Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of “Saturday Night Live,” predicts that the presidential and vice presidential candidates will stop by the comedy show before the election. He also said in a phone interview Tuesday that Tina Fey will return to play Gov. Sarah Palin.
“I think sooner or later, everyone will come through,” Michaels said of the candidates. He declined to give dates as to when “Saturday Night Live” viewers might see Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, as well as their running mates, Sen. Joseph Biden and Gov. Palin.
“In 2000, both Bush and Gore came on,” Michaels noted. As for when this crop of candidates would appear, he said, “I don’t know when. We’re always talking to everyone.”
Even though Fey’s depiction of Palin has helped drive the show to a 50 percent increase in ratings over last year, Michaels confirmed what Fey said in a recent interview with TV Guide – that she’s done playing Palin after the election.
“She’s gone” after the election, said Michaels. “She has a full-time job” as the creator and star of the NBC comedy “30 Rock,” which returns Oct. 30. Michaels added that “SNL” cast member Kristin Wiig would likely play the Alaska governor should the need arise past Nov. 4.
Michaels also told the Tribune exclusively that Ben Affleck would be the host of the show’s Nov. 1 broadcast. David Cook of “American Idol” fame will be the musical guest.
“Saturday Night Live’s” final pre-election broadcast will air Monday, Nov. 3. That "Election Bash" will not be live but will be a mix of new material taped for the program and older political skits from the past year.
There are a total of six “SNL” broadcasts before the end of the election season: Two additional Thursday broadcasts on Oct. 16 and 23, three Saturday broadcasts Oct. 18 and 25 and Nov. 1, and the “Election Bash” Nov. 3. The hosts and musical guests are as follows: Josh Brolin and Adele on Oct. 18, Jon Hamm and Coldplay on Oct. 25 and Affleck and Cook on Nov. 1.
I will have much more from Michaels soon. I'll be posting a long piece on the resurgent “Saturday Night Live” in the next few days.
Photo: Tina Fey as Palin and Amy Poehler as Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Sept. 13 season opener of "Saturday Night Live."