Kenan Thompson says that ending Saturday Night Live after Season 50 might not be such a bad idea. The long-tenured member of the cast spoke to Charlemange Tha God on Comedy Central's Hell of a Week. A rumor has been going around that 50 may be the magical number for SNL. Lorne Michaels would be around 80-years-old at the time. However, Thompson would be shocked at the prospect. When the idea was introduced to him, there was some disbelief. But, as he talked to Charlamagne, the prospect of 50 being the final season grew on him. The realities of broadcast TV are inescapable. Streaming services and the pandemic have altered the landscape across all of entertainment. Networks might be looking to cut costs, and although it's an institution, SNL would be a prime candidate to save some money. Add in the factors relating to Michaels' age and it comes into focus. Nothing is written in stone, but Thompson could see it happening if executives go that route.
"I mean, there could be a lot of validity to that rumor because 50 is a good number to stop at, you know what I'm saying, that's an incredible package. [Michaels] will be, you know, probably close to 80-years-old at that point and, you know, he's the one that's had his touch on the whole thing," Kenan observed. "So if somebody tries to come into his shoes, you know it's a good opportunity for NBC as well, you know what I'm saying, so maybe they might slash the budget. And then at that point you can't really do the same kind of show, so that's unfair to just watch it really go down kind of in flames or whatever like for real for real because of those restrictions, you know what I'm saying. And it'll just be a different thing, so capping it at 50 might not be a bad idea, I don't know."
Previously, the star talked to Chance the Rapper about what's kept him around this long. During the conversation at SXSW, Kenan thought about the unique energy in the studio performing. It would be very hard to replicate.
"We're on Season 46 right now — I've been there for 17 [years]," he said. "It's a wild place! That's why I am never in a rush to leave because I have never seen anything like it and number two, there aren't many live shows left. It never gets old because it's sketch comedy and it changes every week."
"You were either a child actor in movies…or you just were a TV kid and that's all you did," Thompson continued when his earlier years came up. "You aren't a working person that goes from job to job to job and just has a career. That was a new-ish type of thing. Our generation was focused on getting other jobs and other gigs."
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