Saturday Night Live has been on the air for 47 years, just three years short of hitting the five-decade milestone. And while some can’t begin to fathom NBC without the late-night sketch comedy show in their arsenal of shows, Kenan Thompson believes the end is near.
For the season two premiere of Comedy Central’s Hell of a Week with Charlamagne Tha God, Charlemagne questioned the longest-tenured comedian about the variety show and the rumors that it could be ending with its 50th season.
The Kenan star played coy at first, dodging the rumor mill initially but then began to offer his thoughts on the matter. He expressed he believes the rumor could be genuine, with Lorne Michaels, SNL’s creator and executive producer, potentially calling it quits.
“There could be a lot of validity to that rumor because 50 is a good number to stop at. That’s an incredible package,” the Clifford the Big Red Dog actor said. “[Michaels] will probably be close to 80 years old, and he’s the one who’s had his touch on the whole thing.”
Thompson expressed that if Michaels steps away, it would be time to stop before the show tarnishes its legacy.
“So, if somebody tries to come into his shoes, you know it’s a good opportunity for NBC to save money,” he said. “Maybe they might slash the budget, and you can’t do the same show. So, that’s unfair to watch it go down in flames for real because of those restrictions. Capping it, a 50 might not be a bad idea. I don’t know.”
CBS Mornings first discussed Lorne Michaels’ potential decision to step away from SNL in December 2021.
Michaels told Gayle King that nothing was out of bounds and it could be a “really good time to leave” once the series reached its 50th anniversary.
Watch the Hell of a Week with Charlamagne Tha God clip in its entirety above.