Saturday Night Live might be approaching a good place to call the end if you ask Kenan Thompson. Find out why the sketch comedy icon thinks the late-night classic he’s called home for nearly two decades could be winding down. Plus, why does he think that’s probably for the best?
Rumors suggest ‘Saturday Night Live’ might be in its final years
SNL has been on air since 1975 and has given rise to some of the biggest names in comedy. But the show’s creator and producer, Lorne Michaels, recently said he has a stopping point for himself in mind.
“I think I’m committed to doing the show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years,” he said to CBS Mornings‘ Gayle King in 2021 (per EW). “I’d like to see that through and I have a feeling that would be a really good time to leave.”
Notably, the 48th season of SNL premieres in fall 2022, and Michaels will turn 80 during the 50th season. He implied he’s been thinking about who will replace him when he steps down, but he wouldn’t reveal any clues as to who that could be.
Michaels told King, “But here’s the point: I won’t want the show ever to be bad. I care too deeply about it. It’s been my life’s work.”
Why Kenan Thompson thinks ‘it might not be a bad idea’ to bring ‘Saturday Night Live’ to an end soon
According to Thompson, there isn’t much of a need for SNL to keep going without Michaels. “Fifty is a good number to stop at,” he told Charlamagne Tha God on Comedy Central’s Hell of a Week (per USA Today).
Thompson added there could be “validity to that rumor” of ending the show in the near future. “Well, I need to start planning,” he joked.
He explained that Michaels has been instrumental in ensuring SNL can be what it is, and he doesn’t think new leadership would have the same pull with powers that be at NBC. “He’s the one that’s had his touch on the whole thing …,” he offered.
“So if somebody tries to come into his shoes, you know, it’s a good opportunity for NBC to save money as well,” he shared, adding they’d likely “slash the budget” to start. “Then at that point, you can’t really do the same kind of show.”
Kenan Thompson has been famous for sketch comedy since the ’90s
Notably, Thompson was an original cast member on the ’90s Nickelodeon sketch comedy show, All That. That moment started his fan-favorite relationship with Kel Mitchell, which led to success for both stars in their early years.
Audiences liked the pair so much that they ended up with a kid-friendly sitcom, Kenan & Kel, and the Good Burger movie. After they drifted apart, Mitchell said he felt Thompson distanced himself from their childhood brand in favor of solo stardom. They’ve since publicly reconciled.
In 2003, Thompson joined SNL and is now the show’s longest-running cast member. He also led two seasons of the NBC sitcom Kenan, which was canceled before a third.