Kenan Thompson (//; born May 10, 1978) is an American actor and comedian. He has been a cast member of the NBCsketch comedy series Saturday Night Live since 2003, making him the longest-tenured cast member in the show’s history. He was also the first regular cast member born after the show’s premiere in 1975. He currently stars on the NBC sitcom Kenan, which premiered in 2021.
Thompson began his acting career in the early 1990s, and was an original cast member of Nickelodeon‘s sketch comedy series All That, where he often collaborated with co-star Kel Mitchell. In 1996, they began starring in their own sitcomKenan & Kel (1996–2000). Thompson also had roles in The Mighty Ducks franchise, Good Burger, and as the title character in the 2004 film Fat Albert.
Thompson was born on May 10, 1978 in Columbus, Ohio. His parents are Fletcher and Elizabeth Ann Thompson. He has two siblings, an older brother and a younger sister. His family moved to Atlanta, Georgia when he was 9 months old. Thompson’s mother enrolled him in acting classes at age five. His first role as Toto in a church production of The Wiz had no lines. He continued acting throughout his youth, appearing in school plays such as The Gingerbread Duck. He auditioned for a theater company, The Youth Ensemble of Atlanta (YEA). As a child he was a fan of The Price Is Right which he referred to as “my first love” and “very joyful viewing”, which had an effect on his future acting style.
One of Thompson’s earliest roles was as an entertainment reporter for CNN‘s “Real News for Kids”. He went on to star in the original run of All That (where he got replaced by Gabriel Iglesias), with such characters as Principal Pimpell, Miss Piddlin, Pierre Escargot, and Superdude. He starred as Kenan Rockmore on Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel. While attending Tri-Cities High School, a Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School in East Point, Georgia, he began filming his first movie, D2: The Mighty Ducks.