Who should take over at ‘SNL’ for Lorne Michaels?

The “Saturday Night Live” creator has to retire at some point, right?

Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Gypsy Robe Ceremony honoring Brendon Stimson for "Mean Girls" at the August Wilson Theatre Theatre on April 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage) (Walter McBride, 2018 Walter McBride)

Live from New York, it’s Lorne Michaels’ successor!

Well, not yet. But someone has to take over for Michaels when he eventually retires.

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According to the New York Post, the job could soon be coming to Tina Fey.

The article mentions that Michaels has not formally announced any plans to retire, but he did say in an interview with CBS a couple years ago, “I think I’m committed to doing the show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years … I’d like to see that through and I have a feeling that would be a really good time to leave.”

A source to the Post said that Fey is being courted for the new job, and honestly, it makes a ton of sense. Fey was the head writer at “SNL” for many years, and went on to create “30 Rock,” a show about being the head writer and producer of a sketch comedy series on NBC.

Fey is the most obvious choice, but “SNL” has produced some of the greatest comedians of our time, so there are plenty of choices. Let’s go through who else would be a good fit for taking over at “Saturday Night Live.”


Tina Fey

Tina Fey attends the 60th annual PEN America Literary Awards at Town Hall on March 02, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) (2023 Getty Images)

We already mentioned her above, so we won’t get too into it with her, but come on, she has to be the one. Besides “30 Rock,” she’s created other hilarious shows like “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Girls5Eva,” as well as wrote the script for “Mean Girls,” one of the most quotable comedies of all time. Just give the job to Tina already.

Seth Meyers

Comedian Seth Meyers attends the Film Independent Presents An Evening With...Seth Meyers Moderated By Michael Schur event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on April 17, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images) (2023 Amanda Edwards)

If Fey said no to the job, Seth Meyers seems like the next best choice. Meyers was also the head writer at “SNL” during his time on the show, and has a long history of not only hosting “Weekend Update” on “SNL,” but also his own talk show, the “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Meyers obviously understands sketch comedy, but he’s got a pretty comfy job in late night TV already, so he may not want to leave it just yet. Regardless, he’s one of those former “SNL” cast members who will return to the show when asked.

Kenan Thompson

Kenan Thompson attends the Peacock's "Bupkis" World Premiere at The Apollo Theater on April 27, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) (2023 Getty Images)

Being the longest running “SNL” cast member has to mean that he’s in the running to take over for Michaels, right? Kenan Thompson has been a steady guiding light at “Saturday Night Live” for two decades, so if anyone knows what it’s like to work and run the legendary sketch show, it’s him.

The only downside to him as a replacement for Michaels is that he hasn’t had a whole lot of experience actually being a showrunner on a TV show, like Fey and Meyers have. Then again, Michaels didn’t have any experience running a TV show, and look how it turned out for him. Thompson has made it pretty clear he loves working at 30 Rock, so why not let him take it over?

Amy Poehler

Poehler attends as Ketel One Vodka Co-Hosts the After Party for the Premiere of ‘First Time Female Director’ at Tribeca Festival on June 12, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Getty Images for Ketel One Vodka) (2023 Getty Images)

Just like her former “Weekend Update” co-anchor, Amy Poehler has executive produced and created many TV comedies since leaving “Saturday Night Live” back in the day. Most notably is “Broad City,” one of the best comedies to air in the last 10 years, in my humble opinion.

We also know that her own comedy chops are next level. She’s iconic as Leslie Knope in “Parks and Recreation,” and her time at “SNL” was full of weird and wacky characters. While I don’t think she’d take a job as stressful as running “SNL,” maybe she’d share the job with Fey? That would be a dream come true for fans of the duo.

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell attends the "Barbie" European Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on July 12, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic) (2023 Neil Mockford)

Will Ferrell is undoubtedly one of the greatest stars to ever come out of “Saturday Night Live.” He’s starred in and written some of the greatest comedy movies ever (hello, “Anchorman”), and the characters he played on the show are beyond iconic. From the cheerleaders to the guy playing the cowbell, Ferrell can do it all.

