Kenan Thompson Responds to Samuel L. Jackson Saying the ‘SNL’ Star Got Him “Banned” From Show

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Kenan Thompson is clearing the air after Samuel L. Jackson recently discussed a Saturday Night Live sketch they were both in 10 years ago that has apparently spurred debate.

Thompson was a guest on The Tonight Show on Thursday, where host Jimmy Fallon brought up Jackson’s comments. During a March appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jackson recalled to guest host Leslie Jones that he used the F-word during a live SNL sketch that aired in December 2012, and he lightheartedly claimed to Jones that Thompson is the reason he’s now “banned” from the show.

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After Fallon asked about Jackson’s remarks, Thompson — who co-starred with the Oscar-nominated actor in the 2006 film Snakes on a Plane — said he wouldn’t have the authority to keep a star off the show and that from what he has heard, Jackson would be “welcome anytime” on the venerable NBC comedy series.

Thompson then set the scene for Fallon, describing his side of the “What Up With That?” sketch that featured Jackson playing himself in a cameo. “He dropped the F-bomb on the show, but he says I was supposed to cut him off before that,” explained Thompson, who said that the cue card only had the letter “F” and not the actual curse word. “We kinda expect the F-word out of Sam Jackson, so no harm done. Then he doubled down and said it again, and I was like, ‘Yo, my man, we got to pay for those.'”

Thompson went on to say that SNL’s team wouldn’t turn away Jackson, who hosted the show once, in 1998, and hasn’t been back since the guest appearance 10 years ago. “He’s been mad at me for that, so my bad, bro,” Thompson continued. “I didn’t think he was gonna do it like that. Come on in whenever you want. It’s Sam Jackson — who doesn’t want Sam Jackson on the show?”

Back in March, Jackson told SNL alum Jones, “Kenan got me banned from Saturday Night Live.” Jackson added, “He didn’t cut me off soon enough, and I said the forbidden word on television. It was like, ‘Ah! He was supposed to cut me off.'”

During an interview with EW’s The Awardist podcast earlier this month, Jackson said he recently ran into SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels, who assured the actor that he isn’t banned.

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