With New York on the brink of another record-setting day of new Covid-19 cases, Saturday Night Live announced hours before its new episode aired that there would be no studio audience for tonight’s Paul Rudd-hosted taping.
“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,” the show tweeted.
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.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) December 18, 2021
“The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.If you have won tickets to this show, you will be receiving more information soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
While NBC and SNL didn’t specify why the cast would be “limited,” the New York Post reported Saturday that several cast members had tested positive for Covid-19. The Post added that the episode was on the verge of being canceled, as other cast members, “fearful” they caught Covid-19, have called out.
If SNL does take place Saturday night – the final episode of 2021 – it is set to feature Rudd joining the Five Timers Club as host.
However, “devastated and heartbroken” musical guest Charli XCX (alongside planned guests Caroline Polachek and Christine and the Queens) canceled her performance due to the “limited crew” caused by the virus.