Kenan Thompson makes room for new comedic talent in Chicago

Kenan Thompson makes room for new comedic talent in Chicago
Kenan Thompson (Photo credit: L. David Stewart, ASMP, PPA / YEAR 60 Photography)

There are very few people 30 to 45 years of age who can say that they’ve had the same job for 17 years. That’s just not a luxury that millenials and Generation Xers have. However, “Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson, 41, is currently bringing the funny during his 17th season on the show. He is the longest-tenured cast member in the sketch comedy show’s 45-year history.

On Sunday, Nov. 25, 2019, rolling out had the opportunity to attend his latest endeavor, Kenan Thompson‘s Ultimate Comedy Experience. Aspiring comedians and patrons gathered at the Laugh Factory on Chicago’s North Side to get a glimpse of the next wave of comedians.

Before the show, we spoke with Thompson to discuss industry hacks, all things “SNL,” and the importance of leaving the door open for new and emerging talent.

You have been on “SNL” for 17 seasons. Do you ever get nervous? If so what do you do to calm the jitters?

I get nervous every time. There’s nothing you can really do but stand around and wait at the moment. There is a lot of toe-tapping and moving [from] side to side. Really engaging with my fellow performers always helps. You have to focus in and turn those nerves into a dream.

Have you ever stuck your hands under your arms and smelled them? (Reference to Molly Shannon’s character on “SNL.”)

When I get really nervous? No, I don’t, but I do understand where that can come from. Sometimes you have little ticks or whatever that just settle you. If sniffing your underarms is what you need to do, you gotta do what you gotta do.

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