This September will mark Kenan Thompson’s record-breaking 20th season on “SNL,” but he’s not sure how long that will last.
Not that Thompson wants to leave, but he sees 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 told longstanding rumors that “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels might leave the show after the 50th anniversary season in 2024-25.
Thompson, the longest-running cast member in the show’s history, thinks Michaels’ departure could logically spell the end of the show itself — and he’s okay with it.
“That rumor could have a lot of validity because 50 is a good number to stop,” Thompson continued. “That’s an incredible package. He’ll probably be almost 80 years old at that point, and you know, he’s the one who has had the whole thing in his grip.”
Thompson thinks Michael’s departure could give NBC an excuse to “cut 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 see it just really go up in flames because of those restrictions… Putting it at 50 might not be a bad idea,” he said.
“[Michaels] is such a legend that he keeps those corporate wolves at bay, if you will,” Thompson said. “They spend a lot of money every week on that show. It’s an expensive show, but it’s something unique.”
Michaels started the “cap it at 50” rumors last December when he told TBEN that he is committed to “SNL” through its 50th anniversary.
“I feel like this is a good time to leave,” Michaels said. “But here’s the point: I don’t want the show to ever go bad. I care too much. It has been my life’s work. So I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it goes through and it continues to go well.”