The Daily Gamecock

Kenan Thompson draws crowd at Koger Center

Kenan Thompson is is still "all that," or at least he was at his stand-up comedy act on Thursday. Students packed the Koger Center for the Carolina Productions event.

SNL's Thompson focused on providing unique and comedic insight on his life and his experiences in an autobiographical manner, drawing inspiration from his past and how his history shaped him into the comedian that he is today.

“I liked him talking about his life ... and all the people he’s met,” said fourth-year nursing student TJ Peterson.

The audience roared with laughter as Thompson made references to many of his past acting experiences, including his time at Nickelodeon and in various movies. Some in the audience was familiar with Thompson’s works, as he was a staple in many films and shows of their generation.

“I grew up watching some things with Kenan in it, and I liked him on SNL,” Peterson said.

Thompson has been a fan of comedy throughout his life. Speaking about his roots and experiences with Nickelodeon in his youth, Thompson said he believes that his time spent there trained him well for writing sketches and performing on SNL today.

“It taught us to be pretty fearless and trust your instincts as far as the reaction you’re getting when you’re doing stuff and you just hear people laughing from little things,” Thompson said.

Toward the end of the show, Thompson had a question-and-answer session with members of the audience. Students raised their hands and shouted out questions to Thompson, who gave honest answers and opinions to often controversial questions.

“The questioning and answering thing was cool," said third-year electrical engineering student Nick Greene. "He got a bunch of random questions — what people were really thinking about.”

Before the show ended, Thompson called his friend and colleague Kel Mitchell, an actor he worked with in the 1997 film "Good Burger." Many in the audience sat in disbelief as Thompson turned on the speaker setting on his phone, held the phone up to the microphone and began to casually talk with his fellow actor and friend.

Thompson's jokes about his career as an actor and a comedian  were well-received by the crowd.

“You have to figure out your view on things and how to communicate that to people in a way that’s funny but it's also different,” Thompson said.