Kenan Thompson Hits 1,500 Sketches And More 'Saturday Night Live' Records That Will Never Be Broken
There are at least two reasons we’re going to remember Meatballs, a sketch from last week’s Saturday Night Live with host Oscar Isaac.
First, that sketch is freaky as hell. Like nightmare-inducing freaky, but the good kind of nightmares, like the ones directed by David Lynch. You go, Sarah Squirm – the show needs more reactions like:
The second reason, of course, is Kenan Thompson -- his appearance as “Jim” in Meatballs was his mind-blowing 1,500th sketch. (Some outlets are claiming the “Home Repair Show” sketch was the record-breaker, but on all things SNL-statistics related, ComedyNerd defers to the wonky By the Numbers geniuses over at The SNL Network.) What’s not in dispute is that Kenan has reached a milestone that no cast member is likely to break anytime soon.
“You guys are going to make me cry,” said Thompson as crew members gathered to commemorate the landmark.
Thompson broke out the exclamation points on his Instagram: "Beyond blessed!! 1500?! nbc and nbcsnl has been my home for 19 years and counting!!! Love everyone that’s helped me get to this amazing milestone!!!"
Every sketch Thompson appears in makes his all-time sketch record that much harder to break. He’s held the mark for most SNL seasons for a while now, his 19 years shattering Darrell Hammond’s previous record of 14. Kenan appears in no hurry to move on either, likely making him the Hank Aaron of SNL until some comic punk on steroids comes along to tarnish his records.
But Kenan wasn’t the only one writing their name into the SNL record books last weekend. With her “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” shout, Kate McKinnon inched within five spots of the all-time mark for opening the show, once again held by … Darrell Hammond.
(Quick shout-out to Hammond, who did the work for a long time without all of the glamour. Playing political figures from Bill Clinton to Al Gore to Dick Cheney meant Hammond got to appear in more cold opens than most, as he recently mentioned on Dana Carvey and David Spade’s Fly on the Wall podcast, but he still deserves the tip of the cap. Nice to hear him do the Don Pardo announcing these days, quietly cementing his legacy all the more.)
More milestones this season: Weekend Update anchor Michael Che officially passed Seth Myers for the second-most Update anchor appearances of all time. Che’s mark now stands at 155 episodes. Who’s number one behind the desk -- Chevy Chase? Norm MacDonald? Tina Fey? Nope, it’s Che’s Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost, extending his record further into the 160s with every new episode.
Of course, numbers alone don’t make great comedy. But on a show that celebrates hosts in the Five-Timers Club as it approaches its historic fiftieth season, it’s fun to give a nod to numerical history. Who knows, we may have just witnessed the first of a hundred Meatballs sketches.
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Top image: NBC