Kenan Thompson Is Considering Leaving ‘SNL’ For Primetime Television

The time seems right after his first Emmy win.

Kate McKinnon (L) and Kenan Thompson speak onstage during the 70th Emmy Awards
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The time seems right after his first Emmy win.

Even before he won the Emmy this week, Kenan Thompson reportedly had his eye on the door at Saturday Night Live, considering an exit for the bigger spotlight of his own primetime sitcom. But Thompson wouldn’t be straying too far as the show he’s considering is being produced by his current boss, Lorne Michaels.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Kenan Thompson will star in a show called Saving Larry, in which he will play a single dad. The show will be a single-camera comedy that is a combined effort of Lorne Michaels and writer Jackie Clarke from Superstore.

Saving Larry will be part of pilot season, and if it’s picked up, then NBC will make the decision with Thompson about what will be the next move.

Thompson said there is something scary about pulling the plug on his time as the longest running cast member on SNL.

“I think about leaving and I fear it. This is such a special place, you want to do your part here, but you also want to make room for people that are coming behind you. This was the first year I really started feeling like, ‘OK, I could push out of it now.’ Chris Redd is super-duper strong, and I really look forward to his potential on the show. That was the first time I thought, ‘Maybe I should give this dude more room.’ If that’s the case, then it might be time to move on.”

This is Thompson’s 16th season on Saturday Night Live, and though he has thought about making the leap before, he has now been rewarded with his first Emmy.

But the advantage of Saving Larry, a comedy about a recently widowed father who parents his children with the help of his father-in-law, is that it will be an opportunity for Thompson to executive produce a show alongside Lorne Michaels.

Deadline says that Thompson won a music and lyrics Emmy for Saturday Night Live‘s “Come Back, Barack.” The show broke its own record this year for the most Emmy wins, adding eight this year to the show’s count for Primetime Emmys.

Kenan Thompson got his start in sketch comedy on the Nickelodeon series All That, which spun off to the show Kenan & Kel, which is starred with former comedy partner Kel Mitchell. The two then went on to make the movie, Good Burger.