Originally posted Tuesday, March 19, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Kenan Thompson, the Atlanta native with the longest running tenure on “Saturday Night Live” in its 44-year history, has put together a special comedy showcase that comes to Atlanta March 23 and 24 at Atlanta Comedy Theater in Norcross. (Buy tickets to the kids show here and the adult show here.)
Given his crazy schedule, Thompson unfortunately won’t be able to make the Atlanta showcases, dubbed “Kenan Thompson’s Ultimate Comedy Experience.” (Besides “SNL,” he is executive producing an NBC comedy competition show “Bring the Funny,” starring in a sitcom pilot and working on an “All That” revival on Nickelodeon.)
But the winners of both the children’s and adult shows will be flown up to New York, given tickets to see a “Saturday Night Live” taping, hang out with Thompson backstage and do a live show at the famous Caroline’s on Broadway on Times Square the next day. The adults get to go to the “SNL” after party as well.
The kids last year got to meet Tina Fey, Ben Stiller and Jimmy Fallon.
Talent scouts and agents are invited to the Caroline’s show to scout out the winners. “Hopefully they can meet someone and take their careers to the next level,” Thompson said in an interview last Friday. “I want this to be more than shaking my hand and taking a picture.”
Thompson, 40, for the past eight years has largely funded the showcase out of his own pocket, though he gets the occasional sponsor to help out. Although he is not a stand-up comic himself, he admires the work of those who do.
About 20 stand-ups will perform at the Atlanta showcase and they will get four minutes on stage for the adult show, said executive producer Cherie Chiles-Buchanan, who is working with Adrienne Lopez on the project. About 15, ages 8 to 18, will perform at the kids’ show and they don’t necessarily have to do stand up. (They are still seeking talented kids. Email info@YoungStars360.com.)
Thompson said he has never had a chance to do any TV or film projects in his home state despite the explosion of production in Georgia. “I did a commercial there, then I left for Hollywood,” he said.
THINGS TO DO
Kenan Thompson’s Ultimate Comedy Experience
Kids show is Saturday, March 23, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. while Adults show is on Sunday, March 24 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
$10 to $20 for kids show, $20 to $35 for the adults show
Atlanta Comedy Theater
4650 Jimmy Carter Boulevard