Lorne Michaels

Lorne Michaels

Lorne Michaels, a highly acclaimed television producer, writer, comedian, and actor, was born as Lorne Michael Lipowitz on November 17, 1944, on a kibbutz (farm) in Israel. His family later migrated to Toronto when he was an infant. Even as a child, Lorne immensely enjoyed watching television and movies, and he became transfixed watching the actors make stories come to life on the big screen. His fondest memories of his childhood were of watching movies in his grandfather’s movie house. Michaels began writing fiction as a teenager and in 1996, after graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in English, he set about to launch a career in the entertainment industry.

Lorne, along with his friend Hart Pomerantz started a show for the CBC radio ‘The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour’ and their comedy duo met with great success and praise. In 1968, Michaels decided to move to Los Angeles to try his luck in Hollywood. He was offered to write for ‘The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show’, even though the show didn’t last long, it paved the way for future assignments. After working on shows such as Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Michael’s reputation grew and he was now regarded as a credible writer. On October 11, 1975, when the ‘Saturday Night Live’ show aired on television for the first time, Michael’s career reached new heights as the show met with overwhelming success and approval from the viewers. The show received more than a dozen Emmy awards, of which, five were awarded to Lorne Michaels.

In 1979, Michael founded his own production company ‘Broadway Video’ through which he set about revolutionizing the comedy industry. His first production ‘The Kids in the Hall’ was a television series which achieved much success in Canada as well as the US and gained a cult status. There was no looking back for Michael after that, he delighted the world with brilliant comedies and entertaining talk shows one after the other, most renowned of which are  ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ (1993–2009), ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’ (2009–14), ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ (2014– ), and the sitcom 30 Rock (2006–13). Such was his success that he was labelled as the father of American popular comedy. Michael’s production company also greatly contributed to the film industry by producing hits like ‘Wayne’s World’ (1992), ‘Tommy Boy’ (1995), ‘Mean Girls’ (2004), and ‘Baby Mama’ (2008). He was presented by numerous Emmy Awards, as well as the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2004.

Lorne Michaels has been given credit for launching and furthering the careers of numerous Hollywood celebrities including Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig and Amy Poehler among others. He is regarded as a paternal mentor by many of those who have worked with him, finding solace and guidance in his advices. Lorne Michael is a perfectionist who has a knack for producing comedy and finding talent, for instance Tracy Morgan, who he came across while she was selling souvenirs outside Yankee stadium. His contributions to the film and television industry are immense and he continues to impress and delight the viewers with entertaining comedies.

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