Kenan Thompson Suggests Maybe Saturday Night Live Should Just End After Season 50

The longest-running cast member ever, Thompson details why he thinks it might be best to put the legendary late-night show to bed after three more seasons.

As Kenan Thompson gears up to head into his record-extending 20th season as part of the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” fans continue to wonder just how much longer he’ll be interested in sticking around.

While he didn’t answer that question directly during a recent appearance on Charlamagne tha God’s “Hell of a Week” podcast, the “Kenan” star did suggest that the end could be coming in the next few years … for the show.

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Or at least he suggested that maybe that would be a good idea. “Saturday Night Live” is getting ready to kick off its 48th season as a late-night staple for NBC, with all eyes on that monumental 50th anniversary season looming.

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“50 is a good number to stop at,” Thompson said, but he wasn’t just referring to himself.

It all ties around creator and showrunner Lorne Michaels. Save a tumultuous period between 1980 and 1985, Michaels has helmed every season of “SNL.” When talking about the show in December, Michaels suggested he might be ready to hang up the towel after the 50th season.

“I’d like to see that through, and I have a feeling that’d be a really good time to leave,” Michaels told Gayle King on “CBS Mornings.” But he also said that he would hate to see the sow suffer. “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.”

While that may be Michaels’ vision, Thompson isn’t so sure it could carry on without suffering in quality. He suggested that perhaps the network might see Michaels’ departure as a way to slash the show’s budget ahead of a new showrunner.

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“At that point, you can’t really do the same kind of show,” he said. “So that’s unfair to watch it just really go down kind of in flames for real because of those restrictions.”

He went on to explain that Michaels “is such a legend that he keeps off those corporate wolves, if you will.” He’s not so confident that a new face at the head of the series could hold off executives looking to save a buck.

“They spend a lot of money on that show every week,” Thompson explained. “It’s an expensive show, but it’s a one-of-a-kind thing.”

Perhaps the solution is for another veteran of the show with some gravitas of their own to consider taking over. Maybe someone heading into their 20th season on the show with an eye on at least two more?


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