Saturday Night veteran Kenan Thompson will host the 74th Emmy Awards for NBC and the Television Academy. The three-hour, coast-to-coast live telecast from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles will air Monday, September 12 on NBC and stream live on Peacock for the first time.
This will be Thompson’s first time hosting the Emmys. He has recent awards emceeing experience: he hosted the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, which ran simultaneously on NBC and E! this past December, and returned as host of the 2022 NHL Awards a month and a half ago.
Thompson’s hire extends the streak of current or former SNL cast members/writers hosting all Emmy Awards ceremonies on NBC that have had a host since the return of the “wheel” system rotating the show among the Big 4 broadcast networks in the mid-1990s. The list includes Conan O’Brien (twice), Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and, most recently, “Weekend Update” co-anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost four years ago.
“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. “Like all TV fans, I can’t wait to see the stars from my favorite shows.”
This fall, Thompson will enter his 20th season on SNL as the longest-running cast member on NBC’s venerable late-night program. A six-time Emmy nominee, Thompson received two noms in 2021: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Kenan and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for SNL. He previously earned two Emmy nominations in 2018 and 2020 in the supporting actor category for his work on SNL. Thompson won an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2018 for the SNL song “Come Back, Barack” and received a nomination in the same category in 2017 for co-writing “Last Christmas” from the popular “Jingle Barack” SNL music video. Ahead of his September Emmy hosting debut, Thompson will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August.
“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,” said Jen Neal, EVP of Live Events for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We know he’ll bring an excitement and professionalism to the Emmy Awards that a show of this stature deserves.”
Thompson’s hosting experience also includes some of his most popular characters on SNL including Diondre Cole, the singing talk show host of What Up With That, his Steve Harvey impersonation on Family Feud, and Black Jeopardy host Darnell Hayes. Additionally, Thompson served as producer and judge on NBC’s comedy competition series Bring the Funny.
He also recently executive produced and starred as the title character in the NBC comedy series Kenan, served as an executive producer on Nickelodeon’s 2019 All That reboot and appeared in Season 2 of HBO Max’s That Damn Michael Che and Prime Video’s The Kids in the Hall. Thompson is repped by UTA, Michael Goldman, and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka.
Done+Dusted will produce the Emmy telecast in association with Hudlin Entertainment.
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