THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
Asking michaelS to heap praise on just one of his television endeavors in the past year is like asking a papa to pick his favorite child. “I’m really proud of the second season of Portlandia,” says Michaels, 67, of the hipster-skewering variety series. “I also watched a new 30 Rock last night that made me laugh out loud. And Jimmy’s Bruce Springsteen episode was an amazing hour of TV. Also, I was in L.A. for Up All Night’s season finale. I’m pretty happy about all of it!”
In the 37 years since the Canadian producer created Saturday Night Live, TV’s longest-running late-night sketch show, his cultural sway hasn’t staggered for a moment. Lindsay Lohan’s March 3 appearance was this season’s most-watched episode, and SNL’s skewering of the news, “Weekend Update,” can be said to be the predecessor to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, the most influential outlets for political satire.
Through his company Broadway Video, Michaels continues to expand his empire via his latest scripted-comedy producing effort, Up All Night, starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett and created by former SNL writer Emily Spivey. Night has seen positive reviews and steady ratings, and with Fallon’s recent edge over CBS’ Craig Ferguson at 12:35 a.m., Michaels’ status as one of New York’s premier culture creators remains firmly intact.