Former cast member says Lorne Michaels ran the show like a ‘cult’

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With news circulating around Ellen DeGeneres’ treatment of her staff on her talk show, Ellen, maybe she’s not the only TV executive who should be put on watch. Saturday Night Live Executive producer and creator Lorne Michaels has seen his fair share of grunts from former players over the years. One of the former cast members of SNL Michaels said he employed cult behavior.

“Saturday Night Live” alumnus Taran Killam says episodes aired after Seth Meyers were different

Lorne Michaels en 2017 | Mike Pont / WireImage

According to Taran Killam, who came out Saturday Night Live in 2018, the comedy series filmed at some point.

“… He felt that the series had changed for the worse after Seth Meyers left as editor,” Vulture reported. the SNL alum explained on a podcast at the time:

When Seth Meyers left the show, the dynamics changed a lot. … And I also think that the 40th [anniversary show] really kind of affected Lorne in that I think it was exciting and I think it was flattering and I think he’s really been able to savor this amazing institution he’s responsible for and all these amazing careers iconic and all his famous friends, and this had to be the most powerful boost to a ‘it’s your life’ experience ever. And then it was all gone, then he came back to this cast that is all 40 years younger than you and not as famous as Tina Fey or whatever, and my experience is that he got very impatient.

Accused Killam Saturday Night Live to be “less of a happy place to be” after the show turns 40. The show has also evolved into a “competitive and exhausting environment”.

Taran Killam Saturday Night Live
Taran Killam and Woody Harrelson on Saturday Night Live | Dana Edelson / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

“SNL” Creator and Executive Producer Lorne Michaels Accused of Challenging Conditions Throughout Seasons

But this is by no means the first time Saturday Night Live the executive producer has been criticized. In 1995, New York Magazine published an in-depth article on the inner workings of SNL. A former cast member had some harsh words for Michaels.

“These are the same techniques that cults use”, Saturday Night Live former accused. “They keep you awake for hours, they never let you know you’re okay, and they always make you think your place might be taken by someone else at any time.”

Michaels, they said, “wants people to feel insecure.”

The magazine noted that Michaels was more present than Saturday Night Live season than in the past. However, all it did was increase the staff’s “level of already therapeutic paranoia”. There were also other complaints about the executive producer.

The cast of Saturday Night Live accused Lorne Michaels of harsh working conditions

Saturday Night Live
Lorne Michaels with the cast and team accepting the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series award for Saturday Night Live at the 70th Emmy Awards in 2018 | Kevin Winter / Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Saturday Night Live’: Colin Jost Explains Why He’s Anxious To Leave The Show

Michaels produced several alumni SNL actors’ movies and TV shows. But, for many Saturday Night Live stars, it looked less like the result of a professional relationship, than another measure of Michaels control. In fact, a lot SNL The alumni claimed that developing a project outside of Michaels’ management and production company would result in some sort of punishment while you were on the show.

“Your sketches don’t get along, or you get along in the last five minutes of the show,” the former player said. Others who knew Michaels well said that Saturday Night Live the creator was too obsessed with fame and power.

“He wants to be a legend,” they said in 1995. “And he would have ‘LEGENDARY’ tattooed in his underwear if that was possible. “



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