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Lorne Michaels Talks ‘SNL’ Retirement & Says Tina Fey “Could Easily” Replace Him

As the 50th anniversary of Saturday Night Live approaches, there has been speculation about Lorne Michaels’ future on the show as executive producer.

While walking the red carpet at the Emmys, Michaels was asked about his retirement plans and said he would make a decision around the time the show hits the milestone in 2025.

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“We’re doing the 50th-anniversary show in February of ’25, so I will definitely be there for that, and definitely be there until that, and sometime before that, we’ll figure out what we’re gonna do,” he said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Michaels co-created SNL in 1975 and has been part of the NBC sketch late-night show since then, serving as writer, producer, and executive producer. ET reporter Nischelle Turner suggested Tina Fey’s name as a possible successor for him, to which he said, “It could easily be Tina Fey, but you know, there are a lot of people who are there now who are also, you know…”

“Tina’s brilliant and great at everything. She’s a very important person in my life,” he added.

Fey joined SNL in 1997 as a writer before leveling up as head writer in 1999. Starting in Season 26 (2000), Fey became a cast member of the show as co-anchor of “Weekend Update” alongside Jimmy Fallon. Fey departed the show in 2006 to write and star in 30 Rock, which Michaels also executive produced.

Michaels and Fey have had a working relationship ever since with the former producing and executive producing Fey’s projects like Baby Mama, 2004’s Mean Girls, and 2024’s Mean Girls, as well as the Mean Girls musical.

In 2021, Michaels said in an interview with CBS Mornings that he was “committed to doing [SNL] until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years. I’d like to see that through, and I have a feeling that’d be a really good time to leave.”

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