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Kenan Thompson Talks Emmy Nom & Gives Update on Good Burger Sequel With Kel Mitchell

By Allison Crist Jul 29, 2020 6:04 PMTags
Related: Kenan Thompson "Overly Humbled" By 2020 Emmy Nomination

Kenan Thompson appears to be in his prime!

The comedian recently launched a podcast, has a new series coming to NBC and, most notably, just scored his second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on Saturday Night Live—the show he's called home for the last 17 years, making him the longest-running cast member ever.

When Kenan got the Emmys news on Tuesday, as he explained to E!'s Scott Tweedie during the Instagram Live series HappE! Hour, he "celebrated by just slowly spreading the word amongst family."

"And really just embracing the love from loved-ones basically—just a million text messages and stuff like that," Kenan, who has two children with wife Christina Evangeline, added. "I'm hanging out. There's not much partying to be had these days but it's all good."

Though this isn't Kenan's first Emmy nom, he's still "overly humbled," by the nod, even revealing he "wasn't expecting it at all." 

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"I think the category is really impressive," the actor said, referencing his fellow nominees: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Tony Shalhoub; Barry's Henry Winkler, Anthony Carrigan and Stephen Root; Veep's Tony Hale; and The Kominsky Method's Alan Arkin.

"It's an acknowledgement by your peers," Kenan explained. "These are people that I admire and look up to. I mean, I'm in the same sentence with Alan Arkin—forget about it!"

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there's no telling what the Emmys ceremony is going to look like. Kenan predicts a set-up similar to that of the virtual HappE! Hour: "I'm going to make my own trophy out of aluminum foil and I'm just going to have it ready in case I win. And I'll make my speech with my handmade trophy."

Plus, he might even shed a few tears! 

"I'm just overly moved by what's going on this year," Kenan told Scott. "It's been a rough year but also it's been very progressive in certain ways and if we can just keep that moving forward, then that's all I can really ask for."

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However, as Kenan & Kel fans are dying to know, does "moving forward" include an eventual Good Burger sequel with Kel Mitchell?

"Yeah, it's in the works," Kenan excitedly admitted to Scott. "I mean, it's all in talks. So hopefully the numbers can match up to everybody's expectations and we can get it done. But yeah, there's talks being had, I guess, is all I can say about that."

We're definitely holding out hope!

Paramount Pictures
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Until that happens, though, Kenan has plenty to keep him busy. He debuted a podcast, You Already Know, with co-host Tani Marole in May, which he said hopes brings "a little joy" to listeners. 

The at-home episodes of Saturday Night Live certainly did! Kenan described the beginning of working on the show remotely as "the weirdest."

"I haven't even done a lot of internet sketches for Instagram or anything on my own," the comedian noted. "I haven't done a lot of just recording myself doing stuff outside of professional environments. I'm just very new to that and it kind of catapulted me into that."

SNL's 45th season, which wrapped up in March, was particularly jam-packed with stars both pre- and post-coronavirus. Hosts included Kristen Stewart, Will FerrellJennifer Lopez and Eddie Murphy, among others. Kenan described the latter's much-anticipated return to the main stage at Studio 8H as "incredible."

I think that was the overall story of the season because [Murphy] was the prodigal son. He was the one that's been away for the longest and the big superstar that hadn't been back yet," Kenan explained. "After [Adam] Sandler did it, that was a big feat...I was like man, Lorne Michaels never sleeps!

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Kenan also gushed over Harry Styles, who served as both the show's host and musical guest in November 2019, saying the "Watermelon Sugar" singer "crushed it."

"He's the nicest guy in the world but he's also insanely talented," Kenan added. "His music resonates so hard with people. It's amazing. He's overly indulgent to whatever you ask of him. He's just a great dude."

Catch the complete HappE! Hour interview in the above clips!

The 2020 Emmy Awards air Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC!