Sac State puts bids for Kenan Thompson as lecturer

Claudia Rivas

Now that fall has officially begun and the 2015-16 college school year progresses, NBCUniversal and Comcast Xfinity are teaming up to make this semester more entertaining.

The companies are giving a lucky university the opportunity to have a guest lecture from NBC’s Saturday Night Live veteran, Kenan Thompson.

Not only will this be an occasion with much laughter, it will give all ’90s kids a nostalgic window to the past, especially for those who grew up watching Thompson on shows such as Nickelodeon’s, “All That!” and “Kenan and Kel.”

Though most consider Nickelodeon’s golden age of programming during the ’90s and early ’00s, the company has produced many multimedia products for the older millennials recently, specifically products directed at fans of past shows now in college.

“I just saw the “Zoey 101” reunion video on Facebook a couple of days ago. It made me miss that show so much and wanting more. I keep wondering if Nickelodeon is going to bring that show and “Kenan and Kel” back,” said Sacramento State sociology senior, Alejandro Ayala.

What Ayala is referring to is the “Zoey 101” reunion video creator Dan Schneider posted on YouTube last week, resulting in much buzz from adult millennials everywhere. Though no news of a “Kenan and Kel” reboot are proven, “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” has given fans hope.

While promoting the new Nickelodeon show “Game Shakers” on, “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” Kel Mitchell joined Fallon on the set of “Good Burger” to recreate the iconic “All That!,” sketch, on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Though the legendary sketch already sent audiences back in time, viewers were pulled even more to the past when Thompson appeared on screen to interact with Mitchell’s character.

As a cast member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Thompson returns for his 13th season on the show this year. The State Hornet had the opportunity to talk to Thompson in a phone interview last week for a few minutes to converse about his life at the moment and what he plans to do for the lucky university that wins his guest lecture experience:

State Hornet: “First off, congratulations on your success and for being a new father. I understand that you and your wife welcomed a little miracle fairly recently. How is it being a new dad, especially with juggling your busy career as well?”

Thompson: “It’s been hectic and hard being on the road all the time when I want to be home with my wife and my daughter all the time but it’s all worth it when I see my baby’s face. She is the most important thing in the world to me and it feels amazing to be a father. Most important job in the world for me and I love it.”

State Hornet: “So are you working on any new projects at the moment?”

Thompson: “I just wrapped up season 3 of ‘The Awesomes.’ It’s the Seth Meyers created animation.”

State Hornet: “Who are your influences?”

Thompson: “My mom and my wife definitely. They are the hugest parts of my support system”

State Hornet: “What is it like being on SNL?”

Thompson: “I mean at first I was pretty quiet and to myself. Everything felt so very overwhelming. But what made it better was how welcoming all the other veteran cast members were because they had all been in my same position before. Eventually being on there for a while the cast becomes an extended family to you and it’s great.”

State Hornet: “How does it feel to be teaming up with NBCUniversal and Comcast Xfinity to give a university this type of opportunity?”

Thompson: “It’s great, I’ve gone touring a few colleges before and to see all the young people who used to watch me on ‘Kenan and Kel’ and ‘All That!’ as children but now as adults, but them still being fans now, it’s a great feeling to know that my characters have stayed with them all during their time growing up!”

State Hornet: “So what are you going to do during your lecture for the university that wins?”

Thompson: “I don’t know yet, but maybe I can bring a pizza. Wouldn’t that be cool, like have me throw a pizza party for the winning college. I’m going to try and remember that idea and maybe bring it up to see if I can make that possible.”

Having Thompson come to a college will not only give people a trip back in time to the ’90s and early ’00s, but will also allow students the opportunity to reconnect with somewhat of an old friend, that fans know through Thompson’s various sketches and characters.

“I saw Kel Mitchell last year here at Sac State and being able to see Kenan would be cool too, especially since I’ll be able to say I saw both of them live even if not together at the same time. I would definitely vote to have Kenan here” said Sac State business junior Andrew Noble.

Students were able to log onto the link below to vote for Kenan to come to Sac State. Students could have also participated in a series of tasks such as taking an online quiz or watching a video to win additional entries to attend the lecture. The school with the most votes will win a performance by Kenan in their college town. Voting ended on September 28.