Is “Saturday Night Live” coming to an end? Kenan Thompson thinks it might.
“That’s a good number to stop at Fifty,” Thompson told Charlamagne Tha God late Thursday on Comedy Central’s “Hell of a Week.” “Well, I need to start planning,” he joked, but acknowledged, “that rumor may have a lot of validity.”
NBC’s “SNL” Season 48 begins this fall. Show creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels turns 80 during the sketch comedy show’s 50th season.
In December, 77-year-old Michaels told “CBS Morning” that he had pledged to stay on until the 2024-2025 season.
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He told King, “I want to see this through, and I think it would be a really good time to go.” But here’s the thing: I don’t want the show to ever be bad. I care deeply about it. This has been my life’s work. ,
USA Today has contacted “SNL” and Michaels for comment.
Thompson noted that the show could be vulnerable to network belt-tightening if Michaels leaves, because “he’s such a legend that he keeps those guys like corporate wolves away … it’s business.”
“He’s the one who put his touch on the whole thing, so if anyone tries to get in his shoes, you know, it’s a good opportunity for NBC to save money as well,” Thompson said. “So maybe they reduce the budget, and then at that point, you can’t really do the same kind of show.”
The show could have gone on without Michaels, he said, but “they spend a lot of money on that show every week. It’s an expensive show, but it’s kind of unique. It’s the only one. … you know , ‘Live from New York’.”
Thompson, 44, who joined the show in 2003, is the longest-serving castmate. Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Eddie Bryant and Kyle Mooney all left the show at the May 21 season finale.
“SNL” launched in 1975. Some of comedy’s biggest names have been cast on the show, including Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Will Ferrell.
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This article originally appeared on USA Today: Kenan Thompson thinks ‘SNL’ may end after Lorne Michaels leaves