Kenan Thompson Lands Nintendo Partnership, Talks Holiday Campaign

Kenan Thompson Lands Nintendo Partnership, Talks Holiday Campaign

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“If you can spend it in a fun way, those are the memories that you want to keep through life.”

Kennan Thompson playing the Nintendo Switch with his two daughters.


Just in time for the holiday season, Kenan Thompson has landed a new partnership with Nintendo. Thompson stars in the legendary game company’s new ad which also stars his two daughters, Georgia and Gianna, having a blast playing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the KingdomSuper Mario Bros. Wonder, and Super Mario Party. 

The holiday backdrop is the foundation for the familial commercial, which points to the Nintendo Switch as the perfect gift this holiday season. The acclaimed comedian exclusively talked to VIBE about his new partnership, the campaign’s emphasis on family time, and how the opportunity came about. 

“I’m super excited about it. I mean, they called, thank God, but they offered the opportunity for me to work with my babies, which is the most incredible thing I have yet to experience in this world,” the Good Burger 2 star said about the new opportunity. “It was a wonderful shoot day. We shot in this gorgeous house out in New Jersey, so we didn’t have to go far. It was just a whole wonderful setup, and we got to play Nintendo Switch all day. It was a fantastic day spent.

“The Nintendo Switch is so family-friendly, and it’s certain games like Super Mario Party where it’s very all-inclusive, and we could play together. It’s one thing when everybody’s sitting around watching a movie or something. It’s a different thing when you are gaming with your family. It’s a fun brand new where technology is today, an opportunity to dive in and you get to do it all together. That is a very, very special thing.”

Kenan Thompson also opened up about “feeling like a kid again” playing the Switch with his daughters. Using examples like All That and Kenan & Kel, the actor and the comedian detailed how his children “allowed him to be himself.”

“Absolutely. That’s a great question!” he expressed. “The common denominator of what you were mentioning with those shows is me. I am performing characters, but at the same time, there is a lot of me in every performance.

“So them allowing me to be myself with my real children, this was such a surreal, real moment that, yeah, it brought me back to being a kid when the first Nintendo came out I remember we got it for Christmas and played Super Mario Bros. for days until we beat it. And it’s been that way ever since.”

When asked about his relationship with his kids, Kenan described his “protective” nature as a father. He admitted wanting his daughters to grow up “normal as possible” and not force the bright lights on them. And Nintendo honored that when they approached him. Thompson also spoke to the “superstar” potential in his girls.

“I’m not hyper-overprotective, but I’m very protective of my girls,” the Atlanta native continued. “I try to protect their innocence as far as wanting them to grow up as normal as possible. So I don’t like taking pictures with people when I’m around them. I want them to be free of that. Family time is very precious to me. And Nintendo embraced that from the beginning. They were like, ‘Look, we want this to be a display of how great family time can be spent by playing a Nintendo Switch and playing games like Super Mario Party or Super Mario Bros. Wonder.’

“I fell in love with that idea, first, being the opportunity to work with them, but second, sending out such a blasting message of reminding everybody how precious family time is, should be. And then, if you can spend it in a fun way, those are the memories that you want to keep through life.”

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