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Kenan Thompson explains why Saturday Night Live ending after season 50 'might not be a bad idea'

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Saturday Night Live's longest-running cast member is starting to think about life after Studio 8H —particularly in light of creator Lorne Michaels' suggestion that the show ends at its half-century mark.

"Is that the rumor?" Kenan Thompson joked during a recent appearance on Charlamagne the God's Comedy Central show Hell of a Week. "All right, well, I need to start planning."

Michaels, 77, has said that he's committed to doing the show until its 50th anniversary, which it would hit during its 2024-2025 season.

"I'd like to see that through," Michaels told Gayle King on CBS Morning in December. "I have a feeling that would be a really good time to leave."

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season: 44 -- Pictured: Kenan Thompson -- (Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season: 44 -- Pictured: Kenan Thompson -- (Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Kenan Thompson

Thompson, 44, agreed.

"There could be a lot of validity to that rumor because 50 is a good number to stop at," he said. "That's an incredible package."

Furthermore, if Michaels does decide to step away, Thompson told Charlamagne that he doesn't see any reason for the late-night comedy show to continue without him.

"He's the one that's had his touch on the whole thing," Thompson said. "It opens the opportunity for a lot of bulls--- to come into the game because he's such a legend that he keeps off those corporate wolves."

Thompson, who joined the show in 2003, said this is especially true if Michaels' absence gives NBC an excuse to slash the budget.

"At that point, you can't really do the same kind of show," Thompson said. "They spend a lot of money on that show every week. It's an expensive show, but it's a one-of-a-kind thing. It's the only one. You know, 'Live from New York.'"

Even with the end of SNL potentially looming, Thompson doesn't consider any of his outside projects, such as his production and talent management company Artists for Artists, to be a retirement plan.

"I did that just because it's one of my aspirations to become a producer and to put people to work," he noted.

During its run, SNL has transformed a host of comedians into household names, including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph.

Saturday Night Live's 48th season is expected to premiere in fall 2022.

Watch Thompson's appearance on Hell of a Week below:

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