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Is ‘SNL’ Ending at Season 50? Kenan Thompson and Lorne Michaels Speak Out

Saturday Night Live has been on air since 1975, but recent comments from stars who work on the show have suggested that the sketch comedy variety series could be coming to an end in the next few years.

Actor Kenan Thompson and creator Lorne Michaels have both stated in recent interviews that the show, which will air its 48th season later this year, could end after its 50th installment.

SNL has featured stars like Pete Davidson, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Tina Fey and Adam Sandler in its cast, as well as boasting superstar hosts such as Kim Kardashian, Donald Glover and Emma Stone.

So will SNL‘s 50th season be its last? Newsweek has everything you need to know about what’s been said about SNL ending.

SNL Kenan Thompson
Kenan Thompson, pictured here with Kyle Mooney, and Cecily Strong, has suggested “SNL” could come to an end after Season 50.
Will Heath/NBC

Is SNL Ending at Season 50?

Kenan & Kel star Thompson, who is currently SNL‘s longest-running cast member, recently said that Season 50 might be “a good number to stop at.”

Thompson made the comments on Comedy Central’s Hell of a Week with Charlamagne Tha God when host Charlamagne informed him of the rumor about SNL ending after its 50th season.

The rumor stems from SNL creator and executive producer Michaels’ 2021 interview with Gayle King on CBS Morning. During the interview, Michaels, 77, confirmed he would stay on the show until its 50th anniversary. “I’d like to see that through and I have a feeling that would be a really good time to leave,” he said.

Speaking with Charlamagne about these comments, Thompson said: “Is that the rumor? OK, well I need to start planning.

“There could be a lot of validity to that rumor because 50 is a good number to stop at. It’s an incredible package.”

SNL Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels, pictured in New York City April 2022, is the creator and executive producer of “SNL”.
WireImage/Bruce Glikas

Aside from a five-year period from 1980-85, Michaels has been running SNL since its launch in 1975. He also executive produces late-night shows The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers—both hosted by former Saturday Night Live stars.

Continuing to discuss Michaels’ influence on the show, Thompson wouldn’t say that the show couldn’t continue without him, but said Michaels’ departure would open up an “opportunity for a lot of bull**** to come into the game.”

“[Michaels] is such a legend that he keeps off those corporate wolves if you will,” Thompson said. “They spend a lot of money on that show every week, it’s an expensive show but it’s a one of a kind thing.”

Newsweek has contacted NBC for comment.

Who Is in the Cast of SNL?

SNL Pete Davidson Colin Jost
Colin Jost is expected to return to “SNL” for Season 48 but former cast member Pete Davidson will not be starring in the new episodes.
Will Heath/NBC

Currently it is thought that SNL Season 47 cast members such as Michael Che, Colin Jost, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Alex Moffat, Ego Nwodim, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Bowen Yang, Sarah Sherman and Aristotle Athari will return for Season 48.

Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney all left SNL at the end of Season 47 and will not return when the new episodes air.

Season 48 of Saturday Night Live is expected to return to NBC this fall.

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