Farwell My Sweet Prince: Kenan Thompson is Leaving SNL After This Season
SNL – After 11 seasons, and one appearance on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Teen Stars, Kenan Thompson is leaving SNL, effective…not immediately. He’ll continue to play BEEF JELLY for one more go-around, according to TMZ, before riding off into the orange soda-colored sunset with Kel Mitchell.
Sources connected to SNL tell us Thompson — the most tenured African-American cast member in the show’s history — planned to leave last season, but decided to stay after head honcho Lorne Michaels asked him to stay on citing the show’s massive turnover this season. (Via)
If Kristen Wiig can get her own over-the-top sendoff, here’s hoping Fred Armisen, Nasim Pedrad, Bill Hader, and especially Jason Sudeikis return for one last “What Up with That.”
This one stings a bit. Kenan is the senior member of the cast, and probably the most under appreciated. He’s their go to for game show hosts, and his Steve Harvey impression is far and away my favorite impression on the show. He may not always be the star in every sketch, but he makes every sketch he’s in better. This summer his wife gave birth to a daughter, so I’m assuming that had some influence on his decision, but damn it are we going to miss him. At least we’ll always have What’s Up With That.