson leaving Saturday Night Live? In a previous report The Inquisitr questioned why Thompson would leave SNL, but now we have new reports saying that he isn’t.

According to TMZ, Kenan’s last season will be the upcoming 40th. According to the site, Thompson really wanted to make last season his final one, but producer Lorne Michaels convinced him to stick around. Our guesses is Michaels wants to give him a proper send off. While that’s a convincing story, it doesn’t seem to be the case for Thompson.

An inside source is coming forward to say this information isn’t exactly accurate, which is a rarity these days for TMZ.

A rep from SNL said of the report, “the season hasn’t even started and cast decisions aren’t made until the end of the season.”

So far Kenan hasn’t come forward to release a statement in regards to his plans, but odds are he probably can’t announce any changes to his contract until the end of the upcoming season.

Thompson joined the cast of SNL in 2003. Out of the current cast that’s on the show, he is the longest serving member. Last year Thompson found his name in headlines when he criticized the show for its lack of diversity.

In an interview with TV Guide, he mentioned he wouldn’t play females in sketches. On SNL avoiding sketches with black females he said, “I don’t know. We just haven’t done them. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe [Pharaoh] will do it or something, but even he doesn’t really want to do it.”

This was a continuation of earlier criticisms made by Jay Pharoah who said the powers that be at SNL need to “pay attention” to the lack of diversity on the cast.

These comments by both Thompson and Pharoah put Lorne Michaels under fire, and halfway into the season Michaels unceremoniously held an audition to cast a black comedienne. After the holiday hiatus in December, Sasheer Zamata was cast as a featured player.

That said, even if Thompson expressed some discontentment about Saturday Night Live, it seems like he’s comfortable with having the job security. When asked if the “mass exodus” got him thinking about his departure, Kenan told Entertainment Weekly that he’s “never leaving” the show.

The upcoming season of SNL will already be a bit different from the last. Cast members Brooks Wheelan, Noel Wells, and John Milhiser were fired after one season on the show. Cecily Strong, who acted as a co-anchor for Weekend Update, has been replaced by new cast member Michael Che, and Nasim Pedrad left the show to star in her own television series.

[Image via NBC]