Omicron Concerns Prompt Last-Minute Changes to Tonight’s “SNL”

Changes include a smaller cast and no musical guest

SNL Paul Rudd promo
This promotional image for tonight's "SNL" is no longer accurate, sadly.

Tonight was supposed to be a significant one in the history of Saturday Night Live for a very good reason: it’s Paul Rudd’s fifth time as host, putting him in some storied company. Also on the schedule? Musical guest Charli XCX was slated to be joined by collaborators Caroline Polachek and Christine and the Queens for the evening’s performance. As of this evening, however, things have changed.

Concerns over the Omicron variant led Saturday Night Live to make a few changes to the episode — including taping the show with no studio audience and a reduced cast and crew.

That last reduction also has another effect — there will be no musical guest tonight. Charli XCX took to social media to announce that she would not be performing. She hinted that she would return, writing, “it can’t happen this time but I’ll be back!” She also urged her fans to get vaccinated if they hadn’t already done so.

It’s unclear what effect the reduced cast size will have on tonight’s episode — especially since there’s going to be more time to fill in the show’s timeslot with the lack of a musical guest. We’ll all know more in a few hours.

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