SNL's Kenan Thompson Developing Sitcom For NBC With Lorne Michaels
Resident Saturday Night Live chubby black guy Kenan Thompson has a sitcom in the works at NBC. Unfortunately, it is not based on his recurring 'What Up With That?' host DeAndre Cole, which is rather upsetting to me.
According to TV Guide, the still untitled comedy has a script commitment from the network, and Lorne Michaels attached to produce, with SNL writer Bryan Tucker penning the script for the pilot. The show would have Thompson and his family moving to the suburbs to live with his in-laws, which is of course super original.
Michaels has had success transitioning talent from SNL to primetime comedy. Right now you can catch former head writer Tina Fey on the last season if 30 Rock along with Tracy Morgan and oft-host Alec Baldwin, among others, and Fey is expected to stay with the network for the foreseeable future. Maya Rudolph is starring in Up All Night (forgetting that show's pending retooling), as well as Amy Poehler on Parks & Recreation. Odds are if Thompson would be leaving SNL for this new show, it would have a decent chance at success. And to put it in other words, Lorne takes care of his cast-members.
Thompson has been with SNL for 10 years, facing the same challenges as every African-American cast member before him. Even now, 10 years in, you sometimes seldom get to see him on the show, especially with Jay Pharaoh landing the coveted Obama impression and a full-time slot on the cast. He was barely in any sketches this past weekend, which may be a sign for him to leave.
Still, his decade on SNL has given us great impressions such as Al Sharpton, Whoopi Goldberg, Cee-Lo, Dr. Cornel West, Herman Cain, and so many more, not to mention arguably my favorite recurring bit from the last couple of years, 'What's Up With That?'. It also puts him in the top-5 longest tenured SNL cast members, which is a feat on its own regardless of whether he sometimes has trouble getting on the show or not.
So after all this time, it might be time for Thompson to move back to sitcom television, where he got his start on Nickelodeon with 'All That' and 'Kenan & Kel'.
It also raises an interesting situation for SNL, which might have to replace another two cast-members next season if Jason Sudeikis ends up leaving too. Whatever happens, give me more What Up With That before he leaves and I'll be fine. Hell, they put The Californians on every second week, give me some DeAndre Cole damnit!