Kenan Thompson will host this year’s Emmy Awards. He is the longest-tenured member of the Saturday Night Live cast. This fall marks his 20th season on the legendary variety show. The award show has been hosted by many of his past and current “SNL” co-stars in recent years. “Weekend Update” hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che served as hosts in 2018. Seth Meyers hosted in 2014. Jimmy Fallon hosted in 2010. None of those folks wanted to return to the hosting duties because it’s a thankless job. But it’s a career milestone, and Seth Meyers recognizes that.
“Everyone’s got to do it once, and it’s his turn,” Meyers told Variety of Kenan Thompson’s hosting duties. “He’s earned it. The good news is Kenan, like I was, is lucky enough to be connected to a talented group of writers. The ‘SNL’ writing staff I’m sure it’s going to show up for Kenan because he has been showing up for them and their sketches, getting laughs on looks and line reads for two decades.”
Seth Meyers also offered some advice to Kenan Thompson ahead of the show.
“Especially after the last two years, people just want to have a good time at the Emmys and not feel like it’s being taken too seriously. I think the Oscars you can get a little serious, but with the Emmys, it’s better just to be fun. That’s the opportunity you have with that show.”
The 74th annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on NBC on September 12.
Kenan Thompson is Excited to Take on the Emmys
It’s not Kenan Thompson’s first rodeo hosting an awards show. He hosted the Kid’s Choice Awards and the People’s Choice Awards a year ago. So he’s getting ahead of the game by meeting with the creative teams early.
“We figured out who we want to do bits with, who wants to do bits in general,” he tells Variety. Several of his former co-stars at Saturday Night Live are nominated for awards. So there’s a large cast of characters to choose from, including Jason Sudeikis, who is nominated for Ted Lasso.
Kenan Thompson recently revealed that he needs an exit strategy from the show. Show creator Lorne Michaels hinted that the 50th season may be the last. That’s just three years away.
“There could be a lot of validity to that rumor because 50 is a good number to stop at, you know what I’m saying?” he said. “That’s an incredible package. [Michaels] will probably be close to 80-years-old at that point, and you know, he’s the one that has had his touch on the whole thing.”
Kenan Thompson’s NBC sitcom was snubbed from the awards show, and it was recently canceled. But maybe he’ll get his Emmy nod by hosting the Emmys.