Dec 19, 2021 - Health

SNL airs pre-taped sketches without audience due to COVID fears

Rosalind OConnor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
"Saturday Night Live" musical guest Charli XCX (left), host Paul Rudd and cast member Ego Nwodim during a promo. Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC'/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

"Saturday Night Live" aired with a limited cast and crew, no live audience and pretaped sketches, citing a "recent spike" of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Why it matters: For the first time in the show's history, producers scrapped their plans for the live taping and sent most cast members home just hours before it was supposed to air, per Washington Post. It comes amid a surge in COVID cases in New York City, largely driven by the Omicron variant.

  • The show was produced remotely to curb the spread of the virus, according to NBC.

What they're saying: "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,'" the show said in a statement.

  • The "show will have limited cast and crew," it continued.
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