Kenan Thompson is best known for his sketch comedy, but he got his acting start in hockey, and the comedian has been returning to his roots recently.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But before Saturday Night Live, Kenan & Kel or even All That, Thompson played Russ, the trash-talking Californian who introduced the world to the knuckle puck in D2: The Mighty Ducks.
Lightning wing Alex Killorn parodied the opening of D2 in the only scripted video of his recent Dock Talk series on social media, gathering teammates on water scooters (instead of inline skates) and mimicking the movie’s famous flying V formation.
The video caught Thompson’s eye. He posted on Twitter: “Put me in the sequel bros!!!!
And now he’s in.
Thompson will appear along with Killorn’s Lightning teammates Kevin Shattenkirk and Anthony Cirelli in a live Instagram stream at 6 p.m. today on Killorn’s account, akillorn17. Killorn also will present a check for $50,000 to the Hillsborough Education Fund, the proceeds from sales of his Dock Talk T-shirt.
In D2, Russ starts out in the stands chirping the Ducks, finally saying, “I’m getting sick of seeing the USA represented by a bunch of whining babies” and challenging them to a game of roller hockey. He shocks them with the knuckle puck — standing the puck on its side and ripping a slap shot that flips and moves up and down before hitting the can they use as a net. (1:40 in the video below).
That earns Russ a spot on the team when another player gets hurt, and he helps the Ducks to the championship of the Junior Goodwill Games in one of the most absurd scenes of a series full of wonderfully unrealistic plays.
Thompson makes an interesting guest for Killorn given his roast of the Lightning as host of last year’s NHL awards show.
“They tied the record for the most wins in the regular season with 62,” Thompson said. “And then they followed it up by tying the least wins in the playoffs with zero. (Pause for laughter and for the camera to pan to Lightning players unamused by the reference to being swept in the first round by the Blue Jackets.) But hey, hey. I mean, that’s what I like about them. Win or lose, they set records.”