Saturday Night Live Co-Creator Lorne Michaels Reveals When He Plans to Retire

Lorne Michaels has a pretty good idea of when he plans to hang it all up. The 20-time Emmy winner and creator of Saturday Night Live said in one recent interview that he fully intends to stick with the show until its 50th anniversary in a few years. Considering the current year is Season 47, Season 50 will air over the course of the 2024-2025 Fall TV schedule. Michaels will be 80 years old at the time.

"You know, I think I'm committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years," the producer told CBS Mornings on Monday. "I'd like to see that through, and I have a feeling that'd be a really good time to leave. But … I won't want the show ever to be bad. I care too deeply about it. It's been my life's work. So I'm going to do everything I can to see it carry on."

He then went on to confirm he's already be planning on a succession plan, though he wouldn't reveal who he plans to take over his role upon his departure.

"Of course, I have a sense of where we're headed with that, you know," Michael added. When pressed for more information, he added "I'm not going to go on about it — it's three years away."

In addition to his duties on SNL, Michaels also produces Late Night and The Tonight Show. Both shows currently feature SNL alumni as their current hosts—Seth Myers and Jimmy Fallon, respectively.

The past few seasons have been trying for the team at Studio 8H. Season 45 was cut short due to the onset of the COVID pandemic. Now nearly two years later, a COVID outbreak amongst the cast forced Michaels and company to shift the latest episode (December 18th) to feature only pre-recorded sketches.

The episode was also without a musical guest as Charli XCX opted to pull her performance in light of the outbreak.

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"Due to the limited crew at tonight's taping of SNL my musical performance will no longer be able to go ahead. I am devastated and heartbroken," the popstar wrote on social media. "It can't happen this time but I'll be back. I am currently safe and healthy, but of course, very sad. Please look after yourselves out there and make sure you get vaccinated if you haven't already."

Cover photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images