Kenan Thompson Isn’t Retiring from SNL: ‘I’m Going to Try to Make That Record as Long as Possible’
“I’m going to try to make that record as long as possible,” he says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday. “There’s no reason for me to run out the door. I feel very lucky.”
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After all, when Thompson, 39, first auditioned for the comedy sketch series well over a decade ago, he never dreamed he’d make the cut. “It was one of those things that you talked about but never actually thought would become a reality,” he says. “For a couple of years I sent in tapes, but they were like, ‘You look kind of young.’”
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It wasn’t until Tracy Morgan left the show in 2003 that Thompson finally got his chance to audition. “It was the most nervous experience of my life,” he says. “I had never done stand- up and I was up against all stand-ups. They were crushing it.”
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Of course, so did Thompson. Now the “senior captain” on the show, he’s played everyone from David Ortiz to Steve Harvey and Charles Barkley.
After working with countless celebrity hosts, Thompson says his secret for success is simple: “I enjoy anybody that I can have fun with.”