As Saturday Night Live barrels towards its inevitable 50th season on NBC, the live sketch comedy has lost one of its lead producers. Saturday night, word quickly spread that Ken Aymong decided to retire from the show after three-plus decades working at 30 Rock. Often remarked as one of the top lieutenant's of SNL creator Lorne Michaels, Aymong was largely responsible for helping keep the funding in check behind the scenes at Studio 8H.
During the send-offs at the end of the Season 47th premiere, Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost was spotted with a sign that read "We'll miss you, Ken." The Hollywood trades are now confirming Jost's comments were geared towards the producer's retirement.
"It's a live show. There's no margin for error. Expertise counts on a show like 'SNL' more than other shows, because you can't make a mistake," SNL historian James Andrew Miller told Variety on Sunday. "By the way, Lorne Michaels hates mistakes. So Kenny Aymong is one of those people who is part of the institutional memory of the show. He's been there a long time, and he knows exactly what needs to be done."
According to Miller, Aymong "is just all about making sure that everybody is protected and everything gets done the way it's supposed to get done."
Other active producers on the show include Michaels, Erik Kenward, Steve Higgins, Lindsay Shookus, Erin Doyle, Mike Shoemaker, and Marci Klein.
Aymong isn't the only longtime staffer leaving the program either. Director Don Roy King, a director on the show since 2006, has also decided to part from the series.