Last Updated on March 3, 2023
Who Is Kenan Thompson?
Kenan Thompson is an American actor and comedian who’s best known for his role in the NBC sketch comedy series, Saturday Night Live (SNL). Thompson is considered the longest-tenured SNL member in the shows history, having been in the series since 2003.
But while he’s most famous for starring in Saturday Night Live, Kenan Thompson’s acting and comedy career goes way back. Thompson became a Hollywood sensation in the early 90s. He gained initial recognition as one of the original cast members of the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series, All That. In the mid-90s, Kenan and All That co-star Kel Mitchell began starring in the duo’s own sitcom, titled Kenan & Kel. More recently, Thompson is noted for starring on the NBC sitcom, Kenan, which premiered in 2021.
Kenan Thomson has also appeared in tons of acclaimed movies over the years. He’s best known for his role in The Mighty Ducks franchise, Good Burger (1997), Fat Albert (2004), and Going in Style (2017). He has also made numerous television appearances, including in The Parkers (2000), Wild ‘N Out (2005 and 2018), The Awesomes (2013 – 2015), and America’s Got Talent (2020).
|Full Name:||Kenan Thompson|
|Popular Name:||Kenan Thompson|
|Birth Date:||May 10, 1978|
|Parents:||Fletcher Thompson and Ann Thompson|
|Siblings:||Kerwin Thompson and Feleecia Thompson|
|Birth Place:||Columbus, Ohio|
|Education:||Tri-Cities High School and Santa Monica College – California|
|Children:||Georgia Marie Thompson and Gianna Michelle Thompson|
|Net Worth:||USD 13 million|
|Source of Wealth:||Acting, Comedy, and Other Ventures|
|Height:||5′ 8″ (1.74 m)|
|Weight:||90 kg; In pounds: 198 lbs.|
Early Life and Career Information
Kenan Thompson was born on May 10, 1978, in Columbus, Ohio, to Fletcher Thompson and Ann Thompson. Thompson’s family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, when Thompson was nine months old.
Like many accomplished actors, Kenan Thompson took a keen interest in acting at a young age. Kenan’s acting interests caught the attention of his mother, who enrolled him in acting classes while he was five years old. Thompson acted in local church and school productions throughout his youth. Some of his earliest roles include appearing in the school play ‘The Gingerbread Duck’ as well as appearing as an entertainment news reporter for CNN’s Real News for Kids.
Kenan Thompson’s major debut television role came in 1994 when he began starring in Nickelodeon’s comedy series All That. He starred in various roles in the series from 1994 to 1999 and then made a comeback in 2002, 2005, and 2009 – present.
1994 is also the year Thompson made his major film debut, appearing as Russ Tyler in D2: The Mighty Ducks. The following year, he appeared in the film Heavyweights.
In 1996, Kenan Thompson collaborated with fellow ‘All That’ cast member Kel Mitchell in creating the television show, Kenan & Kel. The duo starred in the show until 2000. The same year, Thompson appeared in the film D3: The Mighty Ducks as well as in four episodes of The Steve Harvey Show (1996 to 2000).
In 2003, Kenan Thompson joined the Saturday Night Live cast. He still stars in the series and is considered the longest-tenured cast member in the show’s history. Thompson went on to appear in several films over the next few years, including Good Burger (1997), Big Fat Liar (2002), Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003), Fat Albert (2004), Snakes on a Plane (2006), Space Chimps (2008, as a voice actor), and Stan Helsing (2009). During the same period, Kenan appeared in scores of television shows. Examples include Sister, Sister (1997), The Amanda Show (1999), The Parkers (2000), Felicity (2001), Off Centre (2002), Wild ‘N Out (2005 and 2018), Crank Yankers (2007), and Sit Down, Shut Up (2009, as a voice actor).
The following are other notable films and television shows that Kenan Thomson has appeared in over the years:
• The Smurfs (2011, film; as a voice actor)
• The Smurfs 2 (2013, film; as a voice actor)
• Martha Speaks (2013, television series; as a voice actor)
• The Awesomes (2013 – 2015, television series, as a voice actor)
• The Opposite Sex (2014, film)
• Nature Cat (2015 – 2020, television series, as a voice actor)
• Match Game (2017 – 2019, television show; as a panelist)
• The Grinch (2018, film)
• The Masked Singer (2019, television reality show; as a guest judge)
• Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? (2019, television series; as a voice actor)
• Trolls World Tour (2020, film; as a voice actor)
• America’s Got Talent (2020, television reality show; as a guest judge)
• Trolls: TrollsTopia (2020, television series; as a voice actor)
• Kenan (2021 – present; as a presenter and executive producer)
Kenan Thompson’s Net Worth
As of 2023, Kenan Thompson had a net worth of $13 million. Thompson has earned much of his wealth from acting and comedy.
The vast majority of Kenan Thompson’s comedy-related earnings comes from his role in Saturday Night Live. As a first-year cast member in the show, Thompson was entitled to $7,000 per episode, or about $147,000 per season. His second-year SNL salary was $8,000 per episode or roughly $168,000 per season. By the time he made it to his fifth season on Saturday Night Live, Thompson was likely earning $15,000 per episode or $315,000 per season. Presently, Kenan’s annual SNL salary is believed to be anywhere between $2 million and $3 million.
Besides acting and comedy, Kenan Thompson also earns from endorsements. Some of the brands that he has previously endorsed include Universal Parks & Resorts and the ticketing website Fandango.
Lessons from Kenan Thompson
1. Always give your best
Kenan Thompson is known for putting up a stellar performance in any acting or comedy role he accepts. That explains why he has been able to reprise his role in numerous films and television shows over the years.
2. Keep trying and you’ll surely get it
In a previous interview, Thompson claimed that he sent audition tapes to Saturday Night Live on multiple occasions but the show’s executives dismissed him as he was too young. However, his persistence eventually paid off.
3. Strive to be a role model
Kenan Thompson is considered a role model by many aspiring comedians, particularly in Hollywood. His ability to impersonate hundreds of public figures is the primary factor that endears him to upcoming actors and comedians.
Famous Quotes by Kenan Thompson
“I got good at trying to throw a voice on a character from the very beginning as opposed to like reading it and sitting with it and mulling over it and stuff like that just try to read what it is and then try to put a funny voice to it like as soon as possible and stuff like that.”
“I’m a happy person, and I want everybody else to be happy. Nothing wrong with that.”
“It’s just a challenge doing live television every week, you know, it’s a challenge to come up with new material every week and stuff like that and try to keep it current, you know what I mean, like it’s just, you know, it’s a kind of a stressful environment. Like I didn’t really realize that we had a show this Thursday until yesterday.”
“There’s a lot of pressure on kids, period, just to be successful in life.”
“You try to go with something that’s familiar to people and that way they can jump on board with what you’re trying to do basically. I only mimic people that really have like interesting voices because it’s really hard to mimic like someone who just talks regularly like me like there’s nothing fun about that.”
Kenan Thompson is an actor and comedian who has enjoyed an illustrious career on film and television. Thompson has spent much of his entertainment career as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. He has also appeared in tons of movies and television series over the years. He has a net worth of $13 million as of 2023.