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Kenan Thompson on Chris Farley's 'All That' cameo: 'I learned literally a wealth of career knowledge'

Yardbarker
Yardbarker
 2021-09-16
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Anthony Behar

Kenan Thompson has been on "Saturday Night Live" for 18 seasons, so it's easy to forget his successes prior to entering Studio 8H, but the 43-year-old actor and comedian will never forget the time Chris Farley made a guest appearance on "All That."

"It was our chocolate sketch called 'Cooking with Randy,'" Thompson explained to People for its PEOPLE in the '90s podcast. "It was one of the greatest days I've ever seen. I learned literally a wealth of career knowledge in three hours, just watching a pro take direction. But also, do what he wanted. It was amazing."

"All That" aired on Nickelodeon from 1994 to '99, semi-simultaneous to Thompson's "Kenan & Kel" series (1996-2000). Farley, who starred on SNL from 1990-95 before tragically overdosing on cocaine and morphine and dying at 33 years old in December 1997.

"When you walk through those doors and are around those people, you're on," Thompson, 43, explained of the "strategies" he still uses that he learned from observing Farley. "It's time to be funny. It's not time to just be there. It's time to prove why you're there. [On the set of All That] Chris was immediately funny, giving everybody what they expected. That part of being a professional goes a long way because we still talk about him being one of the greatest to this day. And that takes serious dedication."

Thompson is nominated for two awards at Sunday's Primetime Emmys, outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for his NBC sitcom "Kenan" and outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for "SNL." The latter is all the more fuel to keep adding to his already record-breaking tenure on Lorne Michaels' iconic sketch comedy series.

"I keep saying I'm trying to get to 20 [seasons]," Thompson told Entertainment Weekly in July. "So if they don't throw me out of there before, I'm trying to get to 20. And then, I don't know if it makes sense for me to leave even after that point. As long as the show keeps going and they want me to be there and I don't feel like I'm in the way of somebody else's opportunity, should I just oblige? I don't really know what to do at this point, as far as leaving is concerned. Like, why should I ever have to leave?"

The 73rd Primetime Emmys will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS on Sunday, Sept. 19.

"SNL" is scheduled to premiere its 47th season on Oct. 2, though there is still uncertainty surrounding the cast.

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