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TV CRITIC'S CORNER

‘SNL’ cast members past and present continue to show their range

Kenan Thompson, pictured as a presenter at the 2018 Emmys, will host this year's awards show in September.Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/file

Looking across the world of TV entertainment, I am reminded of just how influential “Saturday Night Live” continues to be. It remains a massive breeding ground for some of the most popular and powerful actors and personalities in the biz.

Tina Fey, who gave us a sitcom gift with “30 Rock,” is in “Only Murders in the Building” and produces Peacock’s “Girls5eva.” Over on Apple TV+, Maya Rudolph stars in “Loot,” Cecily Strong stars in “Schmigadoon,” Will Ferrell starred in “The Shrink Next Door,” Jason Sudeikis is “Ted Lasso,” and Kristen Wiig is on her way with the upcoming “Mrs. American Pie.” On Showtime, Vanessa Bayer stars in “I Love That for You.”

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On late night TV, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon are popular hosts. Aidy Bryant was wonderful for three seasons on Hulu’s “Shrill,” and Molly Shannon is currently on “The Other Two” and “I Love That for You.” Bill Hader is winning awards as “Barry,” and Chris Rock starred in the last season of “Fargo.”

Of course, I could go on and on. I’m thinking about this because Kenan Thompson — who is still on “SNL” and whose sitcom “Kenan” was just canceled after two seasons — has just been announced as the host of this year’s Emmy Awards. The event will take place in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, and it will air on Thompson’s home network, NBC.

He’s far from the first “SNL”-er to host an awards show. Conan O’Brien, Fallon, Meyers, Michael Che, and Colin Jost have emceed the Emmys. Rock, Chevy Chase, and Steve Martin (an “SNL” regular) have done the Oscars. And Fey, Meyers, Fallon, Amy Poehler, and Andy Samberg have led the Golden Globes.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.