Lorne Michaels Says Tina Fey 'Could Easily' Be His SNL Successor — but She's Counting on Him to 'Live Forever'

The creator of the famed late-night comedy show praised Fey, SNL's first female head writer, on the red carpet ahead of the 2023 Emmys

<p>Neilson Barnard/Getty, Vivien Killilea/Getty </p> Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey

Neilson Barnard/Getty, Vivien Killilea/Getty

Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey

Tina Fey may have a new gig on her hands — if she wants it.

Though Lorne Michaels isn’t quite ready to say goodbye to Saturday Night Live, the show’s creator already has his eyes on some comedy legends who could potentially succeed him — and Fey, 53, is one of them.

“It could easily be Tina Fey,” Michaels, 79, told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet ahead of Monday’s Emmy Awards. He also shared that there are “a lot of people” currently working at the famed late-night comedy show who could have a shot at taking over his spot as well.

“Of course I’ve thought about it,” he said before clarifying that he’s not ready to hang up his hat quite yet.

“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,” he confirmed. “And sometime before that we’ll figure out what we’re gonna do.”

Related: The 12 Best Moments from the Emmy Awards

Michaels went to praise Fey for being “brilliant and great at everything.”

“She’s a very important person in my life,” he added of the comedian, who was SNL’s first female head writer.

Fey, for her part, isn’t interested. “Y’all better pass. Stop. No ma’am,” she told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb during a visit to the Today show on Jan. 10, when asked if she would take over for Michaels.

“He’s not going to retire,” Fey insisted. “He has an elixir and he will live forever.”

Hours after Michaels shared his comments about the future of SNL, Fey returned to the news desk for an Emmys version of Weekend Update with her friend and former costar Amy Poehler. The pair co-hosted the popular segment from 2004 to 2006. After Fey’s departure — she had been hosting since 2000 — Poehler continued hosting with Seth Meyers until 2008. Colin Jost and Michael Che took over as hosts in 2014.

<p>Walter McBride/WireImage</p> Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Gypsy Robe Ceremony honoring Brendon Stimson for "Mean Girls" at the August Wilson Theatre Theatre on April 8, 2018 in New York City.

Walter McBride/WireImage

Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels during the Actors' Equity Opening Night Gypsy Robe Ceremony honoring Brendon Stimson for "Mean Girls" at the August Wilson Theatre Theatre on April 8, 2018 in New York City.

Related: Kate McKinnon Jokes About 'Being Back at Her Old Job' in First Return to SNL Since Departing Cast in 2022

Fey and Poehler read the nominees for outstanding live variety special while seated behind the iconic desk, which included the 2023 Academy Awards, Chris Rock’s standup special Selective Outrage, Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show, the 2023 Tony Awards and Elton John’s Farewell From Dodger Stadium — which ultimately went on to win, vaulting the legend to EGOT status.

During the segment, Poehler, 52, also poked fun at the 2023 Tony Awards for "celebrating the best in musicals that were based on movies which will probably be movies again," which Fey quickly pointed out is totally fine, as she promoted the musical movie version of Mean Girls.

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The best friends previously opened up about how they make time to watch SNL and support their peers even when they're on the road for their "Tina Fey & Amy Poehler: Restless Leg Tour."

"If it's a Saturday, we go to our room, and we watch SNL from the hotel room," Fey told Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY earlier this month. "We love watching it together. If we're not together, we'll live text during it."

She added that they still "root for everybody" despite watching the show with a critical eye. "The head writer in me is always like, 'Huh. Interesting. Maybe the game could've been clearer.' "

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