Michaels, who still runs the show, told CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King that it might be a “really good time to leave”.
The variety comedy series is currently in its 47th season and the 50th anniversary would run in the 2024/25 broadcast season.
“I think I’m committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years. I’d like to see that through, and I have a feeling that’d be a really good time to leave,” he said.
Michaels, who also exec produces The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, took King behind the scenes on a show night after it emerged he was being feted for a Kennedy Center honor.
He added that he thought the show could go on without him. “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 and carry on well,” he said.
King asked him if he had suggestions as to who could replace him. He added that he has “a sense of where we’re headed with that” but said he wasn’t going to talk about it given that the 50th anniversary was three years away.
The venerable creator said that the impact of SNL hit him on the 40th anniversary. “Just seeing all the generations of the show. You can’t put anyone in the cast that you don’t have complete faith in. You may not know how it’ll turn out, but you want that decision to have been pure of heart,” he said.
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