2022 Stanley Cup Final – Talking Hockey, ‘Tough Ducks’ & More with SNL’s Kenan Thompson

Kenan Thompson has uncommon hockey roots for the well-known NHL fan. Earlier than he was an Emmy-winning humorist on “Saturday Evening Dwell,” he was Mighty Duck.

Thompson, who’s internet hosting the NHL Awards for the second time Tuesday night time at 7 ET in Tampa, Florida, performed Ross Tyler in “D2: The Mighty Geese” (1994) and “D3: The Mighty Geese” (1996). Ever hear concerning the “knuckle puck,” The shot that “is difficult to be correct however drives goalkeepers loopy”?

Yeah, that was Kenan Thompson.

We spoke with Thompson final week about returning to host the NHL Awards, the fiasco on the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers and Sidney Crosby fandom, the legacy of “Mighty Geese” and the very best hockey moments in “SNL” historical past.

The NHL Awards Will Stream On ESPN, Thompson Will Break This Killer Kevin Weekes impression:



Kenan Thompson impersonates NHL analyst Kevin Weekes in a brand new convention infographic forward of the NHL Awards Present, which airs Tuesday on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.

ESPN: What makes Kenan Thompson match for the NHL Awards?

Thomson: I am an enormous fan of the NHL, man. I have been for the reason that nice duck days, mainly. Having a relationship the place I can actually contribute to the league is gorgeous. I need to return the favor with extra than simply waving on the JumboTron. It’s good to have an energetic participation in the neighborhood as a result of it’s a stunning neighborhood.

ESPN: Your joke through the 2019 NHL Awards In regards to the Tampa Bay Lightning Nonetheless Legendary: On how their embarrassing sweeping loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets equaled an NHL document for the fewest wins. How does the comic really feel about roasting the gamers sitting there?

Thomson: I do not essentially know concerning the gamers, however I definitely heard some reactions from the followers – “How dare you flip us down, blah blah blah.” Not somewhat. Simply stating the details. That is it. [Laughs] Nevertheless it seems to have been an enormous motivating issue. These guys have been tearing up ever since.

ESPN: It is best to get credit score for these consecutive trophies.

Thomson: Because you made that joke, they have not been defeated in it [every playoff series]. That is the most important transformation I’ve seen in my life.

ESPN: Did you turn out to be a fan of the New York Rangers by dwelling in New York and doing ‘SNL’ there?

Thomson: Sure, simply by going to the park. I really like Madison Sq. Backyard, man. So I grew to become a Knicks fan by default. I began going to Rangers video games and rooting for them once they weren’t taking part in for both Atlanta or Tampa. That Rangers vs Lightning collection was a tug-of-war, man. I’ve a love of lightning. undoubtedly.

ESPN: You are a part of a really particular NHL custom: the celebrities within the crowd who seem in JumboTron at Rangers’ house video games. They play a clip from “SNL,” then present you and followers cheer. However some celebrities, like Jimmy Fallon, have ready small elements once they know they are going to present up. Have you ever ever carried out little within the sport?

Thomson: It is unbelievable. It’s an honor to be acknowledged as such. Being thrown in entrance of everybody and making the followers react to it… It is like New York pats you on the again and also you pats the backs of New York groups. It is a very cool factor.

Lea DeLaria, who performed Huge Boo on “Orange Is The New Black,” did a bit as she had her drink once they put her on a JumboTron. So I went proper after that and had my drink too and everybody went loopy. The identical ambiance. Powerful occasion.

ESPN: Previously, you stated you Alex Ovechkin man. Do you may have different NHL gamers you’re keen on?

Thomson: It may be blasphemy to say this, however I respect Sidney Crosby for his expertise. I met Sidney on the authentic NHL Awards and it was superb. Anytime you perform a little with members of the viewers, you’ll be able to deviate somewhat. However he was a prepared participant. He let me, like, bounce on his shoulders somewhat bit. He’s only a good man. It is a pity he is in a rival metropolis for Rangers, however he is child.

It’s important to respect expertise. I feel when David Ortiz comes into city he will get a standing ovation at Yankee Stadium as a result of they respect what he is carried out. Like, we get it. He is performed for the Crimson Sox and we have had robust instances for years. However expertise is expertise and dedication is dedication. I feel cities respect that.

Conor McDavid he is loopy. Nathan McKinnon he is loopy. TJ O’Shea? I really like this man. BK Suban He is my pal, so I’ve to yell at him. Rangers have been actually robust this 12 months. I’ve to present it to Igor Shesterkin, entering into such large footwear. I can not let go of my lightning, both. Stephen Stamkos And the Nikita Kucherov stable. Alex Killorn Been placing within the work for years. Being from Atlanta, I can solely be a fan of the good guys.

ESPN: Have you ever had any bizarre interactions with a Mighty Geese fan?

Thomson: [Laughs] a stranger? No, it has all the time been a misleading love. Hockey followers can get somewhat rowdy after the sport and stuff, however they simply need to scream “The Mighty Geese” and inform me how a lot they meant to them, and the way it saved them motivated on the hockey tracks. It was all the time a lot love.

ESPNThere may be a whole era of followers who’ve been concerned in hockey both via “The Mighty Geese” or taking part in video hockey video games. You might have made new followers

Thomson: Sure, SEGA is all fairly superb. I bear in mind once they had been taking part in that sport in “Swingers”. Simply to look at that footage, the place’s all of it [pixelated] However you’ll be able to nonetheless open somebody’s head who was superb. What an period.

ESPN: SNL’s biggest hockey moments: Wayne Gretsky’s “Waikiki Hockey” is a parody of the Elvis film or Probability Rapper “Let’s Do That Hockey?”

Thomson: [Laughs] Oof. I ought to go along with an opportunity. Gretsky is the goat and all the pieces, however this chance was crucial. It was unbelievable. When he learn Brady Skagi’s identify and stated “that is nothing”.

ESPN: For example Kenan Thompson is the “one-day NHL commissioner.” You’ll be able to change something about hockey. What modified?

Thomson: What can I modify… What can I modify? I do not know. It appears to be getting in such a optimistic route. How about paying extra gamers? That is all the time reply. These guys on the market are doing their finest. Give these males what they should survive and their households. It takes an enormous assist system to get these guys to succeed in that stage. So we all the time welcome some giving again to the communities. The NHL is already doing that, so in the event that they do extra, it will likely be higher.

ESPN: “NHL Awards host Kenan Thompson: Take away wage cap.”

Thomson: [Laughs] that’s it. This can be a good title. They are going to be very indignant about it.