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Who could replace Lorne Michaels at SNL? According to him, it could "easily be" Tina Fey

It would be a beautiful full circle moment for the actress and writer

Tina Fey in 30 Rock
Image credit: NBC Universal

Few tenures in television have been as enduring as Lorne Michaels’ run on Saturday Night Live. Other than a five-year hiatus in the 1980s, Michaels has been involved in the show in some way since he co-created it in 1975. Whether as writer, producer, or executive producer, his name has become synonymous with the sketch comedy institution, but even he knows he’ll eventually have to retire. Who would he trust to take the reins at SNL when the Lorne Michaels era finally comes to a close?

One name he’s given as a potential successor is Tina Fey, the longtime SNL writer and cast member, as well as creator of shows like 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet of the Emmys, Michaels said of his replacement, “It could easily be Tina Fey, but you know, there are a lot of people who are there now who are also, you know...” He trailed off as he implied there were numerous options available to NBC executives.

A Tina Fey-led SNL wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination. As Michaels added in that same interview, “Tina’s brilliant and great at everything.” Aside from her iconic portrayal of 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Fey was one of the most popular hosts of the SNL Weekend Update segment and served as head writer on the show from 1999 to 2006. She went on to write and star in the SNL parody series, 30 Rock, and both the original and musical movie versions of Mean Girls.

That said, Michaels was quick to remind viewers that he didn’t plan on going anywhere immediately. He intends to stay on at SNL until their 50th anniversary show in February 2025, with a decision about his replacement coming sometime before that.


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Trent Cannon

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Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)

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