Kenan Thompson Draws Inspiration From Yellowstone For 2022 People's Choice Awards Opening Parody

Kenan Thompson knows how to start a party.

The Saturday Night Live veteran opened the 2022 People's Choice Awards on Dec. 6 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. with a parody of Yellowstone, the smash hit TV western starring Kevin Costner.

Titled Blackstone, the opening found Thompson in his own Dutton family-inspired attire, complete with cowboy hat and emblazoned vest while sitting on top of a real horse.

Yee haw!

Hailing from the "wide plains of Atlanta," Thompson said he had been sent to California by John Dutton (a.k.a. Costner's character on Yellowstone), which delighted the bevy of A-list stars in attendance, including Music Icon Award winner Shania Twain and People's Icon of 2022 Ryan Reynolds.

For all of the 2022 PCAs red carpet looks, click here.

After the Blackstone parody, Kenan took to the stage for his opening monologue—which included references to nominated shows and movies like Stranger Things, The Batman, Jurassic World Dominion and Nope.

On the topic of the Robert Pattinson-starring superhero flick, Thompson joked, "Man, how dark can Batman get? If he gets any darker he's going to be Wesley Snipes!"

He also mentioned a certain high-flying movie sequel some 36 years in the making.

Thompson gave a humorous nod to "the 60-year-old man who does his own stunts in Top Gun: Maverick. Shout out to Tom Cruise."

2022 People's Choice Awards Winners

Thompson also hyped up 2022 People's Champion winner Lizzo, saying, "Lizzo is our People's Champion tonight. Indeed, Lizzo, you showed the world that anybody can play the flute while they are twerking in a thong if they really want to. I've got to say, looking forward to seeing that from Dwyane Wade tonight."

Kenan Thompson, 2022 People's Choice Awards
Rich Polk/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty Images

In a conversation with E! News prior to the ceremony, Kenan said he was focused on having "a good time" while "celebrating the people's choices."

"It's like who they want to be, who they want to see get a trophy," he continued. "There's very hard workers out there in the biz."

After the 2022 PCAs, relive the night's biggest moments with E! News co-hosts Adrienne Bailon-Houghton and Justin Sylvester at 11 p.m. on E!.

Sign up for E! Insider! Unlock exclusive content, custom alerts & more!