Nearing the end of his ninth season on “Saturday Night Live,” metro Atlanta native Kenan Thompson has become a fixture on the sketch comedy show, a go-to person for celebrity impersonations, from Tyler Perry to Herman Cain to Al Sharpton.
During breaks on the show, he visits college campuses to talk about his life. This Thursday, he comes to the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech. “It’s not really standup,” Thompson explained recently from New York City. “It’s more storytelling, life stories,” he said. I talk about ‘SNL’ and my time on ‘Kenan & Kel,’ ” his hit show on Nickelodeon in the 1990s.
He’ll also do some of his characters if people request it, including his most enduring original one to date: DeAndre Cole, a self-absorbed talk show host who prefers to sing than actually interview his celebrity guests, which have included Morgan Freeman, Paul Simon and Bill O’Reilly. “SNL” has tapped this skit eight times since 2009.
“That’s a fun one for me,” Thompson said. “I just thought it’d be funny to just break out in song and not let anyone talk.”
He has also lightly mocks “The Voice” judge Cee Lo Green in a skit where the Atlanta R&B singer gives “funky” relationship advice to couples. “I am glad we found an angle for Cee Lo,” he said. “I’ve known him a long time. He was due. The first time I did that, he was actually at the show. I didn’t even know it. He said he almost had a heart attack. He had no idea we were doing it but he loved it. He embraced it.”
Thompson, 33, last November got married to interior designer Christine Evangeline at the Georgia Aquarium.
“It feels like a natural thing when you fall in love,” he said. “You never want to leave their side. I want a family.”
As for “SNL,” he has no plans to leave. “I’m just having a good time,” he said. “I don’t think about the end just yet.”
8 p.m. Thursday March 29. $10 at the door. Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech. 350 Ferst Drive Northwest Atlanta. 404-894-2787. www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu.