SNL has announced that due to the sharp spike in COVID cases and the Omicron variant in the New York City area, the comedy series will air tonight as scheduled, however with no studio audience and a limited cast and crew.
Paul Rudd is scheduled to host for his 5th time and Charli XCX is the musical guest.
New York City has recorded an all-time reported high of just over 21,000 cases in a single day earlier this week. Multiple Broadway shows, including Moulin Rouge and MJ, the Musical, have canceled performances in response to the new outbreak, as well as the Radio City Rockettes’ holiday performance.
Reportedly SNL Executive Producer, Lorne Michaels, considered canceling altogether, but instead had a tweet issued, ” Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and the show will have limited cast and crew.”
According to the New York Post, someone close to SNL revealed that “four actors” tested positive for COVID — and “three others” have called out because they are now “fearful” about coming to NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center, where the weekly sketch show is filmed in Midtown.
The source told the Post the “show must go on but don’t expect to see SNL regulars Colin Jost, Sarah Sherman or (Aristotle) Athari.” Jost usually hosts Weekend Update with Michael Che, 38, while Sherman, 28, and Athari, 30, are both newcomers to the ensemble this season.
A source also told The Post that Cecily Strong is one of the SNL cast members who has voiced concern over the outbreak.