Producer Lorne Michaelswho has overseen production since the series began, has suggested that he is considering retirement at that time, noting that he will be 80 years old in November 2025.
In a recent interview on the Hell of a Week podcast (via Deadline), Thompson was asked about Micheals’ comments. “Is that the rumor?” he answered. “Alright, I’m going to start planning!” He continued: “There could be a lot of validity to that rumor, because 50 is a good number to stop at. It’s an incredible package. He’ll be … close to 80 years old by then, and you know that’s him, that has had its mark on the whole thing.”
He offered another argument:[I]If somebody tries to replace him, you know, it’s a good opportunity for NBC to save money too, you know what I’m saying? [The network] can cut the budget and so at that point you can’t really do the same kind of show. So it’s unfair to see it just really go down in flames for real because of these limitations … Capping it at 50 might not be a bad idea.”
Thompson said Michaels’ status meant he had been able to “keep those corporate wolves away, if you will,” continuing: “They spend a lot of money on that show every week. It’s an expensive show, but it’s a unique thing.”
Michaels told CBS News in 2021, which he felt “obliged” to continue SNL until it reached the milestone anniversary, describing the end of that season as “a really good time” to move on. He said he would do everything in his power to keep production going afterwards, but added: “I don’t want the show to ever be bad. I care too much about it. It’s been my life’s work.”