Michaels wrote for a number of Canadian TV series and specials in the late 1960s and early 1970s, like Barris & Company in 1968, The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour in 1971.
Michaels was also a cast member of the Canadian That's Show Biz in 1970.
In 1975, Michaels created the American TV show, Saturday Night Live, for which he was also the executive producer and a writer. The show, which was filmed live in front of a studio audience, immediately established a reputation for being cutting edge and unpredictable.
In 1979, Michaels started Broadway Video which has produced shows like The Kids in the Hall.
Michaels has been executive producer of NBCís Late Night with Conan O'Brien since it debuted in 1993.
In 1999, Michaels was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Michaels was also made a Member of the Order of Canada, that country's highest honor for lifetime achievement, and awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.