Lorne Michaels was on the Television Critics Association panel for the new NBC comedy Up All Night. After the panel when the press gaggled around him, he spoke about his thoughts and hopes for 30 Rock. With contracts coming up at the end of season six, and stars like Alec Baldwin threatening retirement, Michaels still sees 30 rockin’ along.

“Listen, you can’t imagine doing the show without Alec but I couldn’t imagine doing the show without Chevy either and we’re still on the air,” Michaels said, invoking Chase’s departure from SNL. “I would hope that we would never have to go on without him but we’re going to keep doing the show.”

Tina Fey is at home this summer expecting a baby. Then she’s ready to go back to work too. “Right now she’s having a baby but I know that she’s completely committed to the show, as are a lot of people who work there. Alec is a huge part of it. It’s a great group. I think it still has a lot of vitality and life in it. We’re all pretty much determined to keep it going, and I’m hopeful.”

Michaels also spoke out about 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan’s controversial anti-gay rant and how it might affect his return to the show. “We haven’t started yet but obviously everyone has been talking. I think he totally regretted it, he apologized for it. I think it was a thoughtless thing to say but it was the middle of a concert and he was trying to be provocative I think. It just blew up and I think he confronted it and dealt with it. I know what kind of man he is and he’s not a hateful person in any way, shape or form. What he said was stupid and there’s no justification for it, I’m just saying I don’t think it came from any real thought really.”

The subsequent Tracy Morgan controversy, about a routine on the mentally challenged, made less waves. “I think that’s from his act from 15 years ago. It was in his HBO special. When you scrutinize anybody’s comedy, it’s not the criteria you should really judge it by. He’s not being taught in schools.”