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Saturday Night Live will tape without a live audience, and without musical guest Charli XCX, on Saturday as COVID-19 cases linked to the omicron variant continue to surge in New York City and throughout the world.
Roughly eight hours before the episode featuring host Paul Rudd was scheduled to film, the venerable NBC comedy show announced via its social media channels that it would eliminate the audience. Additionally, the episode will feature a “limited” cast and crew, per the statement.
“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’s message read. “The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.”
A few hours later, Charli XCX posted a message to her Instagram account announcing she would no longer perform during the episode “due to the limited crew at tonight’s taping.” The singer wrote that she was “devastated and heartbroken” after she and her team “worked so hard all week alongside the snl team to bring the most amazing musical performance to life.”
She added, “I am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad.”
The show has yet to announce whether the episode will feature a replacement musical guest.
This follows a spate of recent COVID-related cancellations for live entertainment in NYC, including numerous Broadway shows going dark for varying amounts of dates. The Rockettes also announced their annual Christmas Spectacular has been canceled for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.
SNL has used a live audience for the duration of season 47, which began airing in October. The show returned to its famed Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for season 46 after having aired three remotely filmed episodes in the spring of 2020 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
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
Dec. 18, 2:46 p.m. Updated with Charli XCX’s statement.
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