No live audience and musical guest backs out for “SNL” as cases spike
▶ Watch Video: Concerns for the unvaccinated as COVID-19 cases rise
There will be no live audience for this week’s taping of “Saturday Night Live” due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the show announced Saturday. Singer Charli XCX was also slated to perform during the comedy show, but said she no longer could.
“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,” SNL tweeted. “The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.”
Musical guest Charli XCX announced she would have to pull out of the show, citing the limited crew, shortly after SNL made the annoucement.
“I am devastated and heartbroken,” she wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “It can’t happen this time but I’ll be back! I am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad.”
SNL said those who had tickets to Saturday’s show will receive information soon.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding,” SNL wrote.
Actor Paul Rudd is scheduled to host the show for the fifth time.
New York, where “Saturday Night Live” is taped, is currently dealing with a record-breaking increase in COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the state reported 21,027 new infections — its highest single-day total since the beginning of the pandemic, according to CBS New York.
Multiple Broadway shows temporarily shut down within the past week in the wake of rising cases and the remainder of the Radio City “Christmas Spectacular” shows were cancelled on Saturday.
Health officials around the world are expressing growing concern over the Omicron variant, which is likely soon to become the dominant strain of the virus in countries where the new variant is spreading locally, the World Health Organization said. The Omicron variant has been detected in 89 countries as of Saturday, according to WHO.
“The winter surge in COVID-19 cases is a reminder that the pandemic is not over yet and we must take extra care to keep ourselves and each other safe,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement Friday.