Why Kenan Thompson is SNL’s MVP

Posted on May 2, 2017 at 8:00 am

At Huffington Post, Maxwell Strachan writes about Kenan Thompson, about to set the record for the longest-term performer on “Saturday Night Live.” He makes a good case for the reason Thompson is so good: he’s not just supremely talented and the ultimate professional, he also a team player, always focused on what is best for the sketch, the cast, and the show rather than what is best for him. And he explains how Thompson’s quiet consideration and modesty has made it easy to underestimate his contribution.  I’m glad to see him get this long-overdue recognition.

What makes Thompson special is not best utilized in movies, or on a pre-recorded sitcom, or behind a desk ― but right there, live on air at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

“If you were designing the person perfect for SNL, most of the components would look like Kenan,” Lorne Michaels told me in a phone interview earlier this year.

Thompson makes everything at SNL better. The writers can rely on him to bring them back a laugh. The cast members know that he’ll set them up for their own moment. And the crew members know that they’ll have someone who will act as an on-stage director, controlling the tempo of the sketch and the people around him.

Related Tags:


THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik