Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured African-American cast member in "Saturday Night Live" history, will leave the late night sketch show when it wraps its upcoming 40th season, according to a report from TMZ.
The gossip site writes that Thompson, who's headed into his 12th "SNL" season, actually wanted to depart following the end of season 39 earlier this year, but was persuaded to stay by producer Lorne Michaels, citing the recent high turnaround rate among cast members.
"We're told Kenan has no hard feelings and is leaving on great terms," TMZ writes. "Our sources say he's in talks for a new show and plans on moving to L.A. (with his wife and brand new baby) when the season ends."
But Vulture reports that an "SNL" spokesperson insists that TMZ's story is "incredibly inaccurate."
"The season hasn't even started and cast decisions aren't made until the end of the season," the spokesperson told Vulture.
We'll have to wait from official word from Thompson before we find out the truth, but suffice it to say that if he does end up leaving after this season, it will be a bummer for the generation of "SNL" fans who grew up watching him on the program. (He's the most seasoned member of the current cast of the show.) Expect his sendoff -- whenever it may occur -- to be epic and bittersweet.
Catch Thompson while you can when "Saturday Night Live"'s 40th season premieres on September 27.
[via: TMZ, Vulture h/t HuffPost Entertainment]
Photo credit: Getty Images
categories Tv News