Longtime SNL Star Kenan Thompson Shares His Take After Rumors Swirl About When The Show Will End

It’s always been rare for television shows to last longer than a decade (at most), and that is even more true now that TV fans are trying to keep up with series on an increasingly wide variety of streaming services. But, one show that has managed to stand the test of time throughout the changing TV landscape is Saturday Night Live. The legendary sketch comedy show will be in Season 48 this fall when it premieres as part of the 2022 TV schedule, and with rumors circulating that Season 50 could be the last, star Kenan Thompson has shared his take on when SNL could end.

What Did Kenan Thompson Say About When SNL Could End?

If you’re a Saturday Night Live fan, you probably know that Kenan Thompson is a very good person to ask about the potential longevity of the acclaimed late night comedy. After getting his start as a kid in movies and on Nickelodeon shows All That and Kenan & Kel, Thompson is now largely known for being the longest tenured cast member in history (starring in over 1,500 SNL sketches), with an astounding 19 seasons and counting. During a recent appearance on Hell of A Week, host Charlamagne Tha God asked Thompson about the possibility of SNL really ending with Season 50, largely because the thought is that Lorne Michaels doesn’t want to do the show much beyond his 80th birthday, and he responded:

There could be a lot of validity to that rumor, because 50 is a good number to stop at. It’s an incredible package. You know, he’s the one that’s had his touch on the whole thing … It’s a one of a kind thing. It’s the only one, you know what I mean?

Thompson makes some very good points, right? While many viewers would probably agree that SNL has definitely had lots of ups and downs in quality over its many decades on the air, that’s just to be expected when a show has been around for as long as it has. But, despite the sometime quality dips, and the frequent cast shakeups (several beloved performers, including Kate McKinnon, departed at the end of Season 47), Saturday Night Live is still an original with several claims to fame. 

SNL has helped to launch the careers of some of our most respected and adored comedians and comedic actors, for one thing, with enduring mega-stars like Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and the aforementioned Kate McKinnon being launched into the spotlight because of their time on the series. It’s also brought us dozens of major pop culture moments over the years and helped us see different sides of some of our favorite celebrities when they stepped in to host

And, if none of that makes an impact for you, well, it’s where Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson became buds and started one of our most talked-about modern celeb romances, and who can argue with the importance of that? Nobody, that’s who!

Kenan Thompson is asked a lot about when he might leave SNL, and in a recent chat he acknowledged that the show is trying to get through its 50th anniversary and that he plans to be a part of that landmark season, but he’s not sure how long he’ll stick around after that, though Thompson loves being on the “wild” show. Let’s all just hope that we can count on Saturday Night Live lasting a few more seasons, and that Kenan Thompson’s delightful presence will be there the whole time.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.