The scenario at 30 Rock’s Studio 8H was a fluid one fraught with uncertainty.
Round 3 p.m. Saturday, the New York Post reported that there had been a COVID outbreak of types among the many Saturday Night Live cast, with “a set insider” telling the paper “that ‘4 actors’ have examined optimistic for coronavirus—and ‘three others’ have referred to as out as a result of they’re now ‘fearful’ about coming to NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Heart, the place the weekly sketch present is filmed in Midtown.” SNL subsequently announced that there could be “no stay viewers” and the sketch-comedy present could be working with “a restricted forged and crew” because of the Omicron variant’s ravaging of New York Metropolis, leading to a file variety of every day COVID instances (9,822—in comparison with round 900 instances a day in early November). If that weren’t sufficient, the night time’s musical visitor Charli XCX wrote that she was instructed round 3 p.m.—when the Publish story ran—that her “section of the present wouldn’t have the ability to go forward for everybody’s security” and needed to be canceled.
All of this begged the questions: Isn’t Lorne Michaels, who nonetheless oversees each side of the present, 77 years previous? Shouldn’t we be defending our newly topped Sexiest Man Paul Rudd? Is it answerable for SNL to be occurring in any respect? However, they continued. Kind of.
The Season 47 finale episode of 2021 kicked issues off with a beforehand recorded monologue by Tom Hanks, who took the stage sporting his 5-Timers Membership smoking jacket—a membership began by Hanks, the primary individual to host SNL 5 instances.
“Thanks, I’m Tom Hanks. Thanks, surviving crewmembers,” he started. “Tonight, everybody at Saturday Night time Reside deliberate to do our large Christmas present and induct a brand new member into our 5-Timers Membership, however COVID got here early this 12 months. So, within the curiosity of security we wouldn’t have an viewers, and we despatched house our forged and most of our crew. However I got here right here from California. In case you assume I used to be going to fly 3,000 miles and never be on TV, nicely, you bought one other factor comin’!” He then introduced out Tina Fey, one other member of the 5-Timers Membership. “As , I began the 5-Timers Membership,” supplied Hanks, to which Fey responded, “Oh, such as you began COVID?”
Then the 2—with the assistance of SNL’s longest-serving forged member ever, Kenan Thompson—inducted Rudd into the 5-Timers Membership. “Have a look at that, it’s stunning!” exclaimed Rudd of the smoking jacket.
A video message from Steve Martin got here subsequent—mistakenly figuring out Rudd as Hanks, whereas dissing his Only Murders in the Building co-star Martin Brief for being a mere three-timer—adopted by sketches “taped earlier within the week” together with some previous favorites.
So, it seems like SNL didn’t find yourself occurring in any case.