Lorne Michaels signals 'SNL' retirement plans: 'It's been my life's work'

The 'SNL' co-creator knows when he may take his final bow

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Longtime "Saturday Night Live" boss, Lorne Michaels, is thinking ahead to when he might ultimately retire from his position at the show. 

Michaels has been the co-creator and lead producer of the series since it got its start in the 1970s. He left his duties in 1980 only to return five years later, where he’s been at the helm of the popular late-night sketch series ever since. However, at 77 years old, he’s looking ahead to the future and the end of his run once again. 

"You know, I think I’m committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years," he told "CBS Mornings" in a recent interview. "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."

It seems that Michaels is eyeing a departure some time in 2024-2025. Fortunately for fans of the comedy sketch show, Michaels noted that his departure from the show doesn’t mean that "SNL" will end. He’s very much of the mindset that someone will take over for him and usher the show into a new era. 

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Lorne Michaels signaled his potential retirement from "Saturday Night Live."

Lorne Michaels signaled his potential retirement from "Saturday Night Live." (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

"I have a sense of where we’re headed with that, you know," he said.

However, he stopped short of saying who he had in mind for his replacement.

"I’m not going to go on about it — it’s three years away," he concluded. 

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Lorne Michaels said he may retire from "SNL" at the show's 50th anniversary.

Lorne Michaels said he may retire from "SNL" at the show's 50th anniversary. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time that Michaels has hinted at using the 50th anniversary of the show as a time to respectfully bow out of the franchise. He appeared on NBC’s "Today" show in October of 2020 where he hinted at the same thing. 

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"My plan — and I’m not sure that I’ll see it through — but my plan is to be here for the 50th … and then by that point, I really deserve to wander off," he said at the time.

Lorne Michaels may complete his run on "SNL" in 2025.

Lorne Michaels may complete his run on "SNL" in 2025. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

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Meanwhile, "SNL" has faced unprecedented times. This past week, Paul Rudd’s hosting gig was somewhat marred by the fact that the show went on with a limited cast and no audience in light of the Omicron coronavirus variant spiking in New York City.