Kenan Thompson expanded his range way past the famed soundstages of Saturday Night Live on Monday, September 12, as the comedian hosted the 2022 Emmy Awards. And his opening couldn’t have been more spot-on! The newly single funnyman, 44, hit the stage with a medley of TV theme songs paying tribute to Friends, Law & Order, and The Brady Bunch. And he danced right along with backup dancers in the extended number — truly busting the moves in the Law & Order segment and changing his wardrobe several times to end the piece while rocking a Game of Thrones Dany wig and armor. He also nodded to Friends, dancing to the famed theme song, umbrella in hand.
The SNL mainstay’s landmark hosting gig is surely a career highlight. And according to PEOPLE magazine, he’s dressing the part — with a plan to make a whopping 16 wardrobe changes during the run of the iconic event! “I want to do 16 outfits, and I want them to work it into where I’m talking and changing clothes at the same time,” he told the outlet.
And he isn’t letting his recent split from his estranged wife of 11 years, Christina Evangeline, 33, back in April, he appears to be in amazing spirits and thrilled for the hosting opportunity. He was “overjoyed and surprised,” PEOPLE reported, but still took some time to come to a decision. “I am thoroughly up to the challenge, and I feel great about it,” he said.
Beyond that, the veteran comedian feels his experience has been leading up to this specific, very high-profile job. “I feel like, weirdly enough, in life you train for things without even knowing that you’re training for something in the future or whatever,” he said. “I have all this experience that possibly could pertain to what a hosting duty could look like. So I don’t know, kismet or what, but I’m definitely well-prepared.”
Well prepared is an understatement — he opened the Emmys with Kate McKinnon in 2018 and told The Hollywood Reporter on September 9 that it was among his more memorable career moment. “I’m blessed to have several,” he told the publication. “Opening the Emmys in 2018 with Kate McKinnon, becoming the longest-tenured SNL cast member and booking All That — I don’t take any of it for granted. I still remember the days before I was achieving anything and sh** seemed kind of bleak.”
Kenan is a father to two daughters, Georgia, 7, and Gianna, 3, with ex Christina. Undoubtedly, they’re celebrating their dad’s big night — as far from “bleak” as it could possibly be.