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The Lorne Supremacy: how Lorne Michaels reshaped the world of comedy

The Saturday Night Live honcho is the ultimate Hollywood kingmaker. Here, a who’s who of his star system

The Lorne Supremacy

Lorne Michaels, the Toronto-raised creator of Saturday Night Live, has plucked dozens of unknowns from obscurity and turned them into stars. He’s created box office heavyweights like Will Ferrell and Mike Myers, whose films can net $200 million worldwide. He transforms people like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler into prime-time icons. And last month, he took over The Tonight Show—a comedic brass ring—and placed his protégé Jimmy Fallon in the host’s chair. Here, the people who owe their careers to the prescient producer.

Photographs: Michaels courtesy of NBC; Meyers, Rock, Crystal, Morgan, CK, Arnett, Samberg by David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons; McKay, Wayans, Daniels, Schur, Odenkirk, Smigel, Kids, Short, Aykroyd, Rich, Strong, Glover, Mulaney, Taccone by Getty Images; Fallon by Montclair Film Festival, Colbert by Steamoc, O’Brien by Mrlaugh, Myers by Caroline Bonarde Ucci; Ferrell and Carell by Eva Rinaldi, Sandler by Angela George, Chase by Jesse Chang, Reitman by Skeezix, Murray by George Biard, Rudolph by Media TV Network, Poehler by Peabody Awards, Wiig by Rachel Sklar, Baldwin by Tomdog, Fey by Gage Skidmore, Schaffer by Awesometown, All Wikimedia Commons