Saturday Night Live is a late-night American live TV comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels. It was originally released in 1975 and is still running today. For a show currently on its 47th season, you’d begin to wonder, who is the most tenured member of the show?
Kenan Thompson, who we knew as one of the leading actors in Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel, holds the longest tenure in the Saturday Night Live show. He has played a total of 18 seasons since 2003.
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live, or SNL, is an American sketch comedy and variety series aired by the National Broadcasting Company. It was first shown in 1975 and has been a fixture of NBC programming.
The edgy comedy series was created to appeal to viewers in the 18 to 34 age range, but it has continued to be a favorite for viewers older than 34. It was created by Dick Ebersol and Lorne Michaels, to which Michaels still serves as a writer and executive producer to this day. (Source: Britannica)
Episodes of the series feature a regular ensemble of actors, a guest host, and a musical guest. SNL is firmly grounded in improvisational comedy and has helped many performers launch their careers in showbusiness, like Tina Fey, who served as head writer and then recurring segment character.
Guest hosts are usually former cast members or actors that use their air time to publicize their upcoming movie. Musical hosts also use their air time to let the nation know of their upcoming gigs or album releases. (Source: Fantastic Facts)
SNL’s Longest Members
Several celebrities stayed on the show throughout SNL’s long-running series for several years, with Kenan Thompson holding the longest tenure. Thompson joined SNL in 2003 and has been with the show for eighteen seasons. He continues to be part of the regular cast of the show despite creating his series, Kenan. (Source: The Wrap)
Here are a few other members who stayed with SNL through the years.
Darell Hammond served the show from 1995 to 2009, in a total of 14 seasons. He was a gifted impressionist who impersonated more than a hundred people on the show. (Source: The Wrap)
Meyers served the show from 2001 to 2014, both as a head writer and the anchor of the Weekend Update segment of SNL. Meyers stayed on the show for 13 seasons. (Source: The Wrap)
Former drummer of the nineties punk band Trenchmouth Fred Armisen joined the cast in 2002 up until 2013, with 11 seasons. (Source: The Wrap)
Before Franken became a Minnesota senator in 2009, he had done 11 seasons with SNL. Franken’s tenure with the show started in 1977 and was an off-and-on character until 1995. (Source: The Wrap)
McKinnon has been the longest-serving female actor for the show. She started in 2012 and is still currently part of the regular cast up to this day. (Source: The Wrap)
Who is Kenan Thompson?
Kenan Stacy Thompson was born on May 10, 1978, in Columbus, Ohio, to Fletcher and Elizabeth Ann Thompson. His family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, when Thompson was nine months old and was enrolled in an acting class when he was five.
Thompson first started his career as the entertainment reporter for CNN’s Real News for Kids. He became one of the stars in Nickelodeon’s All That show and later in Kenan & Kel as Kenan Rockmore. Thompson was also part of the movie D2: The Mighty Ducks.
Thompson has reprised many roles in various films like Good Burger, Fat Albert, Heavyweights, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, My Boss’s Daughter, and Snakes on a Plane.
He then moved on to join SNL in 2003 and has continued to be a regular member of the show. (Source: People Pill)