“I’ll do it as long as I possibly can,” said longtime SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels about his future with the show at a Radio and Television Society luncheon yesterday. He added, “I think that there will be a day when I’ll look at it and say I don’t have the edge I used to.” SNL’s current and previous head writer, Seth Meyers and Tina Fey, have each said recently that the long-running, iconic sketch show should end when Michaels eventually chooses to retire.
At the event, Michaels barely spoke about Jimmy Fallon’s impending takeover of The Tonight Show, which he will produce. He only commented on the show’s move from LA to NYC: “Jimmy’s from New York, the show appeals to New York, I think New York is different from when Carson left and New York was on its ass.” The event’s moderator, Lorne Michaels’s longtime friend Martin Short, asked him what he looks for in talent he backs like Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. Michaels explained, “You’re always looking for them to have to have that something. The second thing that you look for is are they serious. Will they put in the hours?”
When asked if his personal politics influence the show, Michaels replied, “I think we are meant to be non-partisan. I think we are meant to be the opposition.” He added that everything in terms of politics and pop culture is fair game but said the one exception is going after members of the SNL family. “We don’t attack our own and I made a mistake with David Spade and Eddie Murphy,” recalling a swipe Spade took at Murphy on the show in the mid-90s. After Murphy had released a series of box office flops, Spade showed a picture of him onscreen during a segment he was hosting and said, “Look, children, a falling star! Make a wish.”