Kenan Thompson on His Own 'Saturday Night Live' Future After Big Cast Exits (Exclusive)

Thompson chatted with ET about his 'Saturday Night Live' future at the 2022 Apollo Spring Benefit in New York City.

Kenan Thompson isn't departing Saturday Night Live anytime soon. ET spoke to Thompson at the 2022 Apollo Spring Benefit in New York City, where he's hosting the annual fundraiser, about his future on the sketch comedy show after a season that saw major cast exits in Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney

"I mean, not that I know of," Thompson said when asked if he was planning to depart SNL. "I know we at least trying to get to the 50th, 'cause that's gonna be a special year, you know what I mean? And then after that, it's like, I don't know exactly how long I can do it."

With SNL in its 47th season, that means Thompson will have to stick around for 3 more seasons to hit that major milestone, but he's already hit one of his own, earning the title of the longest-running cast member in the show's storied history. 

What keeps Thompson coming back? The funny man says the show keeps asking him to.

"What keeps me coming back is them asking me to come back," he said. "If I felt like I was overstaying my welcome, or unwanted, then I would like to show myself the door, but yeah, it's also a one-of-a-kind place."

For Monday night's event, Thompson is putting on his hat as host, as the Apollo Spring Benefit awards Tyler Perry with the Impact Award. With a list of accomplishments that include everything from award-winning movies to owning his own production company, Thompson said the filmmaker is well-deserving of a "pat on the back."

"I think you can just look at that dude's resume and tell, but any time you mention Tyler Perry to anybody, they know who he is, so, that's an accomplishment just in itself, but the man [has] really done kind of, the dream, which is building it from scratch and also building an empire on top of that and he just keeps going," Thompson said of the actor, director and playwright.

He continued, "It's a full flex on Atlanta, it's a flex on the world, and he's in his comfort zone when he works. He only does the things that make him happiest, it seems like...he's also dedicated his life in the last few years when he has already been rich, to continue and to please his audience, so, I think he's well-deserving of a pat on the back."

Perry's career is not the only thing that's history-making at Apollo's Spring Benefit, the theatre itself is pretty awe-inspiring in itself.

"I think everybody knows what the Apollo means to Harlem, but also the community," Thompson shared. "The academy of it all, and bringing of the next generation in the right way, and with the information, they need to know that it's not just a one-sided approach to entertainment, and all that good stuff man, it's just a beautiful thing."

Adding, "It's good to see Harlem having a moment. We're right here on 125th Street, you can feel this energy, you know. There's been a lot of history in here."

For more on Thompson, check out the video below.