Kenan Thompson: ‘It might not be a bad idea’ for ‘SNL’ to end

Kenan Thompson has been a staple on “Saturday Night Live” since he joined the sketch show in 2003.

However, the 44-year-old comedian thinks it may be time for the iconic NBC series to say goodbye once it wraps its 50th season.

Thompson recently appeared on Charlamagne tha God’s “Hell of a Week” series, and he noted that if creator Lorne Michaels, 77, retires after the 2024-25 season, then the show could properly come to an end.

The radio personality, also 44, asked the Nickelodeon alum about “SNL” ending and Michaels’ possible departure

“The rumor is the show is ending at its 50th season because Mr. Lorne Michaels doesn’t want to do it after age 80. Is that true?” Charlamagne wondered.

“Is that the rumor?” Thompson replied. “All right, I need to start planning.”

Michaels created “SNL” in 1975 and has been the showrunner for most of its multidecade run. (He stopped producing the show from 1980-85.)

Natasha Lyonne, Kenan Thompson and Kyle Mooney during the performed in the “Summer Gig” sketch on the May 21 episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“There could be a lot of validity to that rumor, because 50 is a good number to stop at,” Thompson went on. “That’s an incredible package. He will be, probably, close to 80 years old at that point, and, you know, he’s the one who’s had his touch on the whole thing.”

The “Kenan & Kel” star continued: “So, if somebody tries to come into his shoes, you know, it’s a good opportunity for NBC to save money as well, you know what I’m saying?”

“[NBC] might slash the budget and then at that point, you can’t really do the same kind of show. So that’s unfair to watch it just really go down kind of in flames for real because of those restrictions … Capping it at 50 might not be a bad idea,” he said.

The comedian started his almost 20-year run on “SNL” in 2003.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

“[Michaels] is such a legend that he keeps off those corporate wolves, if you will,” Thompson explained.

He concluded: “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.”

Michaels previously added to the speculation that the comedy show could end in 2025 in an interview with CBS in December.

Lorne Michaels has been a part of “SNL” since its inception in 1975.
Bruce Glikas/WireImage

“You know, I think I’m committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years,” the Canada-born entertainer said.

He went on: “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.”