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July 28, 2023

Tina Fey poised to possibly succeed Lorne Michaels when 'SNL' executive producer retires, report says

The Delaware County native would return to the sketch comedy show in a whole new capacity

TV Saturday Night Live
Tina Fey Abaca Press//

Tina Fey, shown here at a gala honoring Steve Martin in 2015, is rumored to be in talks to take over as executive producer of 'Saturday Night Live' when the show's creator and longtime executive producer leaves.

Tina Fey, the comedian, writer and actress best known for her stints on "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live," is rumored to be returning to "SNL" as the show's executive producer.

Fey, who grew up in Upper Darby, would take over the position from the sketch comedy show's creator and longtime executive producer Lorne Michaels when he leaves, according to a report in the New York Post. Citing an unnamed source, the Post claims that Fey is "being courted" to become the show's next executive producer when Michaels eventually leaves the show.

The 78-year-old Michaels, who has run "SNL" since the show's 1975 debut, has not announced any plans to leave. An NBC spokesperson denied the Post's claim, telling ET Canada that "there is no truth" to it.

However, as the Post's story points out, Michaels did tell an interviewer in 2021 that he felt the show's upcoming 50th anniversary season "would be a really good time to leave." The 50th season of "SNL" is slated to air next year. 

Fey joined "SNL" as a writer in 1997 and within two years became the show's first female head writer. She started performing in sketches in 2000 and did so until she left the show in 2006. During that time, she famously impersonated former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and co-hosted the "Weekend Update" news segment, among many other roles. After "SNL," she created and starred in the NBC comedy show "30 Rock."

Fey's Philly roots are well-known by local fans, mostly because the star has a history of weaving Philadelphia-inspired tropes and references into her work. In 2015, she did a spot-on Philly accent on "SNL" when she showed up as Cousin Karen from Philly on a faux talk show in a segment called "Bronx Beat." 

The City of Brotherly Love got an even more multi-faceted comedic shout-out on "SNL" in 2021 when a sketch parodying "Mare of Easttown" featured not just a regional accent, but references to Wawa, soft pretzels and Gritty. Fey also showed up as a colonial-era Philadelphian and referenced the Eagles in another "SNL" sketch in 2018.

This year, Fey is embarking on a live comedy tour with fellow "SNL" veteran Amy Poehler. The duo's "Restless Leg Tour" will come to The Met in North Philadelphia in December.