‘SNL’ to Air With No Audience, ‘Limited’ Cast Tonight Due to Omicron ‘Spike’

With New York on the brink of another record-setting day of new Covid-19 cases, Saturday Night Live announced hours before its new episode aired that there would be no studio audience for tonight’s Paul Rudd-hosted taping.

“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 show tweeted.

“The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.If you have won tickets to this show, you will be receiving more information soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

While NBC and SNL didn’t specify why the cast would be “limited,” the New York Post reported Saturday that Weekend Update host Colin Jost and new cast members Sarah Sherman and Aristotle Athari — as well as executive producer Lorne Michaels — had tested positive for Covid-19. The Post added that the episode was on the verge of being canceled, as other cast members, “fearful” they caught Covid-19, have called out.

If SNL does take place Saturday night – the final episode of 2021 – it is set to feature Rudd joining the Five Timers Club as host, as well as musical guest Charli XCX (and her guests Caroline Polachek and Christine and the Queens).

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