The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


The event “will provide a unique perspective on the entertainment industry and, hopefully, give audience members more than a few fits of laughter.”

Credit: Max Goldberg

Between Space Jam-themed parties and the resurgent choker trend, it’s clear that the ‘90s are still all that for Penn students. But with their announcement Sunday night, the Social Planning and Events Committee has taken Penn’s ‘90s obsession one step further.

The branch of SPEC that brought speakers like Anna Kendrick and Serena Williams to campus, SPEC Connaissance, is bringing Kenan Thompson to Penn on Tuesday, March 21 to speak at Irvine Auditorium.

“We thought that Kenan would be great, because not only do we all see him every weekend on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ but we also grew up with him on ‘All That’ and ‘Kenan and Kel,’” College senior Caroline Pitofsky said.

Pitofsky, a SPEC Connaissance director who teamed with SPEC Film to put on the event, added that now was a great time to bring Thompson to campus.

“He’s currently very popular and funny, but he’s also been sort of a constant in a lot of people’s entertainment for a long time — especially for our generation,” Pitofsky said.

And Pitofsky’s fellow SPEC Connaissance directors agree.

“He’s popular now, but he’s also an almost nostalgic figure that most people on campus will recognize from their childhoods,” Wharton senior India Cooper said.

Tickets are available for $5 online or in front of Steinberg-Dietrich Hall on Locust Walk, beginning March 13 at 10 a.m.

Thompson joined “Saturday Night Live” in 2003, becoming the only “SNL” member to be born after the show first aired.

According to an official SPEC statement, the event “will provide a unique perspective on the entertainment industry and, hopefully, give audience members more than a few fits of laughter.”

Pitofsky echoed the hope that Thompson’s long history with comedy will help him share a unique outlook on the state of entertainment.

“We try to keep up with what’s generally happening in pop culture and entertainment to see who is doing something of note at the moment,” the SPEC Connaissance director said. “And we thought that Kenan had a unique perspective, given that he’s been on similar types of shows his whole life and also started at such a young age with sketch comedy.”

But this won’t be Thompson’s first time at Penn.

In 2008, Thompson hosted Mask and Wig’s annual ComFest, in what was deemed an easy decision by former ComFest planners.

Thompson is “one of the younger guys in ‘SNL’ and also a legend for those of us growing up in the ‘90s,” Andrew Reich, former ComFest co-director and 2009 College graduate, told the DP in 2008.

As for SPEC, their goal of providing joy to Penn’s campus with celebrity appearances remains unchanged, as Pitofsky said. “We’re hoping that everyone’s happy with the event, enjoys it, and has a great time.”