Did Lorne Michaels Just Pass the ‘SNL’ Baton to Tina Fey?

Who’s getting Lorne’s chair? ‘It could easily be Tina Fey’
Did Lorne Michaels Just Pass the ‘SNL’ Baton to Tina Fey?

Was it an offhand remark or a trial balloon? After years of being notoriously tight-lipped on his Saturday Night Live successor — or if he was even going to leave the show at all — producer Lorne Michaels revealed who he might have in mind for the job. And it’s not the oft-rumored Seth Meyers or Kenan Thompson. On the Emmys red carpet on Sunday, Michaels told Entertainment Tonight that “it could easily be Tina Fey.”

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Sure, Michaels still played coy. In addition to Fey, “there are a lot of people who are there now who are also, you know…” he said, implying that plenty of folks will get an interview. But Michaels has never been so forthcoming about which way he’s leaning. "Tina’s brilliant and great at everything," he gushed. “She’s a very important person in my life.”

Fey certainly has the resume. There aren’t many alums in SNL history who can match this:

  • Joined the show as a writer in 1997 and was promoted to head writer after only two years on the job
  • Jumped into the regular cast in 2000, eventually becoming half of the show’s only all-female Weekend Update anchor team with Amy Poehler (the same team that proved you can score at the Golden Globes)
  • Wrote and starred in 30 Rock, a sharp parody of working behind the scenes on a show like Saturday Night Live, winning Emmys for writing, acting, and best series
  • Somehow managed to write and produce three separate versions of Mean Girls (two on screen and one on stage), all of which were hits in three different decades
  • May have swung a Presidential election with her hilarious (and deadly) impersonation of candidate Sarah Palin

The New York Post reported that Fey was next in line last summer, a theory that NBC promptly debunked. Still, the Post's source claimed that “I would be surprised if it wasn’t her.

Michaels still has one more SNL season in him, he told ET. “We’re doing the 50th-anniversary show in February of '25, so I will definitely be there for that, and definitely be there until that, and sometime before that we’ll figure out what we’re going to do,” he said. 

Considering that he’s never discussed the succession plan in public until now, it sounds like Michaels has a pretty good idea of “what we’re going to do.”


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