by Erin Dwyer
From portraying the lactose-intolerant Superdude on Nickelodeon, to parodying country star Reba McEntire with Andy Samberg on “Saturday Night Live,” Kenan Thompson’s sense of humor has certainly evolved in the past two decades.
Thompson is a Georgia native, born May 10, 1978 in Atlanta. In his youth, he was a movie critic for a kid’s news show, “Movies for Kids,” where he reviewed the 1992 film “The Mighty Ducks.” Eventually, he won the part of Russ Tyler in the 1994 sequel, “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and would reprise his role in a third film, “D3: The Mighty Ducks” as well.
During this time, he also began his career in television, appearing in episodes of “Sister, Sister,” “Oddville, MTV,” and “The Steve Harvey Show,” until he landed a spot on the cast of the especially popular Nickelodeon kids show “All That” in 1994.
In 1996, he starred in the equally admired “Kenan and Kel”, another Nickelodeon show with his “All That” and “Good Burger” co-star Kel Mitchell, playing a crucial force in two of Nickelodeon’s most successful shows.
Beyond his television career, he continued to display his comedic talents in films, such as “Good Burger” in 1997, “Rocky and Bullwinkle” in 2000, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” in 2003, “Barbershop 2” in 2004, with a leading role in “Fat Albert” in 2004 and “Snakes on a Plane” in 2006.
Along with his accomplishments on the small and silver screen, he has lent his vocal talents to the LeBron and Kobe Nike commercials, as well as the Fox cartoon series, “Sit Down, Shut Up”.
Currently, Thompson is a repertory player on “Saturday Night Live”, appearing on the show since 2003. Thompson is the only current black member of “Saturday Night Live” and the first member who was born after the series began.
He has performed as memorable characters, such as Deandre Cole, a talk-show host whose BET show is a musical number, Lorenzo McIntosh, a convict who uses movie plots to scare wrong-doers, and Oscar Rogers, a financier who yells “fix it!” in response to economic troubles.
Thompson has also impersonated several celebrities, such as Al Sharpton, Bill Cosby, Jennifer Hudson, O.J. Simpson, Tiger Woods, Colin Powell and Whoopi Goldberg.