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5 Reasons Why Tina Fey Should Take Over ‘Saturday Night Live’

‘SNL’ creator Lorne Michaels is rumored to be handing over the reins next year — here’s who should take them


spinner image Tina Fey in front of the set of "Saturday Night Live"
AARP; (Source: Getty Images (4))

When it comes to succession, Logan Roy had a problem. Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels won’t. He’s got Tina Fey.

​His historic live comedy-variety show will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special in February 2025, and founding producer Michaels, 79, has hinted that he might retire after that golden season. When pressed by Entertainment Tonight on the Emmys red carpet about a successor, Michaels admitted that former SNL star and writer Tina Fey, 53, was a top contender.

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​“It could easily be Tina Fey,” he told ET. “Tina’s brilliant and great at everything. She’s a very important person in my life.” But Michaels hedged that there are other talented successors standing in the wings.

​None as qualified as Fey. Here are the top five reasons why Tina Fey should take over SNL in 2025.

1. She gets the SNL culture on both sides of the camera.

​Fey was part of the show for nearly a decade, from 1997 to 2006. She began as a writer, and by 1999, she was the show’s first female head writer. One of Fey’s best-known writing credits is 2003’s unforgettable “Mom Jeans” J.C. Penney fake ad, which she says was inspired by grabbing a pair of jeans at J.Crew downstairs at Rockefeller Center and thinking something comic had to come out of how “unfortunate” they looked. Beginning in 2000, she took over the “Weekend Update” desk with Jimmy Fallon for four years, then welcomed castmate and longtime pal Amy Poehler, 52, for two hilarious years as the first all-female pairing in the show’s centerpiece sketch. Fey understands the spotlight and pressure of big bits — think of her Sarah Palin impression as evidence of her ability to take a bit of original, timely comic gold and mine it for all its worth. From the writers’ room to in front of the camera, Fey gets SNL like few others.

2. She’s already been a showrunner and a very successful one.

​Dovetailing with leaving SNL in 2006, Fey made her own comic gold for NBC in the critically acclaimed 30 Rock, the satirically biting sitcom based on her experiences at SNL. Fey was not only the star and writer but the showrunner as well. 30 Rock ran for seven seasons, racking up back-to-back-to-back Emmys for outstanding comedy series in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The woman knows how to put together a show and make it best in class. (See for yourself, now that all seven seasons are streaming on Peacock.)

spinner image Tina Fey standing behind a desk in a classroom in the 2024 film "Mean Girls"
Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury in "Mean Girls" (2024).
Jojo Whilden/Paramount Pictures

3. She knows how to create iconic comedy, no matter what the medium.

​How many multi-hyphenates can create a cultural touchstone film, then come back to do it again as a musical comedy — and again as a musical comedy movie? Hard to name anyone other than Fey, who wrote and starred in Mean Girls in 2004 while she was still at SNL (Michaels produced the film). It wasn’t enough to create an iconic teen movie. Fey returned as part of the creative team that took the show to Broadway as a musical in 2017. And this year, Fey took the musical, wrote a fresh screenplay and did it all again for the big screen, reprising her role as North Shore High School’s Ms. Norbury.

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4. She has the uncanny ability to be incredibly funny while not alienating Hollywood.

​The lifeblood of SNL is its rotating roster of high-profile hosts and musical guests. You’d think hosting an industry awards show such as the Golden Globes could have led to Fey heading into the Hollywood wilderness for offending someone, getting canceled, getting slapped (or just being unfunny). But most critics and fans agree that Fey and Amy Poehler’s three-year run as cohosts of the Globes (2013-2015) was among the finest. And no other duo could have rescued the return of the beleaguered show (during a pandemic, no less) more skillfully than Fey and Poehler in their 2021 act of comedic charity.

5. She has a ‘yes’ philosophy.

​From SNL and 30 Rock to hit movies and Broadway shows, not to mention raising a couple of kids and writing a best-selling book, Fey takes on challenges at every turn. She wrote that she learned the value of saying “yes” as part of her improv training in acting classes at Chicago’s Second City. The improv rule became a life philosophy: “The things I learned in that class became part of the way I live my life,” she wrote. “A couple of times I’ve been called on to do things — jobs or whatever — where I’ve felt maybe I’m not quite ready. Maybe it’s a little early for this to happen to me. But the rules are so ingrained. ‘Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward’ has helped me to be more adventurous.”

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