Seth Meyers Asked if He's Taking Over Saturday Night Live When Lorne Michaels Retires
Fellow alum Leslie Jones knows who she'd like to see take over, but the real question is — can anyone fill Michaels' shoes after nearly five decades?
It’s been one of the biggest stories in television for a few years now, and it’s only going to grow as “Saturday Night Live” approaches its 50th season.
Currently in its 48th year on the air — all but five under the leadership of creator Lorne Michaels — everyone wants to know what’s going to happen to the NBC staple when Michaels inevitably retires and, more importantly, who’s going to take over?
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It’s rare for a singular vision to dominate a show for as long as Michaels has, but it also makes it an even more daunting task to consider finding anyone to take over once that person steps down. Michaels has already suggested he’s considering doing so after Season 50.
Of course, the most logical thing to do is look through the illustrious and massive lineup of talent that has come through the “SNL” machine. Many of the show’s biggest names have also served as writers on the show, with a few even rising to head writer.
One of those former head writers, who was with the show longer than every other cast member save two (Kenan Thompson and Darrell Hammond, who are both still working there), was recently asked on “The Fckry” podcast if he’s the one who’s going to take over.
Seth Meyers only stepped away from “Saturday Night Live,” where he served as head writer and host of “Weekend Update” for many years, because a spot at “Late Night” opened up when Jimmy Fallon moved up to “The Tonight Show.”
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Michaels remains connected with Meyers, as a producer on “Late Night,” so their professional relationship has never ended. It would be foolish to think that Meyers hasn’t been at least talked to or considered for the position.
But the “Late Night” host quickly shut that down, per ET, by saying he’s not doing it. Fellow alum Leslie Jones, who co-hosts the podcast with Lenny Marcus, chimed in with her own thought.
“I think it’s gonna be Tina Fey, honestly,” she suggested, which is another name that’s been tossed around. Like Meyers, Fey served as head writer and hosted “Weekend Update.” She’s since gone on to become a titan of comedy.
But Meyers is more concerned about anybody being able to step up and helm that show the way Michaels does, and a lot of it comes down to one simple thing, the show’s massive budget, which Michaels is able to secure.
“Lorne literally pushes for that, for that budget too,” Jones agreed. “‘Cause it takes a lot of money to run. And I think they give it to him because it’s Lorne.”
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At the same time, “SNL” is such a huge cultural touchstone on a level with “The Tonight Show,” it’s hard to imagine NBC not supporting it for as long as they can. It has virtually no competition on Saturday’s and has had tremendous success with its sketches on digital platforms.
One has to imagine the search is already underway to figure out who is going to take over, or perhaps they’ve even been found already. If so, it would be understandable for NBC to not want to put the horse before the cart nearly three years out.
Plus, you wouldn’t want anything to overshadow these next three seasons as “SNL” approaches it’s incredible 50th year on the air, with Lorne Michaels still steering the ship. Talk about a huge celebration!
You can check out a clip below from Meyers’ appearance on “The Fckry” where he talks about his very first episode, which happened to be the first episode to air after the 9/11 tragedy.
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