‘SNL’ Ditches Live Audience, Limits Cast And Crew Amid Omicron

NEW YORK (AP) — Folks’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2021 is about to be inducted into the vaunted 5-Timers Membership on “Saturday Evening Live,” however the surging omicron variant of the coronavirus means there gained’t be a reside viewers to see it occur.

The long-running sketch comedy present introduced on social media Saturday afternoon that the night time’s episode, that includes “Ant-Man” star Paul Rudd as host, would tape and not using a reside viewers and with solely restricted solid and crew “as a result of latest spike within the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of warning.”

Singer Charli XCX had been scheduled to carry out however introduced Saturday afternoon on Twitter that she was bowing out.

“As a result of restricted crew at tonight’s taping of snl my musical performances will now not have the ability to go forward,” she wrote. “I’m devastated and heartbroken.”

She then urged her followers to “take care of yourselves on the market and be sure to get vaccinated if you happen to haven’t already.”

Rudd is returning to Studio 8H as host for the fifth time — usually a milestone of a lot fanfare. British pop star Charli XCX is the night time’s musical visitor. The Dec. 18 episode was the NBC present’s final introduced episode for the yr.

It’s unclear which solid members will seem on Saturday’s present, which often tapes a costume rehearsal at 8 p.m., adopted by the reside present at 11:30 p.m.

The present returned for its 47th year in September with 16 solid members and 5 featured gamers, a very crowded discipline. The dimensions of the solid has allowed for atypical flexibility for its high-profile members, who can now take time without work for different initiatives in the course of the season.

The present stated on social media that those that had gained tickets to the night time’s present would obtain extra data quickly.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Billie Eilish Episode 1813 -- Pictured: (l-r) Aristotle Athari, Bowen Yang, Punkie Johnson, Finneas, host Billie Eilish, Kate McKinnon, Miley Cyrus, Ego Nwodim, Andrew Dismukes, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, and Alex Moffat during Goodnights & Credits on Saturday, December 11, 2021.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Billie Eilish Episode 1813 — Pictured: (l-r) Aristotle Athari, Bowen Yang, Punkie Johnson, Finneas, host Billie Eilish, Kate McKinnon, Miley Cyrus, Ego Nwodim, Andrew Dismukes, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, and Alex Moffat throughout Goodnights & Credit on Saturday, December 11, 2021.

Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Picture Financial institution by way of Getty Photographs

That is removed from the primary time the Lorne Michaels-produced show has needed to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. The virus outbreak halted its 45th season for a few month, however “SNL” was again on the air by mid-April with a “quarantine version” of the show hosted by Tom Hanks. The present returned to 30 Rockefeller Center for its forty sixth season after implementing COVID-19 protocols, however booted singer Morgan Wallen from that season’s second episode for breaking guidelines. And simply final month, British singer Ed Sheeran had to perform from home after contracting the coronavirus.

New York state reported Saturday that almost 22,000 individuals had examined constructive for COVID-19 on Friday — eclipsing the day gone by’s mark for the best single-day complete for brand new instances since testing turned broadly out there. Greater than half the constructive outcomes had been within the metropolis. Omicron is predicted to develop into the dominant coronavirus variant in lots of international locations inside weeks.

Different reside exhibits in New York have been devastated anew by the recent coronavirus surge, with many Broadway phases pressured to go darkish due to outbreaks. Mayor Invoice de Blasio this previous week declared omicron “in full drive” in New York, snuffing out holiday mainstays like the Rockettes Christmas present and threatening others but — all portending another holiday season without much cheer.