How Long Has Kenan Thompson Been On SNL (And Why)?

How Long Has Kenan Thompson Been On SNL (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 18 Years

Kenan Thompson is an American actor and comedian who has been on Saturday Night Live since 2003. He was born in California but raised in Atlanta. 

When he was younger, Kenan wanted to be a doctor or lawyer, but his only goal was to make people laugh. He was also the first regular cast member to be born after 1975 when the series began. He currently appears on NBC’s Kenan, which debuted in 2021. 

A lot of people are wondering how long he will be with SNL. He has been a cast member of Saturday Night Live for many years.

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How Long Has Kenan Thompson Been On SNL?

Saturday Night Live18 Seasons
Kenan (American Sitcom)1 Season

Kenan Thompson has been a cast member on Saturday Night Live for 18 seasons. That’s a long time.

While he is primarily a comic actor, Kenan played various characters, including Darnell Hayes, Reese De’What, Jean K. Jean and many more. To date, Thompson has amassed more than 100 credits on SNL and in film and television.

Currently he is also a star in Kenan, an American sitcom series. The show primarily follows Kenan Williams’s life to move on from his past. This series started in February 2021 on NBC and was renewed for a second season.

If one wants to know the history of Kenan Thompson, he got his big break from a sketch comedy series that started in the late 90s. He has had many memorable characters on SNL for the last 17 years, and many are excited that he won’t be leaving the series anytime soon.

Thompson was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award four times for his exceptional work when it comes to his achievements. In addition, after his work in the 2013-14 season, he won the opportunity to become the most senior cast member right after the departure of Seth Meyers.

Now we can conclude that Keenan Thompson is good at what he does. With over 20 years of experience on SNL, Keenan Thompson is very valuable to the show, and his longevity proves just how valuable he is. He is no 88 in rank on VH1’s 100 greatest Teen Stars.

Why Would Kenan Thompson Be On SNL For So Long?

Thompson arrived at Saturday Night Live in 2003, making him one of the first cast members born after 1975. At first, it was really weird for Thompson, and he was a featured player until 2005. After that, he was promoted to repertory player for season 31.

Apart from Saturday Night Live, Thompson had the opportunity to work in several films like Good Burger, Fat Albert, All That, Snakes on a Plane, My Boss’s Daughter, The Mighty Ducks, Love Don’t Cost a Thing and many more.

Today many other comedians would kill to have a job like Kenan Thompson has been blessed with for all these years.

Kenan Thompson has been around for a while, and the reason is simple. He’s good at what he does. So this weekend, when Tom Green hosted SNL for the first time in 18 years, Thompson was there to help out. 

When it comes to his selection into SNL, he has sent an audition tape many times but was rejected because he looks young. Hence, it is notable to understand that Thompson became the longest-serving African American cast member. He also holds the amazing record for doing celebrity impressions with an impressive 139 number. His celebrity impressions include Charles Barkley, David Ortiz, Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Al Sharpton, OJ Simpson, and Steve Harvey.

He was nominated four times for Primetime Emmys for his outstanding service on SNL. He was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a comedy series. 


Overall, Thompson is not leaving SNL anytime soon, nor does he plan to leave in the future. He is married to the model Christina Evangeline and has two daughters – Georgia and Gianna. In 2019, he said that SNL is his “forever plan.”

Many of his fans are in awe of his funny characters and how he takes any sketch and creates funny lines. For the past 18 seasons, Thompson has been an exceptional cast member on SNL. Before Darrell Hammond, no one had surpassed 14 years on the show. SNL has a long history of excellent cast members who have been with the program for a significant amount of time including Thompson.


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