Live from New York, it’s…an audience-free “Saturday Night Live” Christmas show thanks to the Grinch–er, the Omicron Variant.
SNL has announced that there will be no live audience for tonight’s episode and musical guest Charli XCX has announced she will no longer be performing. Despite the Omicron variant causing concerns, Paul Rudd is still set to host, which will mark his induction into the infamous “Five-Timers Club”.
SNL was one of the first shows to figure out how to broadcast in a pandemic, stalling production for only a month before the show was back by mid-April with the cast appearing virtually with a “quarantine version” of the show hosted by Tom Hanks. The show also booted singer Morgan Wallen from the 46th season’s second episode for breaking quarantine rules. And just last month, British singer Ed Sheeran had to perform from home after contracting the coronavirus.
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 entertainment industry has been hit especially hard ever since the pandemic began with New York City being at the center of it and the city, along with the rest of the world, are going through déjà vu all over again. Broadway shows are being canceled again due to the rise of cases and the winter season is not helping much in that department. Shows like Mrs. Doubtfire, Moulin Rouge!, The Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have all been affected by this recent surge with The Rockettes shutting down the rest of their shows which usually run until the middle of January.
— Charli (@charli_xcx) December 18, 2021
It’s unclear which cast members will appear on Saturday’s show, which usually tapes a dress rehearsal at 8 p.m., followed by the live show at 11:30 p.m.