Paul Rudd hosts ‘SNL’ sans audience, Charli XCX amid omicron

This image released by NBC shows Bowen Yang as the Iceberg that sank the Titanic, left, and anchor Colin Jost during Weekend Update on

This picture launched by NBC exhibits Bowen Yang because the Iceberg that sank the Titanic, left, and anchor Colin Jost throughout Weekend Update on “Saturday Night Live” in New York on April 10, 2021. (Will Heath/NBC through AP)

Will Heath




People’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2021 was certainly inducted into the vaunted Five-Timers Club on “Saturday Night Live,” however the surging omicron variant of the coronavirus meant there was no dwell viewers to see it occur. Instead, viewers at house noticed new sketches taped earlier within the week, in addition to highlights from years previous.

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 with no dwell viewers and with solely restricted forged and crew “due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution.”

By the time 11:30 p.m. Eastern time rolled round, your entire forged — save for Kenan Thompson — and many of the crew had been despatched house, too, Tom Hanks instructed viewers. Hanks opened the present, which forewent its standard chilly open skit, to announce the departure from the present’s deliberate Christmas episode. The episode was the NBC present’s final of 2021.


Hanks was joined by former “SNL” stalwart Tina Fey, each sporting their Five-Timers jackets.

“As you know, I started the Five-Timers Club,” Hanks stated, addressing Fey.

“Like you started COVID,” Fey retorted, alluding to the star’s coronavirus prognosis in March 2020.

Rudd was scheduled to return to Studio 8H as host for the fifth time — sometimes a milestone of a lot fanfare. Despite the present shelling out with its standard format, the pair introduced that Rudd would nonetheless be inducted into the membership and referred to as Thompson, because the longest-tenured forged member, to do the honors.


“Congratulations on hosting the show four-and-a-half times,” Thompson instructed Rudd.

British pop star Charli XCX had been scheduled to carry out however introduced Saturday afternoon on Twitter that she wouldn’t be allowed to carry out.

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

She then urged her followers to “look after yourselves out there and make sure you get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

The present returned for its forty seventh 12 months in September with 16 forged members and 5 featured gamers, a very crowded area. The dimension of the forged has allowed for atypical flexibility for its high-profile members, who can now take break day 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.

This was removed from the primary time the Lorne Michaels-produced present has needed to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. The virus outbreak halted its forty fifth season for a couple of month, however “SNL” was again on the air by mid-April with a “quarantine version” of the present hosted by 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, an SNL efficiency on set by British singer Ed Sheeran was practically derailed after he examined constructive for COVID-19.

New York state reported Saturday that almost 22,000 folks had examined constructive for COVID-19 on Friday — eclipsing the day prior to this’s mark for the best single-day complete for brand spanking new circumstances since testing turned broadly obtainable. More than half the constructive outcomes have been within the metropolis. Omicron is anticipated to turn into the dominant coronavirus variant in lots of nations inside weeks.

Other dwell exhibits in New York have been devastated anew by the latest coronavirus surge, with many Broadway levels pressured to go darkish due to outbreaks. Mayor Bill de Blasio this previous week declared omicron “in full force” in New York, snuffing out vacation mainstays just like the Rockettes Christmas present and threatening others but — all portending one other vacation season with out a lot cheer.


Associated Press author Bobby Caina Calvan contributed to this story.

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