This September will mark Kenan Thompson’s record-setting 20th season on “SNL,” but he’s not sure how much longer that will last.
Not that Thompson wants to leave, but he can see a future where the long-running variety show is no longer on the air ― and it could be sooner than you think.
The 44-year-old comedian recently appeared on Charlamagne The God’s “Hell Of A Week” interview show where he addressed long-standing rumors that “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels might leave the show after its 50th anniversary season in 2024-25.
Thompson, the longest-running cast member in the show’s history, thinks Michaels’ departure could logically mean the end of the show itself ― and he’s OK with it.
“There could be a lot of validity to that rumor, because 50 is a good number to stop at,” Thompson went on. “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.”
Thompson thinks that Michaels’ departure might give NBC an excuse to “slash the budget” ― and that could affect the quality.
“At that point, you can’t really do the same kind of show,” Thompson said. “So that’s unfair to watch it just really go down kind of in flames for real because of those restrictions … Capping it at 50 might not be a bad idea,” he said.
“[Michaels] is such a legend that he keeps off those corporate wolves, if you will,” Thompson said. “They spend a lot of money on that show every week. It’s an expensive show, but it’s a one-of-a-kind thing.”
Michaels started the “cap it at 50” rumors last December when he told CBS that he’s committed to “SNL” through the 50th anniversary.
“I have a feeling that’d be a really good time to leave,” Michaels said. “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. So, I’m gonna do everything I can to see it carry on and carry on well.”