Lorne Michaels says Tina Fey could


“Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels said he has thought about what might happen when he leaves the show. He admitted there is a lot of talent to choose from, but when asked about Tina Fey, Michaels said she could be his replacement. 

“Of course I’ve thought about it,” the 79-year-old producer told Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner on the Emmy Awards red carpet on Jan 15. “We’re doing the 50th anniversary show in February ’25. So, I will definitely be there for that and definitely be there until then. And then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do.”

Turner said many people have thought Tina Fey could helm the show. “It could easily be Tina Fey,” Michaels said. “But there are a lot of people who are there now who are also, you know.”

Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels pictured together on April 8, 2018 in New York City.

Walter McBride


“Tina’s brilliant and great at everything. She’s a very important person in my life,” he said.

The live sketch comedy show has aired since 1975 and Michaels was show runner until 1980 when he took a brief break. He returned in 1985 and has been there ever since – sometimes making brief appearances on the show himself, in sketches that play up his dry sense of humor. 

Fey worked on the show from 1997 to 2006, first as a writer. She became the show’s first woman head writer in 1999 and began performing on the show in 2000, hosting the “Weekend Update” segment with Jimmy Fallon and later Amy Poehler. 

When she departed “SNL,” she developed “30 Rock” – a comedy loosely based on the staff at “SNL” and NBC – which was produced by Michaels’ Broadway Studios production company. 

But she didn’t keep away from Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center where “SNL” is broadcast live. During the 2008 presidential election, Fey returned to parody then-vice presidential nominee Sara Palin, who was running with Sen. John McCain on the Republican ticket. Her portrayal became a fan favorite and she appeared in several cold open sketches throughout the election.

Michaels has also produced projects by several other “SNL” cast members, including executive producing Fred Armisen’s  “Portlandia,” Kenan Thompson’s sitcom “Kenan” and movies based on “SNL” sketches like “A Night at the Roxbury” and “Coneheads.” He has also produced several of Fey’s projects, including “Mean Girls” and “Baby Mama,” which also starred Poehler. 

During its nearly 50-year run, “SNL” has received a whopping 314 Emmy nominations with 84 wins and one honorary award. Michales told Turner he still gets a kick out of the show. “Actually, these last couple years, more than ever,” he said.



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