Very rarely can we see an entire system reflected through one person. Lorne Michaels is such a person. Popular culture would look totally different without him. It’s tempting to imagine the same stars, with their same intrinsic talents, still rising to the top in his absence, but this presumes Hollywood operates by natural selection. Michaels is not a neutral arbiter; he is a specific man with specific tastes.
Fantastic article by Seth Simon on Lorne Michaels and SNL.