by Shelt Garner
It definitely seems as though there’s a greater-than-zero-sum chance that Saturday Night Live might end with its 2025 season. It’s not unprecedented for long-running TV shows to call it quits, but for a signature show like SNL to wrap things up at its 50th year would be a Huge Deal.
What would it be like without SNL in the modern era?
As an Old, the thing I’ve noticed is how quickly the Youngs forget what has come before. So, within five or so years, there would begin to be the occasional wave of younger people who would discover this or that SNL sketch and ask Olds whatever happened to it and why it stopping being aired.
There might be talk of either brining it back or another network doing something similar, but SNL has always been something of magic in a bottle and I just can’t imagine any new, similar show being as much of an institution. SNL is so old that it harkens back to the era when there were only three TV channels, music was good and the figures of Watergate were household names.
Do I think SNL is going to shuffle off this media coil?
That is a very good question. If how the real world works is any guide, what will happen is this — Lorne Michaels will retire. NBC suits will come after the show and there will be a lot, and I mean A LOT, of chatter about it being on the cusp of being canceled once and for all.
This will cause a huge amount of blowback within Hollywood and for a few days (weeks?) it will be the thing that everyone talks about on Twitter, YouTube and podcasts. Tom Hanks may have to step in and say, “Nope, not going to allow that to happen, NBC.”
And then, NBC suits will be like, “Oh, we would NEVER cancel SNL! You guys are so silly!”
The mad scramble to figure out how will replace Michaels will begin. And, in the end, it probably will be Seth Meyers, even though Tina Fey will always be floating around, as if she might take over if necessary.
But, I can’t predict the future. Who knows what may happen.