Kenan Thompson Launches Production Company and Talent Incubator, Forms Management Joint Venture, and Sets Up First Project with Mike Tyson


Kenan thompson formalized its plans to move into production and talent management.

the Saturday Night Live the star launched Artists for artists with John Ryan Jr., executive producer of Bill & Ted face the music, formed a joint venture with management company McKeon / Myones Entertainment and set up the company’s first project with boxing champion Mike tyson.

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It comes after the Kenan Star revealed earlier this summer that he’d like to take production further in a conversation with his former SNL buddy Seth Meyers.

Artists For Artists is a full-service artist incubator for content creation, production, commerce and management. The company is designed to help talent create and produce their own content and will help stars and creatives build their own content brands while partnering with distributors.

John Ryan Jr. - Credit: Courtesy of Andres Ortiz

John Ryan Jr. – Credit: Courtesy of Andres Ortiz

Courtesy of Andres Ortiz

Thompson is defined as a co-founder with Ryan Jr., who was the former COO of FilmEngine, producer of Bill & Ted face the music and who took Mike Tyson out of retirement to fight Roy Jones Jr. in a major pay-per-view event, will be co-founder and CEO.

Tyson is involved in the company’s first project. The boxer, his wife Kiki Tyson and his brother-in-law Azim Spicer, will produce Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth, Part 2, a live tour, written by Kiki Tyson that follows her 2013 one-man show and HBO special.

Artists for Artists will produce films, series, podcasts and live events and will also have a celebrity trading division. It is backed by investors such as SOL Global, Ambria Capital, Green Tech, k2, and High Torque Investments.

The company has also formed a joint venture with McKeon / Myones Entertainment, the management company operated by partners Mel McKeon and Laura Myones Ruf, which will be renamed AFA Prime Talent. The general management represents talents such as Yvonne Strahovski, Sarah Shahi, Shioli Kutsuna, Christina Vidal, Luiz Roberto Guzman, Leyna Bloom and Chella Man.

Thompson, who is hosting the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, said: “All artists looking to start a business, come see us. John and I are excited to grow businesses with talent that is owned and exploited by talent. We’ve all been involved in projects that we as artists wish to own more of, so we knew it was time to build a business that reflects that.

Laura Myones Ruf (L) and Mel McKeon (R) - Credit: Courtesy of the subjects

Laura Myones Ruf (L) and Mel McKeon (R) – Credit: Courtesy of the subjects

Courtesy of the subjects

John Ryan Jr. added, “In my 20 plus years of working in Hollywood, it has always shocked me how rarely talent has ownership of a project. Kenan and I have been friends for almost two decades, and it was time to create the change we wanted to see in the industry. Artists for Artists was designed to partner and co-own the business with talent, rather than licensing their brand. We believe that talent and brands should be controlled by talent and the brand itself. With AFA, our film, television and live entertainment artists have the creative freedom to own their own content and commerce to release to market.

Artists For Artists is represented by Paradigm. Kenan Thompson is represented by UTA and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano. John Ryan Jr. is represented by Paradigm.

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