Lorne Michaels is not sure if the show should go on without him.
Lorne Michaels, who created Saturday Night Live in 1975 as a 30-year-old Canadian with no live TV experience. and grown it into the taken hub it is today is now 70 years old. With the 40th anniversary of the iconic program set to air on NBC Sunday, February 15, Michaels made a statement to The Hollywood Reporter regarding his succession plan.
“I don’t know. I’m going to keep doing it as long as I possibly can because I love it and because it’s what I do. But there is more niche stuff [now]. Us doing ‘Update’ and giving it 10 minutes in a 90-minute show was a big deal, but Comedy Central and Jon Stewart, none of that existed then. So things have fragmented. The thing that I always find difficult about criticism of the show is that we’re broadcast, which means there are people who like us in all 50 states. I’m incredibly proud of the show ‘Portlandia’ that I do, but it’s designed for an audience that just wants that and loves that. So I don’t know how long.”
Saturday Night Live has made a few transitions over the years from cutting edge, to a more family friendly format. Many mainstream stars started on the show from Chevy Chase and Chris Farley to Adam Sandler and Christ Rock to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Michaels also reflected on the show’s history.
“Some time in the ’90s, I was overseas and there was a bunch of people who had kids there. I didn’t have kids then, but they talked about watching the show — they were baby boomers — with their kids, and I went, ‘Really?’ I got back from the trip and we were doing a ‘Wayne’s World’ truth-or-dare skit with Madonna, and I watched it at dress and I went, ‘That’s going to be a real squirm moment for parents and kids, so let’s pull that back a little bit,’ which we did. So it morphed into a family show, without having to compromise that much, frankly.”
Check out The Hollywood Reporter for a full interview.