Covid protocols, private plane commutes, safety working 2 jobs, SNL’s Kenan Thompson

It’s not surprising that Kenan Thompson is pulling double duty traveling between New York for his longtime Saturday Night Live gig, then flying to Los Angeles to filmed his NBC comedy Kenan.

The 43-year-old actor comedian has been working for more than three decades, since he put his quick wit to good use when he joined Nickelodeon’s sketch series All That. He collaborated with co-star Kel Mitchell, and the teenage comedy team got their own spin-off Kenan & Kel in 1996, when Thompson and Mitchell were both 18. It’s been nonstop ever since with TV, movies and animated voice work. He got his SNL gig in 2003, and has been there longer than any cast member. His efforts earned four Emmy nominations and one win.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Season: 44 — Pictured: Kenan Thompson — (Photo by: NBC/Mary Ellen Matthews)

After a little rest during a winter hiatus, he’s back, Mondays on NBC for Kenan‘s second season.

Kenan explained that the shows are shooting in a COVID bubble “to stay safe, it’s always on your mind. We are hunkered down and have protocols. We’re masking, and in a heavy testing cycle. That’s one good thing about going from job to job, I know my status all the time. That makes me feel a lot more at ease.” Flying private coast to coast for safety reasons also gives him peace of mind. “I’ve only taken one or two commercials. We’re talking about trying to stay safe, that’s why I’ve been burning through my savings so I can go from job to job in a safe manner.”

It’s worth it to Kenan because the sitcom showcases his skill set. He plays the host of a morning talk show, who tries to balance his job and raising his daughters. He gets help of his father-in-law (Don Johnson), his brother (Chris Redd), and colorful co-workers.

When he was a kid star on All That did he ever think his life and career would be this busy?

Thompson talked to the Television Critics Association (TCA) via NBC’s Zoom interview session, and expressed that he was just as amazed as those of us who knew him from the beginning.

Thompson told the TCA, “It’s always been a goal to stay working, to stay focused on whatever goals I had as an actor and a person. But, yeah, I couldn’t have pictured it necessarily being the way it is. I’m definitely enjoying the ride because I have been blessed to have a front row seat working [on SNL and Kenan] with such God-gifted people in so many ways.”

After Saturday Night Live tune in Kenan on Monday nights on NBC.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.