Comedy Giant Kenan Thompson Discusses Filming 'Kenan' & Best 'SNL' Hosts So Far

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Kenan Thompson's newest show premiered last week and became the number two series debut for the 2020-2021 TV season. The comedic icon talked about adjusting to the new series and his favorite SNL moments.

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Thompson is one of the biggest faces in comedy, and the first episode of his new show, Kenan, garnered four million views. But the iconic actor admitted he is still learning how to act without an immediate response from the audience. "It was a bit of an adjustment to try to be OK with knowing that we have what we were looking for somewhere in one of the shots," he said.

"You gotta believe in the editing room a little bit and let it go, which is really hard," Kenan continued. "We're doing it in silence. The crew is chuckling, but they're not allowed to laugh out loud. We're kind of going on instinct." Thompson revealed that even after almost three decades of television comedy, he's still learning "the feeling of it all" when acting without a live response.

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This is partly why there was "tons" of anxiety leading into the premiere of his new show. "There's a lot riding on it, like my whole name," the comedian said. "Whole name, face, I'm out there. It felt really good to get the feedback we got this week, and we just gotta keep it going." Meanwhile, Kenan continues to be a regular cast member on another hit show, Saturday Night Live.

In an interview with E! News, the sketch artist shared who has been the worst and best SNL hosts so far. "I don't know specifically worst. It's just, it's not helpful when people don't come to play... As long as you come to play, we gon' have a good time," he explained. "And best, my two is like between Chappelle and Tom Hanks... Some people are just like really, really, incredibly infectious energies, basically."

Thompson also discussed what it meant to be standing alongside so many comedy legends during Eddie Murphy's opening monologue in December 2019. "To stand next to them in that moment and also be embraced by them in that moment," Kenan shared. "And have, like, Michael Che put that in. It's not like I was just like, 'You know I got to be in this monologue, right?'" It's safe to say this funny guy earned his spot on that stage.