Kenan Thompson Named Host of 2022 Emmy Awards

LOS ANGELES - SEP 9: Kenan Thompson at the 2017 Creative Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson/Deposit Photos

Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson has landed a new gig — as host of the 74th Annual Emmy Awards.

NBC and the Television Academy made the announcement Tuesday, with Thompson saying he’s excited about the challenge of emceeing the three-hour live telecast.

“Being a part of this incredible evening where we honor the best of the television community is ridiculously exciting, and to do it on NBC – my longtime network family – makes it even more special,” Thompson said in a statement. “Like all TV fans, I can’t wait to see the stars from my favorite shows.”

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Jen Neal, executive vice president of live events for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, added: “Kenan is well-regarded as one of funniest, likeable and accomplished performers of the last two decades and his tenure on Saturday Night Live speaks for itself. We know he’ll bring an excitement and professionalism to the Emmy Awards that a show of this stature deserves.”

This fall the actor and comedian begins his 20th season on SNL as the longest-running cast member of the NBC sketch comedy series.

The Atlanta native is known for his impressions of Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and David Ortiz on the late-night series. He also sings and dances in the popular sketch “What Up With That.”

Thompson made his TV debut as an original cast member of Nickelodeon’s All That. He also co-starred with Kel Mitchell on the spinoff Kenan and Kel in 1996.

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For two seasons, Thompson executive produced and starred in the NBC comedy series Kenan, before it was canceled in May. He also served as a producer and judge alongside Chrissy Teigen, Jeff Foxworthy and Amanda Seales on NBC’s comedy competition series Bring the Funny, and was an executive producer on Nickelodeon’s 2019 All That reboot.

Thompson won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2018 for the SNL song “Come Back, Barack.”

He will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Aug. 11.

The Emmy Awards air live from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 12 on NBC and will also stream on Peacock. The show begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.