There will be no live audience for tonight’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
The New York Post reported that “SNL” was considering canceling its final episode of 2021 due to the recent spread of recent COVID-19 cases, specifically related to the new Omicron variant.
Many Broadway shows, including “Hamilton,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” have all closed their doors this week due to COVID-19 concerns. The Radio City Rockettes have also canceled performances this holiday season after an outbreak.
More than 24,000 new COVID-19 infections were recorded in New York State over a 24-hour period, setting a new record.
Several ‘SNL’ Cast Members Have Tested Positive For COVID-19
According to the Post, an insider revealed that at least four actors have tested positive for COVID-19, and “three others” have called out because they are “fearful” of heading back to NBC Studios in the middle of Rockefeller Center.
Although they did not disclose who tested positive for the virus, they revealed that Cecily Strong was one of the actresses who had voiced concerns about airing tonight’s episode.
It is unclear if Paul Rudd will continue to host the episode, or if Charli XCX will perform as scheduled. This is supposed to be Rudd’s fifth appearance as host and Charli XCX’s second appearance as a musical guest.
Rudd’s first time hosting the show was in 2008 when Beyoncé Knowles was the guest host. His second hosting appearance was in 2010 when his musical guest was Paul McCartney. He hosted a third time in 2013 when One Direction performed, and the fourth time was in 2019 when DJ Khaled took the stage.
‘Saturday Night Live’ Cancels Live Audience Amidst Growing COVID-19 Concerns
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
“Saturday Night Live” issued a statement on Twitter saying that there will be no live audiences “out of an abundance of caution.”
“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 tweet began.
“The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol,” they continued. “If you have won tickets to this show, you will be receiving more information soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Although some fans revealed that they were “heartbroken” at the announcement, others felt that “SNL” was doing the right thing to protect the public.
“Thank you for taking precautions to protect your employees and the public,” one person tweeted.
“Thank you for doing the right thing,” another commented. “Lifelong fans like me won’t care. Happy holidays to all.”