New Brunswick Tribune

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

In the wake of Omicron COVID-19 outbreak, ‘SNL’ will air without a live audience

Key takeaways:

  • The British pop star Charli XCX was supposed to perform, but she announced on Twitter that she would be unable to do so on Saturday afternoon.

The 2021 People’s Sexiest Man Alive will be inducted into the prestigious Five-Timers Club on “Saturday Night Live.” Still, due to the rising omicron variant of the coronavirus, there will be no live audience to witness the event.

The long-running sketch comedy show announced on social media Saturday afternoon that the night’s episode, hosted by “Ant-Man” star Paul Rudd, would tape without a live audience and with only a limited cast and crew “due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution” due to a recent spike in the Omicron variant.

Charli XCX, a British pop star, had been scheduled to perform, but she announced on Twitter that she would not be able to do so on Saturday afternoon.

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“Due to the limited crew at tonight’s taping of SNL,” she wrote, “my musical performances will no longer be able to go on.” “I’m devastated and heartbroken.”

“Take care of yourselves out there,” she advised, “and get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

Rudd is making his fifth appearance as host of Studio 8H, which is usually a big deal. The final episode of the NBC show for the year was scheduled to air on December 18th.

It’s unclear who will appear on Saturday’s show, which usually begins with a dress rehearsal at 8 p.m. and ends with the live show at 11:30 p.m.

The show returned for its 47th season in September with 16 cast members and five featured players, making for an especially crowded field. The cast’s size has given its high-profile members unusual flexibility, allowing them to take time off for other seasons’ projects.

The show announced on social media that those who won tickets to the night’s show would be contacted shortly.

Due to the Omicron COVID-19 spread, 'SNL' will air without a live audience
Due to the Omicron COVID-19 spread, ‘SNL’ will air without a live audience. Image from PAhomepage

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t the first time the Lorne Michaels-produced show has had to adapt. The virus outbreak forced the show’s 45th season to be canceled for about a month, but by mid-April, it was back on the air with a “quarantine version” hosted by Tom Hanks. 

After implementing COVID-19 protocols, the show returned to 30 Rockefeller Center for its 46th season, but singer Morgan Wallen was booted from its second episode for breaking the rules. Last month, British singer Ed Sheeran’s SNL performance was nearly canceled after testing positive for COVID-19.

On Friday, nearly 22,000 people in New York state tested positive for COVID-19, breaking the previous day’s record for the highest single-day total of new cases since testing became widely available. 

The city accounted for more than half of the positive outcomes. In weeks, Omicron is expected to become the dominant coronavirus variant in many countries.

The recent coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc on other live shows in New York, with many Broadway stages forced to close due to outbreaks. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared omicron “in full force” in New York this week, ending holiday staples like the Rockettes Christmas show and threatening others, all portending a bleak holiday season.

Source: Global News

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