Martin Short, left, in conversation with Lorne Michaels at the Hollywood… (Chyna Photography )
Lorne Michaels may soon assume responsibilities as executive producer of "The Tonight Show" when Jimmy Fallon takes over as host next year, but don't expect him to abandon his baby just yet.
Michaels addressed the question floating around Hollywood at a Comedy On TV luncheon hosted by the Hollywood Radio and Television Society on Tuesday in Beverly Hills.
"As long as it's relevant, it should be on," Michaels said about the future of "Saturday Night Live." "I'll do it as long as I possibly can. I think that there will be a day when I'll look at it and say I don't have the edge I used to."
NBC's late-night kingpin, despite fervent interest behind the late-night shakeup, spoke little of his "SNL" pupil-turned-"Tonight Show" heir during his appearance — which was essentially a glamorized conversation with friend and former "SNL" regular Martin Short. The little attention Michaels did give the news focused on the decision to move "The Tonight Show" back to New York.
"Jimmy's from New York, the show appeals to New York," he said of "The Tonight Show," which has operated out of Burbank for more than four decades. "I think New York is different from when Carson left."
And, hey, is he really the czar of late night, Short asked? "It worked out that way," Michaels quipped. Indeed, Michaels will have a monopoly on the network's 11:30 slot-- except Sundays, at least, for now! And he was rumored to have even more hours under his belt, with talk that Alec Baldwin would also get in the late-night game under Michaels' rule — an idea that was quickly shot down by NBC.
The event, though, began with a somber and poignant discussion on "SNL" and its handling of tragedies that shake America, with Short referring to how the late-night sketch show addressed the Newtown shootings — though the topic took on a more timely sentiment given the recent events in Boston. In the case of Newtown, "SNL" paid tribute to those killed during the shootout at Sandy Hook Elementary with the New York City Children's Chorus singing “Silent Night.”
"I think that what happens is, when you're doing live (television), you know that everyone knows that you're there, you can say something," he said. "Broadcast has an obligation and a responsibility to be present, to be connected to what is going on. And that is, you can't divide everything into news and entertainment. When something that big happens, you have to address it."
No word on whether the show has plans to address the Boston bombings, according to the network; the show is in reruns for the next two weeks.
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