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SNL Creator Lorne Michaels Reveals When He Plans to Retire from Show: 'It's Been My Life's Work'

People logo People 12/20/2021 Glenn Garner

Lorne Michaels wearing a suit and tie holding a sign posing for the camera: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images © Provided by People Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Lorne Michaels still has a few more years before retirement.

Speaking with CBS Mornings, in an interview which aired Monday, the Saturday Night Live creator, 77, revealed that he potentially plans to retire from his role as executive producer after the NBC sketch comedy show's 50th anniversary.

"Well, I think I'm committed to doing the show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years. I'd like to see that through," Michaels said. "And I feel like that would be a really good time to leave."

The Kennedy Center honoree said "of course" the show could exist without him, and he said he has "a sense of where we're headed." Although he didn't mention any names for a possible replacement, he did say he has ideas for who could take over for him after his retirement.

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"Here's the point, 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 and carry on well," Michaels added.

Michaels, who was recognized with a 2021 Kennedy Center Honor this month, created SNL in 1975. Over the decades, SNL has gone on to produce a number of unforgettable TV moments, while launching the careers of several comedians who were cast members.

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During the CBS Mornings interview, Michaels spoke about the show's legacy, the impact of which hit him on the 40th anniversary in 2015.

"Just seeing all the generations of the show. You can't put anyone in the cast that you don't have complete faith in. You may not know how it'll turn out, but you want that decision to have been pure of heart," he said.

Michaels also produces Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC, and Michaels has won 20 Emmys over the years.

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