Since the mid-‘90s, Kenan Thompson has been supplying the funny for tv audiences of all ages. After getting his start on Nickelodeon with shows like All That and Kenan & Kel, the comedian went on to star in films like the cult-classic Good Burger and Fat Albert. With 15 seasons locked in as a member of the Saturday Night Live cast, he now holds the record as the historic show’s longest-tenured cast member. “It’s a lot of sketches, but there’s no other show like it, so it’s very comfortable for me there,” Thompson said during Tuesday morning’s Breakfast Club visit. During his sit down with Angela Yee, DJ Envy and Charlamagne tha God, he also touched on if he’s felt like SNL’s token Black guy, getting checked by Steve Harvey, and the sinister vibes he got from Bill Cosby.
On being checked by Steve Harvey (who he portrays on SNL): “At first he was like, ‘Ah man you better knock it off bruh, because a lot of people are telling me - I got street friends and my street friends are telling me you are clowning me. I just want to let you know I ain’t no clown.”
On being SNL’s token black guy: “No. I mean we have several now. We’re good. I’m sure being the only one in any situation is a little tough. I was solo-dolo flying for like six years or whatever, but I never felt tokened.”
On why there aren’t more black comedians on SNL: “It ain’t the easiest show to do. A lot of Black performers come more so from stand-up comedy and not the improv houses. The improv houses are way more identical to how the show is."
On Bill Cosby’s sinister vibes: “The closest thing to it was like what Lisa Bonet said about like sinister energy. A little bit. He just has a presence. Me, I’m very down and I’m very chill, in my opinion, but some people come in there like they are above that. They want people to know that this is my set, my idea and my this and my that.”
On if he thinks SNL has ever stunted his growth: “Not really. Only because I’ve been doing other things kind of the whole time. The only thing that kind of slowed down was movies, just because the movie business is strange nowadays. There’s few and far between. They are either making Black Panther or they are making super tiny comedies. There’s no 48 Hours types of things going on right now.”
Check out The Breakfast Club’s interview with Kenan Thompson in its entirety above.