Saturday Night Live has been one of the most popular shows in American pop culture since 1975, occupying the 11:30 slot on Saturday nights on NBC. The program has weathered years of change in political and cultural environments, to the point where many believe it never has to end.
Is there a person who isn't happy with that assessment? Kenan Thompson, a long-time cast member.
Thompson was asked about a rumor that the series would end after its 50th season, which would wrap up in 2025, and he replied with a joke. The conversation quickly became serious, as the comedian acknowledged that the 50th episode is a good number to stop at.
Thompson stated that he won't want to end the program because of its dwindling quality, but rather acknowledging that SNL creator and long-time showrunner Lorne Michaels will not be able to keep the job for the rest of his life. It appears that Thompson believes ending the series would be a better decision than continuing the series without Michaels.
He said that he'll be close to 80 years old at that point. He's the one who's had his say in the whole thing so, if somebody wants to work with him, it's a good opportunity for NBC to save money as well. Maybe they'll slash the budget, and at that point, you can't really do the same type of show as it does now, so it's just a different experience.
Thompson is the longest-tenured cast member in the history of the sketch show, having joined the cast almost two decades ago in 2003. During that time, dozens of well-known comedians have left the show to pursue film and television careers, but Thompson has been the show's constant. SNL without him sounds blatant to many, but if Thompson gets his way, that could never happen.
He claimed that cappeding it at 50 might not be a bad idea. I don't know.