Thanks to the Office of Student Life, “Saturday Night Live” comedian Kenan Thompson thrilled students in the Sottile Theater with a #ThrowbackThursday like none other. Without crazy costumes, props or gadgets, Thompson’s single microphone and spotlight were all that was needed as he spoke of his career journey. Nostalgia filled the air as students were given the chance to relive their childhoods with the familiar child star. For all the oldsters reading, Thompson, who gained fame nearly 20 years ago on the Nickelodeon series “All That” and “Kenan and Kel,” has risen to become a regular cast member of “Saturday Night Live” – making him one of most well know comedians in the industry. But, even with a popular television career, Thompson took the time to share all details us 90’s kids wanted to know.
Starting off the night with some of his first big screen debuts, Thompson recalled his Disney experiences. Do The Mighty Ducks and Heavy Weights ring a bell? Thompson agreed that while learning to play hockey and being considered the perfect kid to play in a fat camp film were cool, apparently these movies dealt out some unexpected firsts. According to Thompson, a little bit more was passed around on set other than juice boxes. Who would have guessed?
Possibly the most recognizable period of his career, Thompson talked of his Nickelodeon experiences – from chocolate showers to unlimited free orange soda. For many millennials, Nick’s “All That” was the highlight of “TV time”, introducing what is arguably some of best comedic geniuses to the world. Thompson admitted that his favorite moments from the sketch show were when he got to to sit in a bathtub and transform in the character Pierre Escargot. Who could forget that yellow rain jacket?! Riding a wave of success, Thompson’s talents landed him and his buddy – Kel Mitchell – their own sitcom. Rightfully titled, “Kenan and Kel” captured the two young comedians’ crazy adventures and schemes. To this day, what Thompson still can’t get over is the amount of orange soda always on set.
And of course, you can’t discuss “Kenan and Kel” without mentioning Good Burger. Thompson thanked the crowd for always popping in their orange VHS tapes and making the Nick-flick a cult classic. The success of Good Burger continues to make the entertainer noticeable today. And for any of those wondering, Thompson revealed that his favorite burger joint just so happens to be Five Guys.
Years later, Thompson was honored to bring to life a beloved character from his childhood: Fat Albert. But surprisingly, Thompson was close to not getting the role. Only after rounds of auditioning and awkward scene rewrites with Bill Cosby, did the movie make it to theaters. Thompson can also be seen popping up alongside Nick Canon in “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” and “Barbershop 2”.
But it is today that Thompson is truly making his mark in the comedic world. Now going on his 13th season, Thompson has hooked audiences with his many personas and sketches such as “Alex Tre-Black” and “What Up With That” on the SNL.
Thompson has clearly followed and entertained millennials for years. So when asked what could be expected in the future, Thompson affirmed that he plans to stay in the business a while, continuing to grow with us all. At least some of our childhood stars turned our fine – can’t say the same for Amanda Bynes. We can all agree with Thompson, “Poor Amanda.”