‘Saturday Night Live’ Creator Lorne Michaels Is Considering Exit From Show

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Nearly 50 years after he, along with Dick Ebersol and the late Herb Schlosser, created the hit NBC sketch show, Lorne Michaels is reportedly considering leaving Saturday Night Live.

During a recent interview with CBS Mornings, the Saturday Night Live co-creator stated he might leave the show after its 50th anniversary season, which begins in 2024. “You know, I think I’m committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary,” Michaels proclaimed. “Which is in three years. I’d like to see that through and I have a feeling that’d be a really good time to leave.”

Michaels did admit that he won’t want Saturday Night Live to ever be bad. “I care too deeply about it. It’s been my life’s work. So I’m gonna do everything I can to see it carry on.”

When asked if there could be a Saturday Night Live without him, Michaels stated of course. “I have a sense of where we’re headed with that, you know. I’m not gonna go on about it. It’s three years away.”

Michaels previously spoke about his departure from Saturday Night Live in 2020. He told Today, “My plan – and I’m not sure that I’ll see I through – but my plan is to be here for the 50th. And then by that point, I really deserve to wander off.”

During his career, Michaels has scored 20 Primetime Emmy Awards from 94 nominations. He holds the record for being the most nominated individual in Emmy history. Michaels has been an executive producer of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He was also the executive producer of 30 Rock and Up All Night. 

‘Saturday Night Live’ Co-Creator Lorne Michaels Talks ‘Out of Bounds’ Comedy 

While continuing his chat with CBS Mornings, Saturday Night Live co-creator Lorne Michaels shares his thoughts about “out of bounds” comedy. “I think it’s up to the writer or the performer to figure out how to do it. There are lots of things that, when you hear the idea, sounds awful. But if they do, I don’t think anything’s out of bounds. Is what I’m doing. If there’s enough talent to figure out how to get it across.”

When asked if he uses dress rehearsals to determine what sketches are working, Michaels stated 100 percent yes. “It’s in front of an audience. And with comedy, you can’t really judge anything unless you see it in front of an audience.”

In regards to when he felt like his career was making an impact, Michaels added, “I think it really, for the first time, really hit me on the 40th anniversary. Just seeing all the generations of the show. You can’t put anyone in the cast that you don’t have complete faith in. You may not know how it’ll turn out, but you want that decision to have been pure of heart.”