Kenan Thompson Says This "SNL" Guest Made the Cast "Extremely Uncomfortable"
“I don’t know if that’s the moment necessarily to hold people hostage like that, but hey.”
With almost 18 years of Saturday Night Live under his belt, Kenan Thompson has memories of working with dozens of celebrity hosts and musical guests. But not all of those memories are fond. In fact, he's flat out named one SNL guest who made him and the rest of the cast "extremely uncomfortable." Read on to find out who it is, and for another celeb who probably won't be invited back, This Is the Worst "SNL" Host of All Time, Cast Says.
The infamous incident occurred after the show was over, so it wasn't broadcast.
While appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers in October of 2018, Thompson discussed the sketch show's Season 44 premiere, which had occurred just a few weeks prior. The premiere was hosted by Adam Driver, with Kanye West as the musical guest. Viewers at home probably assumed that the episode went off fine, but anyone who was in the studio at the time experienced the tense moment when West went completely off-script.
After the traditional good night at the end of the show, West launched into a tangent that left the audience and cast baffled. With much of the cast still onstage, the rapper spoke at length, defending his support of Donald Trump and denouncing the media and "liberals." The broadcast cut off before it could be aired live. And for another uncomfortable SNL moment, check out Maya Rudolph Says This "SNL" Host Made the Cast Want to Leave.
Thompson said it was difficult for his castmates to stand behind West during this speech.
Thompson opted to stay backstage during the farewells that night, but most of his fellow castmates didn't. And once West started talking, it was too late for them to step off stage.
"We're all entitled to our opinion," Thompson told Seth Meyers, then added with a laugh, "I don't know if that's the moment necessarily to hold people hostage like that, but hey."
"I felt so bad for those guys," the SNL star continued, referring to his coworkers. "Because it's hard to stand there and not be able to, you know, debate somebody who's going so far against your personal opinion as well. And just stand there and take it."
However, Thompson also noted that a big priority for the show is to make the host and musical guest feel welcome. "When musical guests come in and they're a little bit crazy…we let them have that," the actor said. "We don't judge."
The week after West was on the show, cast member Pete Davidson was featured in the "Weekend Update" segment, where he described West's behavior as "one of the worst, most awkward things" he'd ever seen in the studio. And for a star who almost joined the cast, check out Jennifer Aniston Reveals the Real Reason She Rejected SNL.
West accused the cast of being rude to him.
During his speech, West claimed that the cast attacked him about wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat during the week leading up to the show. "They bullied me backstage," the rapper said. "They said 'don't go out there with that hat on'…They bullied me, and then they say I'm in a sunken place."
Davidson addressed the claim during the next week's "Weekend Update." "He wore [the MAGA hat] all week," Davidson said. "Nobody told him not to wear it…I wish I would have suggested that."
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Thompson still vividly remembers West's most recent SNL appearance.
When Thompson appeared on HOT 97 in December of 2019, he was asked if he still remembered West's controversial rant, and he instantly responded, "Thoroughly." He explained that he initially thought West was going to do a song over the end credits like other musical guests had done in the past. However, since West didn't do that, Thompson continues to feel grateful that he wasn't on stage with him. "I got lucky, because it became extremely uncomfortable extremely fast," he remembered. For another unfriendly encounter, check out James Corden Says This Is the Rudest Celebrity He's Ever Met.