Kenan Thompson to Juggle 'SNL' and His New NBC Comedy Series

Kenan Thompson Getty 2019 - H
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Kenan Thompson has a primetime series debuting in February, but he doesn't plan to take a leave from his longtime home at Saturday Night Live.

Thompson and fellow SNL castmember Chris Redd star in NBC's Kenan, which debuts Feb. 16. The half-hour series films in Los Angeles, which means on weeks when SNL is in production, they'll be flying coast to coast a day before the live show.

"We've only done it once so far, so we'll see how exhausting it gets when it has to become a repeat kind of thing," Thompson said Tuesday during a Zoom press conference for Kenan. "We did it for the Christmas show, where me and Chris went out there on Friday and showed up for rehearsal. Then we had three weeks off before we had to be on another job, so we'll see how that turnaround goes when there's only one day in between."

Kenan counts SNL creator Lorne Michaels among its executive producers, which likely helps smooth things for Thompson and Redd. It's also not entirely new ground for the sketch show; regulars Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong both took time off earlier this season to film other series.

Both actors also said they plan to stick with SNL.

"I haven't decided to leave," said Redd. "I'm just having fun being able to create with one of my best friends and also being able to go do sketch."

Said Thompson, "There used to be a time when people would leave the show and go into their careers. But I'm of the mindset where I think you can kind of do both as long as you can and then, you know, if the departure comes in a natural sort of way then so be it."