After almost 10 years on Saturday Night Live, it looks like Kenan Thompson might be breaking out and getting something of his own. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, Thompson is working with Lorne Michaels on a sitcom for NBC.
Kenan Thompson, who has been with the sketch comedy series since 2003, is attached to write, star in and executive produce an untitled comedy, which has received a script commitment from the network.
The single-camera comedy would star Thompson as Kenan Monroe, a guy who gives up his New York life and moves to his in-laws’ house in the suburbs, where he must contend with three generations of problems.
Soooooooooo am I the only one who’s surprised that it took so long for Michaels to give Kenan his own thing? This is his 10th season on the show, putting him behind only Darrell Hammond, Seth Meyers, Al Franken, and Fred Armisen on the list of longest-tenured cast members. (He’s currently tied with Tim Meadows.) And that list really isn’t a fair comparison, because Meyers and Franken were more of a writer/”mind of the show” type than a straight cast member, and Darrell Hammond was basically hanging on with nothing but decade-old impressions of Al Gore and Donald Trump by the end. Cross them off the list and it’s just Kenan, Armisen, and Meadows, and both of the other two already have Michaels-produced projects under their belts (Portlandia and The Ladies Man, respectively).
Hey, for all I know Kenan Thompson has been exceedingly happy as a long-term cast member, and had no interest in branching out to do his own thing. That is very much a possibility. And because he started so young, it’s easy to forget that he’s only 34, which is a younger age to leave than all the other people on that longest-tenured list by a sizable chunk (Hammond left at 53, Armisen is 45, Meyers is 38, etc.). It just seems a little weird to me that Michaels — by all accounts an incredibly powerful figure in comedy — liked Kenan enough to bring him aboard at age 25 and keep him around for a full decade, but wasn’t able to secure him much outside of the show until now.
In conclusion, knucklepuck.