‘SNL’ COVID-19 outbreak cancels Paul Rudd live audience, Charli out

Saturday night may not be as live from New York this week.

The Post has learned that “Saturday Night Live” was about to cancel tonight’s final episode of the 2021 season of the iconic sketch show due to an internal outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases.

A resident insider has revealed that “four actors” have tested positive for coronavirus — and have called “three others” because they are now “afraid” to come to NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center, where the weekly sketch show is being filmed in Midtown.

While some set sources have claimed that executive producer Lorne Michaels, 77, tested positive, others have deemed that “NOT” true – and confirmed that he is currently on set overseeing tonight’s show.

A source added that the “show should go on, but don’t expect to see Colin Jost, Sarah Sherman or (Aristotle) ​​Athari.” Jost, 39, usually hosts “Weekend Update” with Michael Che, 38, while Sherman, 28, and Athari, 30, are both newcomers to the ensemble this season.

A source also told The Post that Cecily Strong, 37, is one of the cast members who has expressed concern about the outbreak.

In a statement to The Post, a show representative said: “Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience tonight for the recording of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and the show will have a limited cast and crew. The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines, in addition to a strict testing protocol.”

A tipster told The Post that the cast and crew were currently rehearsing at Studio 8H for the episode – which will be hosted by Paul Rudd, 52, with musical guest Charli XCX, 29 – on Saturday afternoon, adding that “you know who ” — meaning Michaels “tried to hold on” and carry on with the show.

Charli XCX has already confirmed via Twitter that she is “devastated and heartbroken” at being forced to suspend the final show of the season:

Meanwhile, the mood is grim in Midtown.

“Everyone is scared here,” the insider said. It would be Rudd’s fifth time hosting the series.

Rudd representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Musical guest Charli XCX, presenter Paul Rudd and Ego Nwodim during promos in Studio 8H on Thursday, December 16, 2021
“Saturday Night Live” musical guest Charli XCX, guest host Paul Rudd and series cast member Ego Nwodim can be seen here during promo shoots at Studio 8H on Thursday, December 16, 2021.
Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

The show normally films a rehearsal at 8pm, but there was no word on whether that would happen.

On Saturday afternoon, “Saturday Night Live” tweeted that Ticket holders would be contacted for Saturday’s show.

“If you have won tickets to this show, you will receive more information shortly,” the show writes. “Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Despite an email notification to all ticket holders in addition to the social media posts, about 20 more spectators showed up with tickets, a 30 Rock employee told the Post.

Another employee said, “Some people get it” [the email] and showed up anyway. They only had questions.”

A Florida mother and son, who refused to give their names, were vacationing in New York City for four days and had tickets to tonight’s show when they learned their plans had been canceled.

“It’s disappointing. It is what it is,” said the son, who said he heard of the cancellation via Twitter.

His mother complained that she wouldn’t get a chance to see “Paul Rudd, the sexiest man in the world.”

“Everything has been canceled,” she added.

The not-yet-ready primetime breakout comes as a string of Broadway shows — including “Company,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” and “Freestyle Love Supreme” — have all been temporarily suspended for the past week due to concerns over COVID.

The Radio City Rockettes — just around the corner from Radio City Music Hall on Sixth Avenue — also cut their season short on Friday after an outbreak.

On Friday, New York state broke a record, registering more than 21,000 new coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period as the Delta and new Omicron varieties spread.


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