Keenan Thompson is branching out beyond Saturday Night Live, but fans of the long-tenured comedian will still be able to see him live from New York every week.
As the New York Daily News reported, NBC picked up the comedian’s sitcom The Kenan Show, which showed him as a character named Kenan trying to balance his duties as the father of two children with a career and a father-in-law played by Andy Garcia.
While nothing has been officially announced, the New York Daily News report noted that Kenan Thompson is expected to return to Saturday Night Live — in an even bigger role with the network. The report noted that Kenan will also be an executive producer of his new show, along with Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.
There was little doubt that Kenan Thompson would be leaving the show he has been on for the past 15 years. Kenan recently became the longest-running actor in its history, and has said in interviews that he is nowhere near finished.
As Vanity Fair noted, Thompson has been a fixture of sketch comedy since he was 15-years-old and a budding star on Nickelodeon’s All That. Kenan landed his first sitcom three years later with co-star Kel Mitchell and a spinoff movie in Good Burger.
Last year was a banner one for Thompson, who notched an Emmy nomination and celebrated the birth of his second daughter.
“I feel incredible,” Thompson told the magazine. “It’s just been the most incredible summer I’ve ever had in my life.”
Thompson has also gotten a reputation as versatile and amendable on Saturday Night Live, not letting an ego get in the way and always willing to try out whatever roles are offered to him. As Thompson told Vanity Fair, he hopes that plays into his legacy on the show.
“Everybody wants to be a solid performer on here, you know?” he said. “I look up to Phil Hartman and Will Ferrell as two of the greatest who have ever done it, as far as reviews are concerned—but we all know certain individuals’ names because of their time there, and when they did it right, they’re the ones that are household names. I want people to say that I did it right.”
NBC picks up family comedy starring Kenan Thompson for fall https://t.co/JyjKwIYd5D
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 10, 2019
Fans will get a double dose of Kenan Thompson starting next fall, with his new project The Kenan Show airing along with his 16th season of Saturday Night Live.