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SNL's Kenan Thompson Smirks As A Strategy To Avoid Breaking Character

Breaking character in a skit on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" is not a rare occurrence, and most cast members can point to at least a few times where they've slipped up on the show. But how do the cast members make sure that they don't slip up and break down the proverbial fourth wall? 

"SNL" is written to be funny, so staying in character while in front of the show's live audience is one of a cast member's most important priorities. The longer the cast member has been on the show, the more likely they have slipups, so it's pretty safe to say that legendary cast member Kenan Thompson has had his fair share of moments across his record-breaking career — he is the longest-running cast member ever on the show, appearing in 387 episodes and counting since 2003. But, Thompson actually thinks that the moments when someone breaks character are special. "I think that's what everybody's always watching for," he explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Of course we're watching for the biggest version of that, where everybody starts laughing and crying and can't get through it."

Thompson went on to say that any break in character is enjoyable to watch, but he also revealed that during his long tenure on the show, he developed a strategy to stay in character and keep cool.

Kenan Thompson just smirks off the laugh and hopes for the best

Kenan Thompson's experience on "SNL" definitely gives him an advantage over other cast members when a skit is starting to go off the rails, but a lot of times he seems like he enjoys it. "It makes me laugh," Thompson told Entertainment Weekly about other cast members slipping out of character. Despite his enjoyment of the chaos that sometimes comes to an "SNL" skit, he does have a way of trying to stay focused and not be the cause of possible disaster. "My go-to strategy to keep from breaking is to allow the smirk to happen," he explained. "Just allow a little acknowledgment of, 'This is funny,' and then plow through, basically."

A little smirk and the hope that the skit doesn't get a whole lot funnier is the only line of defense Thompson has as he tries to not to lose it in front of the live audience. Clearly it's worked out for him in his career since you can see him smirking in a lot of skits.