By Derek Lawrence
July 19, 2021 at 03:47 PM EDT
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Kenan Thompson isn't going anywhere.

Already the longest-tenured cast member in Saturday Night Live history with 18 seasons under his belt, Thompson, who has five Emmy nominations and one win for his work on the NBC sketch show, has no plans to walk away.

"I keep saying I'm trying to get to 20 [seasons]," Thompson tells EW. "So if they don't throw me out of there before, I'm trying to get to 20. And then, I don't know if it makes sense for me to leave even after that point. As long as the show keeps going and they want me to be there and I don't feel like I'm in the way of somebody else's opportunity, should I just oblige? I don't really know what to do at this point, as far as leaving is concerned. Like, why should I ever have to leave?"

Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Kenan Thompson on 'SNL'
'SNL' cast members Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Kenan Thompson during season 46 finale cold open
| Credit: NBC

While many other SNL mainstays have eventually departed over the years to take on other projects, Thompson has managed to balance staying on SNL with branching out with his NBC sitcom Kenan. And as if just having the two high-profile jobs at the same time wasn't enough, Thompson earned Emmy nominations last week for his performances on both.

"It's like nobody thought to do it that way," he explains. "Because it would seem like a hindrance in your career or something, like you're stuck. But, for me, it's the exact opposite. It's always been a thing that makes people want to have me when I'm unattainable. So it's worked in my favor to be busy 10 months of the year."

Fellow SNL veterans Cecily Strong and Pete Davidson recently faced similar questions about whether they will return in the fall for season 47, but have been much more noncommittal than Thompson, both declaring their future "up in the air."

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