Five Favorite Films

Kenan Thompson's Five Favorite Films

by | February 22, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Hulu)

Though his masterful sketch comedy work on Saturday Night Live and Kenan & Kel gets him a lot of notice, Kenan Thompson is no stranger to film. This week, his new animated feature Rock Dog opens. We asked him what his Five Favorite Films are, and based on his picks, it’s easy to see where he gets some of his creative sketch and character work. See the full list here:

Groundhog Day (1993) 97%

I think it’s a perfect movie. I think it’s perfect in concept and truly executed to the upmost awesomeness. It’s funny when it needs to be funny. It’s super funny when it needs to be super funny. It also sinks down into some really dark, dark places or whatever. Turns it right back around and gets funny again within a few minutes. I think it’s a brilliant movie.

Coming to America (1988) 73%

Coming to America. Duh. We [can] leave it at that.

I’ll start with the “duh” connotation. It’s an awesome movie. I can’t exactly remember the first time I saw it. I think I was really, really young, when it came on television — I think when it came on HBO or something. I don’t know that I was old enough to see it in the theaters. I doubt it. When I did see it at home, it was when cable first came out. There was only so many movies that would get played over and over again. Thank God Coming to America was one of them. I can quote it from the beginning to the end to this day. It was Eddie Murphy in his prime. Arsenio at his most confident. It was just an awesome concept. Super duper rich African dudes coming to Queens, trying to live regular. While you got Mr. McDowell thinking that he’s the king of the hill and stuff like that. It was a really funny movie.

So much character work. I really appreciated those dudes –especially in the end credits, seeing how many characters they really played. I already kinda knew. But it was an awesome surprise to find out that Eddie was the little old man in the barbershop and stuff like that.

Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 94%

That hits home for my sci-fi nerd self side of myself. I love the first one, A New Hope — that’s where it all started. But, Empire was just so awesome. I always remember watching Empire and being like, “Man, this movie is awesome from top to bottom.” So many good battles between Luke and Vader. Luke getting his arm chopped off — it’s a cold blooded movie. Return of the Jedi is awesome too. But, without Empire Strikes Back, I don’t know if Jedi would’ve even been a thing.

So much Billy Dee Williams, too.

Casino (1995) 78%

That’s another perfect movie in my opinion. It’s like all those dudes in there — the height of their abilities. I wish I could name six because I would put Training Day up there. That’s Denzel at his most, most confident. It’s an awesome movie to watch.

But, Casino is just classic like, Goodfellas, and then Raging Bull and all of those things coming are like little seeds, and the flower that sprouts was Casino.

Scorsese and all those dudes really knowing each other for years. Putting together an awesome story about the beginning of Las Vegas or the last time the mob controlled Las Vegas — was just a great story and then to execute it for two and a half hours like that from top to bottom. It’s like some of Joe Pesci‘s finest work ever — Goodfellas is, like, his greatest film. Both of those dudes — De Niro‘s got so many great ones. [But] for those dudes together, I think Casino‘s my favorite.

Tommy Boy (1995) 41%

I remember seeing Tommy Boy, like, 15 million times. It makes me laugh every single time. Then I realized that I’m really laughing at Chris for 90 percent of the time. Then David kicks in there the other 10 that I need to make it a 100 percent completely awesome experience. Those two going back and forth and David being such a dick — it just works in that movie.


Rock Dog opens on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 in wide release.

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