Seth Meyers Says He’s Not Interested in Succeeding Lorne Michaels at ‘Saturday Night Live’
In recent years, Michaels has hinted that his days at 30 Rockefeller Plaza are numbered, though the number itself is yet to be clearly defined. In 2021, Michaels soft-pitched CBS’ Gayle King on the idea of finishing his run once SNL hits 50 seasons, which would neatly coincide with his his 80th birthday, though he hesitated to set a hard deadline, simply saying, “I think I’m committed to doing the show until its 50th anniversary. … I’d like to see that through, and I have a feeling that would be a really good time to leave.”
Since Michaels unofficially started the countdown clock on the end of his run, numerous names have been thrown around as possible frontrunners to follow up comedy’s most prolific power broker — speculators regularly suggest SNL vets like Tina Fey, Michael Che or even John Mulaney as possible successors. We’re likely quite far off from the moment when the powers that be at NBC will pick their next SNL emperor, but when it does come time to crown the next Lorne, Seth Meyers will not be playing the game of thrones.
“To hear my name in this conversation is another thing that’s so lovely and flattering,” Meyers said of his oft-speculated candidacy for the biggest job in comedy in a Deadline interview released yesterday. “You have to remember, I still can’t believe I was on SNL and then I can’t believe that I got to be head writer and I got to host Weekend Update. Of everything I’ve ever had in my (career), I’m proud of nothing more than being head writer,” Meyers proclaimed.
“With that said, it is not a job for me,” Meyers admitted, before suggesting an alternative that SNL superfans probably don’t want to hear: “I really think everybody underestimates the idea that Lorne Michaels might just be irreplaceable.”
Meyers said of the possibility that SNL ends with Michaels’ retirement, “I don’t think that’s the craziest thing in the world to imagine. You can learn how to do things, but you can’t learn taste. It’s really easy to underestimate that. The people who love that show the most, don’t agree with every choice Lorne’s made, but there is a consistency to the taste and tone of that show that I don’t think another person could replicate.”
“I also think every host walks in that place and trusts him because he’s an icon and if you take over for an icon, you don’t get to be an icon,” Meyers continued, positing that the opportunity to try (and fail) to fill such big shoes isn’t nearly as attractive as it may seem on the surface.
Meyers then put forth yet another alternative, possibly his most outlandish plan for SNL’s future yet. “(NBC) should do a favor and just go to monster.com and hire somebody with no background in TV. Let them do it for six months and have the entertainment press fucking put them on a spit,” Meyers said. “Tell that person coming in that you’re just here to take the heat and you’ll get a golden parachute. They should get someone’s who not in TV because after they’ll never work in TV again.”
If that’s the plan, might I suggest hiring The Weeknd to succeed Michaels? It might be the only way we never get another The Idol.