Kenan Thompson might need to leave Saturday Night Live for his own sitcom, Saving Kenan. NBC picked up the comedy starring Thompson after it’d been in development since the fall. Lorne Michaels, as usual, will serve as executive producer, as he does on many projects from his SNL darlings. Also on board is Superstore executive producer Jackie Clarke.
Thompson is the longest-running cast member on SNL and when he started on the show in 2003, he was the youngest performer at the time. While Thompson hasn’t announced any plans to the leave the late night comedy mainstay, with his own series, the difficulty of juggling schedules could lead to Thompson stepping away, at least as a full-time cast member.
Saving Kenan is written by Clarke and depicts Thompson as a newly widowed family man who lets his father-in-law become involved in his children’s lives as he strives tries to be everything for them.
Is it time for Kenan Thompson to move on from SNL?
The show will be Thompson’s first role starring in a sitcom since his Nickelodeon show Kenan & Kel ended in 2000, but he has since provided his voice talents to The Awesomes, Nature Cat, and the short-lived series Sit Down Shut Up. He has also appeared on Maya & Marty and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
In 2018, the SNL star said of staying on the show in an interview with Deadline, “They’re like my big giant family. It’s spending quality time and doing quality work with quality people. If it was possible, I’d stay forever and just retire as the one guy that never left, basically. I’d be totally fine with that, but at the same time, I still have aspirations.”
Saturday Night Live can be a breeding ground for TV and movie stars, so we can’t imagine there’d be hard feelings should the All That alum move on to greener pastures (or just a different floor at 30 Rock). With networks soon to start announcing green lights, clarity should arrive very soon.