He’d be a great replacement for Michaels, but does he really want a demanding job like that? He’s a huge movie star, so it really wouldn’t make sense for him to take on a job like this. But still, he would make a fantastic choice for Michaels’ replacement.

Colin Jost/Michael Che

Michael Che and Colin Jost perform at Colin Jost, Michael Che And Friends: A Comedy Show To Benefit The Staten Island Museum at St George Theatre on September 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images) (2019 Bobby Bank)

It sounds weirdly surprising, but Colin Jost and Michael Che are the longest running “Weekend Update” co-anchors in history of the show. That’s a pretty big deal, since I’ve named many other former “Weekend Update” anchors on this list who held a spot at the desk for a way shorter period of time.

Jost and Che were also head writers of the show at one point in their careers, so they know what it’s like to work closely with Michaels, and be a leader among the show’s many writers. That being said, I don’t think Che would want the job. Che will have a fabulous career being a stand-up comedian once he leaves the show.

Jost, on the other hand, would be a good candidate for the job, but he may still be a little green for taking up such a huge job. He also just seems very comfortable hosting “Weekend Update.” Perhaps he’s waiting for his own late night talk show?

Conan O’Brien

Conan O'Brien visits SiriusXM at SiriusXM Studios on May 17, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images) (2023 Getty Images)

If you’re a fan of Conan O’Brien, you already know that he was a writer on staff at “Saturday Night Live” in the early ‘90s. He’s one of the greatest comedy voices ever, and obviously, he’s had plenty of experience hosting his own late night TV show.

However, we all remember what happened to Conan back in the day with NBC, so taking a job with his former employer may not be something he wants to do. Plus, his podcasting network, Team Coco, is pretty successful. It seems unlikely that he’d put that on the back burner for this gig.

Charlie Day

Charlie Day attends the Los Angeles premiere of Amazon Prime's "I Want You Back" at ROW DTLA on February 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic) (2022 FilmMagic)

Who said that Michaels’ replacement had to be a “SNL” alum? If we’re going to look at other people in the comedy world who would be qualified to take over the job, Charlie Day is at the top of that list.

He’s obviously an accomplished comedian and actor, but what is even more impressive is that he co-created the longest running American sitcom on TV, which is of course “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” He’s also expressed interest in the job, and he’s hosted the show. Why not give him a shot, right?

Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon attends special screening of Yesterday on June 21, 2019 in Gorleston-on-Sea, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Universal Pictures International) (2019 Getty Images)

She’s without a doubt the biggest star to come out of “Saturday Night Live” in the last 10 years, and she’s also one of the longest running cast members in the show’s history. Kate McKinnon was a chameleon during her time on the show, and honestly, her presence is already missed since she’s left the show.

The timing may not be right for McKinnnon, however. She recently left the show, so she probably wants to become a huge movie star. She just had a fantastic role in “Barbie,” and I’m sure she’s got tons of other roles lined up for her in the next few years.

Michael Schur

Writer and producer Michael Schur attends the Film Independent Presents An Evening With...Seth Meyers Moderated By Michael Schur event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on April 17, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images) (2023 Amanda Edwards)

His name may not be super recognizable, but this former “SNL” writer has made quite a legacy on comedy. Schur was a writer at “Saturday Night Live” back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, and left to be a writer and producer of “The Office.” He even played Dwight’s cousin, Mose Schrute, on the show.

After “The Office,” he went on to co-create “Parks and Recreation,” “The Good Place” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” He’s a comedy genius, and he’d actually be a pretty good pick for the job. He flies under the radar, isn’t much of a celebrity (much like Michaels) and knows how to run a successful comedy. I wouldn’t be shocked if his name has been floated.


At the end of the day, I still think the job is going to Tina Fey. She’s always felt like she was Michaels’ protege,(just watch “30 Rock” and you’ll understand why), and she’s one of the most important comedy voices around right now. If she wants the job, let it be hers!

Who do you think should be the Executive Producer of “SNL” when Lorne Michaels decides to retire? Let us know in the comments!


About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.