Saturday Night Live Announces Last-Minute Changes for Final 2021 Show Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Hours before Paul Rudd was set to host SNL, it was announced that "out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience."

By Alyssa Morin Dec 18, 2021 10:58 PMTags
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The show must go on...but with some changes.

Hours before airing a new episode, Saturday Night Live announced that its final show of the year would look a little different than previous ones due to coronavirus concerns. 

"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," a statement read on Twitter and Instagram on Dec. 18. "The show continues to follow government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol."

Shortly after the long-running NBC sketch comedy series shared the update, musical guest Charli XCX announced that she was no longer performing.

"Due to the limited crew at tonight's at tonights taping of snl my musical performances will no longer be able to go ahead," she revealed on social media. "i am devastated and heartbroken."

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The 29-year-old singer, who first performed on SNL in 2014, said that she and her team "worked so hard" to "bring the most amazing musical performance to life."

"It can't happen this time but I'll be back!" she continued, adding, "I am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad."

Rosalind O'Connor/NBC

Paul Rudd is scheduled to host the final Saturday Night Live episode, which marks the fifth time he's hosted. It's unclear if there have been any changes regarding his hosting duties or other cast members' appearances ahead of Saturday's show.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family).

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