• Kenan Thompson’s new NBC gig casts shadow over SNL future

    Kenan Thompson wants comedians to ‘bring it’ on his new NBC comedy competition show Bring The Funny. A $250,000 prize package awaits the winner, but what does the future hold for the Saturday Night Live star?

    Industry insiders have speculated for some time that Thompson may leave SNL as a full-time cast member in pursuit of a big-time TV or movie career. Bring The Funny is the second prime-time show to land Thompson in recent months, only adding fuel to speculations that his transition away from late night could be imminent.

    NBC recently ordered a pilot for Thompson’s starring vehicle, Saving Kenan. With Lorne Michaels, Thompson will executive produce the show, in which he plays a recently widowed dad. Thompson and Michaels have worked together for 16 seasons on SNL, making Thompson the show’s longest-tenured cast member. After so many years, perhaps the All That alum is ready for a change of pace.

    Amanda Seales will be the face of Bring The Funny

    Amanda SealesBring The Funny will be hosted by Amanda Seales and judged by Thompson, Chrissy Teigen, and Jeff Foxworthy. Host Seales starred in her debut stand-up special, I Be Knowin’ on HBO in January and the casting continues to showcase the Insecure star to mainstream audiences who can’t afford HBO (or don’t have a friend’s HBO Go password).

    The judges will have their hands full with a variety of talent on Bring The Funny, including stand-up, sketch, and variety acts. The competition’s online application has 59 parts, asking for all types of comedy from dark to deadpan to one-liners all the way to magicians and ventriloquists. The age requirement is only nine years old.

    Thompson has been pretty vocal that he’d be willing to stay on SNL “forever” and he expressed as much again in December on The Wendy Williams Show, but reports have floated about his exit for some time, including this past fall as Saving Kenan caught steam. Be prepared for less Black Jeopardy! should the sitcom get the green light this spring.

    Comedians may submit for Bring The Funny here.

    Mary Stevens

    Mary Stevens is a stand-up comedy enthusiast. She is a huge fan of live stand-up comedy and produces a show in her backyard in Hermosa Beach, CA. Her show has featured comics from Netflix, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime and SNL, as well as up-and-coming comics. She is active on Twitter and Instagram @hermosabchmary.

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