Kenan Thompson addressed long-standing rumours that “Saturday Night Live” creator and producer Lorne Michaels might exit the show after its 50th season.
Since December 2021, when Michaels, 77, revealed that it “would be a really good time to leave” the show after its 50th anniversary, there’s been speculation that his retirement might indicate the end of the long-running sketch comedy series.
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“Is that the rumour?” Thompson asked host Charlamagne tha God while appearing on Comedy Central’s “Hell of a Week” on Thursday. “All right, well, I need to start planning.”
The 44-year-old “SNL” star said, “There could be a lot of validity to that rumour, because 50 is a good number to stop at… That’s an incredible package. He will be, probably, close to 80-years-old at that point, and you know, he’s the one who’s had his touch on the whole thing.”
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Speaking on the show’s potential future without Michaels, Thompson said, “if somebody tries to come into [Michaels’] shoes,” it would be a “good opportunity for NBC to save money…They might slash the budget and then at that point, you can’t really do the same kind of show.”
“So that’s unfair to watch it just really go down kind of in flames for real because of those restrictions,” he continued. “Capping it at 50 might not be a bad idea.”
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Michaels began the “cap it at 50” rumours when he told “CBS Mornings” that he’s “committed to doing the show until its 50th anniversary.”
“SNL”‘s 50th season is set to premiere in 2024 and will air until 2025. Thompson, who’s the show’s longest-running star, will kick off his record-setting 20th season this September.