Why 'SNL' could be ending, according to Kenan Thompson amid dwindling views and slashed 2022 cast

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Rumors continue to swirl around the demise of one of the few sketch-comedy shows remaining, "Saturday Night Live."

With tanking ratings, a dwindling all-star cast and creator Lorne Michaels' contract expiring imminently, the show might not be "live from New York" for much longer.

In a recent interview with Charlamagne Tha God, the longest-tenured cast member of "SNL," Kenan Thompson, alluded to the end being near. 

When asked about the rumors the show would be ending, he said, "There could be a lot of validity to that rumor, because 50's a good year to stop at."

Lorne Michaels, left, and Kenan Thompson have been outspoken about the future of 'SNL.' <span class="copyright">Getty Images</span>
Lorne Michaels, left, and Kenan Thompson have been outspoken about the future of 'SNL.' Getty Images

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Thompson is referring to three seasons from now, when Michaels' contract with NBC expires.

The reason for the potential ending of "SNL" could be related to the ratings debacle, with the season 47 premiere recording only 4.9 million total viewers. The season 46 premiere in 2020 raked in over 8.2 million viewers, per a Nielsen report, meaning loss in viewership was just below 50 percent.

The cast of 'SNL' at the 70th Emmy Awards. The cast has significantly changed from when this photo was taken in 2018. <span class="copyright">Getty Images</span>
The cast of 'SNL' at the 70th Emmy Awards. The cast has significantly changed from when this photo was taken in 2018. Getty Images

Then there is the glaring issue of cast overturn, with some of the most notable stars — Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney and Aidy Bryant — leaving within the past few years.

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While the show is no stranger to a revolving door of cast members, fans have their favorite comedians.

At the end of the season, the official "SNL" Instagram account posted videos of the respective cast members leaving — McKinnon, Davidson, Bryant and Mooney — and fans were quick to comment about their disappointment over the loss of these performers.

One wrote of McKinnon, "She is genius and I will miss seeing her."

Another commented of Davidson, "SNL will not be the same without you Pete. We sure are gonna miss you!"

Pete Davidson, left, on his final episode of ‘SNL’ as a cast member with Colin Jost. <span class="copyright">Getty Images</span>
Pete Davidson, left, on his final episode of ‘SNL’ as a cast member with Colin Jost. Getty Images

While several former cast members have gone on to have wildly successful careers, often working alongside Michaels in other projects, Thompson is not worried about what comes next for him.

Just next week, he is set to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And in terms of what will happen if "SNL" ends?

Thompson joked to Charlamagne, "I need to start planning."

A rep for SNL did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.