Chris Redd interview: ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Kenan’ and’ Bust Down’
Chris Redd is a very busy man. The Emmy winner stars in three shows this TV season, returning for his fifth season as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” the second season of “Kenan” and his new Peacock comedy “Bust Down, “which he also co-created. So how exactly was he able to balance all of those commitments? “I haven’t slept in two years,” quips Redd in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “I’ve always been a workaholic and I definitely met my match with working on these shows at the same time.” Watch the full video interview above.
This year of “SNL” saw Redd featured more than ever before, racking up the second-most screen time for the season, behind Kenan Thompson. The comedian was given the opportunity to lead more sketches and do more celebrity impressions, most notably lampooning New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “I’ve fallen in love with doing impressions now that I’m here, and I see the love behind it in the creativity behind it and everything,” he says. The actor admits that during his first four seasons on “SNL” he was in his head a lot. This year, having settled into the show, “I was comfortable enough to play, and I think that changed a lot in how you carry the job.”
The comedian also got to do some new things in Season 2 of “Kenan,” where he plays Gary, the overconfident brother/manager of the title character. The penultimate episode of the season finds the brothers revisiting their childhood home where old memories resurface and we learn more about how Gary always idolized his brother. This allowed Redd to explore more of his dramatic side, which was admittedly vulnerable for him considering his usual style is to make light of most situations. “To stay in it was a different experience,” he notes. “I kind of want to do it more often.”
As for “Bust Down,” which Redd co-created and stars with Sam Jay, Langston Kerman and Jak Knight, the actor reveals it took a while to finally get on the air. The six-episode comedy series centers on a group of four friends who work at a casino together as they get into wild adventures, and took about five and a half years to come together. “This show’s seen 1,000 lives,” the actor states. “It’s died like four times and then came back to life because somebody else grabbed it up.” The series touches on some risky subject matter, including sexual abuse and homelessness, but always finds the right irreverent approach. “We wanted to make a comedy that wasn’t like anything else, and I think we think we did that.”
“Bust Down” has yet to be renewed, but Redd will still be plenty busy — the comedian is set to release his first hour-long standup special on HBO Max this year in addition to returning for the next season of “Saturday Night Live.” The actor is still processing the departure of four of his cast mates, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney, stating, “I don’t know what that building is without them.” But he has no plans of going anywhere, adding that he is excited for the new blood set to come on board for Season 48. “I think next year’s gonna be great. “