Kenan Thompson Reveals a Crooked Accountant Stole $1.5 Million From Him During His Nickelodeon Days | Video

“I ended up not letting that be the end all be all of what my life is going to be,” Thompson tells “The Breakfast Club”

Kenan Thompson is by all measures one of the most successful comedians in the world, having followed his celebrated run as a child and young adult actor on Nickelodeon with becoming the longest-tenured cast member in “Saturday Night Live” history.

But during an appearance this week on “The Breakfast Club,” Thompson got real about a serious setback early in his career, revealing that when he left Nickelodeon in 2000, he was effectively broke — because he’d been basically robbed blind by his accountant.

“I had a bad accountant,” Thompson explained. “And it came to the light around ’99, around 2000. Which was really bad timing because that’s right when I left my consistent gig … when I went into being an adult actor for hire, and that is very hit and miss.”

Thompson said that he was “broke,” and that though he was getting work, it was “just money enough for rent kind of thing. And, yeah, you know, the accountant was dirty, and I ended up not letting that be the end all be all of what my life is going to be.”

Thompson told “The Breakfast Club” cohost Charlamagne tha God that the $1.5 million his accountant stole from him amounted to most of what he earned during his years at Nickelodeon. Asked how that happened, Thompson explained it was because the accountant was someone his family thought they could trust.

“We gave him power of attorney when we shouldn’t have,” Thompson said. “I was a kid and my mom was trying to protect me. You know, I mean, and he had helped her out of her tax situations … so she thought she could trust him. But she could trust him with, like, the $30 to $50 grand issues kind of thing.”

But,” he continued, “when it’s like a million dollars on the table, you never know what people going to turn into, and apparently he turned into a demon.”

Thompson found out about the theft when the IRS came at him for unpaid taxes, and he had to sue his former accountant to establish that he wasn’t responsible for that. He won the case, but he also said he knew he’d never see the money again.

As rough as that sounds, Thompson told “The Breakfast Club” that it might have played a role in where his career went.

“If it wasn’t for that, I don’t know if my track would be the same. Because I was ready to settle into Atlanta. You know what I mean? Like, I was ready to just be like, ‘Nah, I’m good’ and ‘three-and-a-half hours to L.A., so if they need me, they can call me’ kind of thing. But I don’t think I would have been as hungry … or as dedicated, necessarily,” he said.

You can watch the full, wide-ranging interview, which among other things includes Thompson’s perspective as a parent and how he landed the “SNL” gig, at the top of the page.


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