People’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2021 is slated to be inducted into the lauded Five Floor Club on “Saturday Night Live,” but the coronavirus’ spike omicron variation means there won’t be a live audience to watch. that happens.
The long-running sketch comedy show announced on social media Saturday afternoon that the night’s episode, which features “Ant-Man” star Paul Rudd as host, will be taping without an audience production and only a limited cast and crew “due to the recent spike in viewership of the Omicron variant and extreme caution.”
British pop star Charli XCX was scheduled to perform but announced Saturday afternoon on Twitter that she would not be allowed to perform.
“Due to the limited number of crew tonight, my musical performance will no longer be able to continue,” she wrote. “I am devastated and heartbroken.”
She then urged her fans to “take care of yourself out there and make sure you’re vaccinated if you haven’t already.”
Rudd will return to Studio 8H as host for the fifth time – often a major milestone for many fans. The December 18 episode was the last episode of the NBC show to be announced for the year.
It’s unclear which cast will appear on Saturday’s show, which typically features a dress rehearsal at 8 p.m., followed by a live show at 11:30 p.m.
The show returns to its 47th year in September with 16 actors and five players featured, a particularly crowded stage. The size of the cast has allowed flexibility atypical for popular cast members, who can now spend time on other projects during the season.
The show said on social media that those who have won tickets to the show will receive more information soon.
This is the first time the show produced by Lorne Michaels has had to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. The virus outbreak halted its 45th season for about a month, but “SNL” aired again in mid-April with a “quarantine version” of the show hosted by Tom Hanks. The show returned to 30 Rockefeller Center for its 46th season after implementing COVID-19 protocols, but kicked singer Morgan Wallen off that season’s second episode for breaking the rules. And just last month, an SNL performance on set by British singer Ed Sheeran nearly derailed after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Recalling ‘SNL’ cast of COVID rehearsals, Chris Rock talks about 2020 presidential election
New York State reported Saturday that nearly 22,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday – eclipsing the previous day’s mark for the highest total number of new cases in a single day since when the test is widely available. More than half of the positive results were in the city. Omicron is expected to become the predominant coronavirus variant in many countries within weeks.
Other live shows in New York have been ravaged once again by the recent coronavirus surge, with many Broadways forced to remain in the dark because of the outbreak. Mayor Bill de Blasio last week declared omicron “full force” in New York, removing holiday staples like the Rockettes Christmas show and threatening others – all of which are on another holiday season without much cheer.
Associated Press writer Bobby Caina Calvan contributed to this story.
© 2021 Canadian Press
https://globalnews.ca/news/8461681/snl-air-audience-omicron-covid/ ‘SNL’ will air without a live audience as Omicron COVID-19 spreads – National