This past weekend, “Saturday Night Live” said goodbye to beloved longtime cast members Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson — all people who are known exclusively for their comedy and performance chops. Nothing more, nothing less.
Even after 47 years of the show and its constant revolving door of cast members, at the conclusion of each season, creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels is inevitably bombarded with questions about how the show will continue without [insert name].
This time, Michaels had enough. After letting everyone rest on Sunday to recover from the hangovers induced by the previous night’s after party, the ruthless Canadian dropped the hammer.
At midnight Monday morning, Lorne Michaels crept to his office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and began calling each cast member one by one to inform them that they had been fired. Not for their lack of professionalism or refusal to take part in the show’s time-honored tradition of cocaine, but because Lorne wants his time in the spotlight.
That’s right. As of next season, “Saturday Night Live” will become a one man show led by the man who inspired the voice of Dr. Evil in the “Austin Powers” series.
The Daily Cardinal reached out to Michaels for comment.
“Let’s be honest with ourselves here — someone needed to hold down the fort. For decades, writers and performers have been peeing in jars and doing illicit drugs while I’ve been sitting in my office eating popcorn. Still, when 11:30 on a Saturday night rolls around, the show goes on. That takes a special skill,” Michaels matter-of-factly stated, clearly forgetting the mounds of illicit drugs consumed by writers and performers on a day-to-day basis.
“People love it when cast members and writers impersonate me. People like Bill Hader, Dana Carvey, Conan O’Brien — all getting laughs by pretending to be me. Well, I am me, and it’s my turn,” continued Michaels.
The Kennedy Center honoree said he has been thinking about transforming “Saturday Night Live” into a one man show since its 40th anniversary. Still, it doesn’t seem that the behind-the-scenes comedy icon has any grand visions for what is to come.
“If I made it a whole thing, it wouldn’t be me anymore. Here’s what I’m thinking — the lights need to be off. They just do. My popcorn machine is doing its thing off to the side — I won’t go on without it. I’m sitting in a chair center stage with my arms crossed, staring at the audience expectantly as though I’m waiting for them to entertain me. I’ll point out that I also intend to look away from time to time so everyone knows I have other things going on and they’re not that important to me.”
I asked Michaels if he also plans to discontinue having a musical guest each week, as there has been since 1975.
“No no no no no,” replied Lorne as if a stranger walked up to him on the street and asked him to give their secret armpit mole a rub.
When asked who he’d like to see perform on the new version of “Saturday Night Live,” Michaels went on tangent after tangent, name dropping at every turn. By the time he began a story about going sweater shopping with James Earl Jones, it became clear that he had lost the plot entirely. Yet, he continued on for several more minutes, seemingly exhausted by how many famous people he knew.
There’s no telling how the one man show will develop between now and when its first episode airs in the fall. However, Lorne is certain of what he’ll say at the end of each week’s cold open.
“Live from New York — I’m Lorne Michaels, and you’re not.”