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Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live: "You couldn’t start this show now"

  • Speaking at the Cannes Lions advertising event, Michaels explained that SNL couldn't be launched in today's TV environment, "mostly because of budget…. The depth of costumes, design, film, all of those plus the talent office and all of the people working with each other… you can’t start that now because we’re in an age of narrowcasting.” Michaels added that he didn't feel comfortable with SNL's staying power until its 40th anniversary in 2015. "There was a culmination for all of us in the 40th anniversary," he said. "Everybody sort of sensed – I always thought we could get cancelled and there were two or three times when we technically were – so the idea of its permanence became solid for me at the 40th anniversary. That it was going to go on and another generation was going to take it on after I was done with it and that on some, level, for better or worse, it was an institution and in order to keep it fresh, new people come into it and define it for their generation.” Michaels also talked about SNL's influence in being able to reach a diverse audience via network TV. "The comfort of being in broadcasting, we are broadcasting in all 50 states," he said. "And when you are doing political work it means that you have influence, particularly in the kind of world we are in now, in the red states as opposed to performing for the blue states and preaching to the choir. So there's some other level of a small town, you are reaching people. There are people all over the country that are smart, sophisticated."

    TOPICS: Saturday Night Live, NBC, Lorne Michaels