Kenan Thompson of 'SNL' Dishes on Cast Parties

By Serena Solomon on April 9, 2014 8:09am 

MIDTOWN — Kenan Thompson, longtime "Saturday Night Live" cast member, has lived in a different neighborhood for almost every year he's spent on the late-night NBC sketch show since his 2003 debut.

After trying out Midtown, Williamsburg and Gramercy, among others, Thompson is now contemplating the family-friendly Upper West Side. He and his wife, model Christina Evangeline Thompson, are expecting a baby girl in July.

The comedian told DNAinfo New York about his favorite restaurants in his many former neighborhoods, where the "SNL" cast likes to go for its famed after-parties and how the show has changed after the exit of head writer Seth Meyers.

What neighborhood are you living in?
I live in Midtown. I move around a lot, like every year. We leave in the summer and then come back in the fall.

I enjoyed Williamsburg because there was a lot of space in my loft, but the parking is a nightmare. I got a ticket almost every day. That was five years ago. Gramercy is really nice. Midtown is easy for my job, but it's not really neighborhood-y.

I'm sure the Upper West Side [has] more parks and recreation with family types and businesses. You want to make having a kid stress-free. It would be nice to spend some time on the swings without a whole lot of traveling, strapping and buckling.

If you've lived all over the city, what are some of the great places to eat out?
Babalu [a Latin restaurant] is one of the greatest spots in The Bronx. I would just suggest listening to the chef. Every time I go there he just makes me something and I eat it. It's great. Il Mulino [in the West Village] has the best Italian food in the city in my opinion. We have been to Lure [Fishbar in SoHo] a lot. They are always winning the cheeseburger contest. Definitely [chef Josh Capon at Lure Fishbar] makes the best cheeseburgers in the city. 

How about "Saturday Night Live" after-parties?
I'm the worst person to ask. I always forget. I don't go out as much now that my wife is pregnant. For a lot of them, we go to Dos Caminos on Park Avenue. Their guacamole there is a must. They make it right there and you can get it nice and spicy. We have also been to Asellina at the bottom of the Gansevoort Hotel on Park Ave. 

Has the humor of "Saturday Night Live" changed since head writer Seth Meyers left?
Kudos to him for starting his own show at the same time as holding our hand into the future. The new cast members are getting to show what they have. It's a large cast and they are using a lot of individuals and trying to showcase everybody. It has been an interesting season, that's for sure.

The girls have been killing it and all the guys have been doing individual things really well. Now, we are just waiting for the audience to get to know them and laugh along with them like we do. It is very exciting to see how the show continues to transform.

What are your thoughts on restaurants that frown on tables with kids?
Shame on them. These are our future leaders and you're turning them away at the door. If they only knew. I think they should have a check-in closet for that stuff [strollers] instead of turning away money. It is definitely one of those first-world problems.

What changes are coming to your life with a baby on the way?
I am just excited about daytime stuff as opposed to nighttime stuff. I can't wait to see what all those early-morning people are about —  coffees and croissants and whatnot.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement