Thompson is already part of the NBC family as he’s been a pillar at Saturday Night Live for almost 20 years, which makes him the longest-running cast member in the show’s history. With that kind of stamp on his resume, it makes sense why he’ll be commanding the stage when the 74th Emmys air.
The comedian nodded to already being engrained in the network, making the gig all the more meaningful.
“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.”
With COVID still dictating how entertainment is consumed, producers Done+Dusted and Reggie Hudlin have been forced to change up their approach to the award show and are confident that Thompson will perform well.
“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, exec VP 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.”
It began in 2020 when rival network’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel hosted the festivities while mostly alone in the Staples Center with a few spare guests. So he was able to go back and forth with nominees and joke with winners as they Zoomed in from home. The sheer originality made it more endearing for viewers stuck inside following CDC guidelines.
Last year’s awards were hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, and MC Lyte was the designated announcer, with the telecast being held on LA Live’s outdoor event deck in a tent. This time around, the team is attempting to bring back a sense of normalcy because it’s scheduled to take place in the Microsoft Theatre for the first time since 2019
The 74th Emmy Awards airs live on Sunday, September 12, at 8 p.m. ET.