In the latest change to Saturday Night Live‘s 47th season lineup, Don Roy King, who has been directing SNL since the 32nd season, some fifteen years ago, is retiring and will be succeeded by The Ellen DeGeneres Show director Liz Patrick. In his tenure at SNL, he has won eleven Emmys with 28 Emmy nominations.
Roy King has directed 322 episodes of the show (just over a third of the show’s total episode count!), which translates to almost 500 hours of the variety sketch series. That’s without considering his time at CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CBS This Morning, and Good Morning America. That’s quite a resume.
In Saturday Night Live‘s forty-six-year history, Roy King was only the fourth director, with his predecessors quitting after 11 years (Beth McCarthy-Miller and Dave Wilson, who rejoined the show for another six years after Paul Miller’s 3-year run).
Patrick has directed over 2,000 episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and is set to become the fifth ever SNL director. Patrick has worked with DeGeneres on some of her other shows like Ellen’s Game of Games, Repeat After Me and Heads Up! Before working with DeGeneres, she spent fifteen years at MTV, working on shows like TRL, Say What? Karoke, Direct Effect, Mandy Moore Show, Spankin’ New Music Week, Morning After, as well as live events such as Britney Live, Live at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the MTV Movie Awards 2002 Pre-Show, among many others.
The directing change comes ahead of this weekend’s premiere of Saturday Night Live‘s 47th season on NBC & Peacock. Among other changes, longtime repertory player Beck Bennett and featured player Lauren Holt are leaving, with the rest of the cast continuing while adding three new featured players.