Kenan Thompson Shares His Choice For Best Sketch Comedy Character, And It's A Surprising Pick
When it comes to sketch comedy, few in the business (if any) have more day-to-day experience than Kenan Thompson, with the comedian having excitedly starred in Saturday Night Live for nearly 20 years, far longer than any other performers. Add in the years he starred on Nickelodeon’s ‘90s juggernaut All That, and he’s been in the sketch comedy world for more years of his life than he hasn’t, which is a wild feat. (Not to mention his appearances in the Kids in the Hall revival, The Amanda Show, and That Damn Michael Che.) So he’s got a lot of options to choose from when it comes to who he thinks the best sketch character of all time is. But did he opt for someone from SNL, Mr. Show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, or A Black Lady Sketch Show?
Nope. While making a surprise appearance at ‘90s Con for the All That cast panel, Thompson gave it up to Kel Mitchell and praised his co-star’s portrayal of Coach Kreeton as being at the highest level of sketch comedy personas. After Mitchell hollered out a few things in Coach Kreeton’s usual anti-children, gravel-voiced manner, Thompson said:
I was just saying backstage that Coach Kreeton might be the greatest sketch comedy character in the history of sketch comedy. All based on this man's talent. Like, physical silliness, volume, you know what I'm saying? [to Kel Mitchell] Bro, you're a beast, man, and you still have us in tears. I always felt so lucky that he was kind of just giving this away for free, you know? You're like television right now.
At which point, both Denberg and Danny Tamberelli acted surprised about Thompson getting it for free, as they joked about having to pay Mitchell for his humor.
The former co-stars have maintained their friendship over the many years since All That ended its initial run on Nickelodeon, and they’ve reconnected quite a few times on screen since. From the All That reboot/revival to Good Burger returns to their big SNL reunion in Keke Palmer’s ep, it’s clear they enjoy spending lots of time together, even if it doesn’t always involve Kel Mitchell going hoarse from making Coach Kreeton jokes.
Now, metaphorical gun to his head, without Kel Mitchell in the same building as other All That stars and thousands of ‘90s Con attendees, does Kenan Thompson freely admit that Coach Kreeton is the greatest sketch character ever? Nobody needs to find out. Although I would be amused if, while under such pressure, he admitted his take on Steve Harvey would be his true choice.
The topic of Coach Kreeton came up after Lori Beth Denberg talked for a bit about sketches featuring the Loud Librarian, and how she was able to film those without losing her voice. (Basically, she used a more subdued version of the character’s voice during read-throughs and rehearsals, and only went full-force for tapings.) That sparked Kel Mitchell to reflect on how he didn’t bring that kind of practicality to his performance, saying:
I wish I would have known that. I didn't like to save my voice. I was just straight 100% all the time. I had no choice for Coach Kreeton. I had to just keep going, screaming the entire time. "Go on, ya crazy kids! Shut up! Listen to what I'm sayin'!'
The panel then joked about Coach Kreeton's deep breaths being practical for Mitchell, who would indeed run out of breath during those scenes, and others. There's no room for laziness when it comes to the greatest sketch characters in history, after all.
During the '90s Con panel, which was unfortunately missed by Amanda Bynes ahead of her mental health episode this past weekend, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell also addressed the huge Good Burger 2 news that was revealed on The Tonight Show, saying he thinks the movie will be filmed in the summer with the hopes for a streaming debut before the year is up, among other hopes.