NEW YORK (AP) — People’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2021 is set to be inducted into the vaunted Five-Timers Club on “Saturday Night Live,” but the surging omicron variant of the coronavirus means there won’t be a live audience to see it happen.

The long-running sketch comedy show announced on social media Saturday afternoon that the night’s episode, featuring “Ant-Man” star Paul Rudd as host, would tape without a live audience and with only limited cast and crew “due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution.”

Charli’s XCX singer was scheduled to perform, but she announced it on Twitter Saturday afternoon. she was bowing out.

“Due to the limited crew at tonight’s taping of snl my musical performances will no longer be able to go ahead,” she wrote. “I am devastated and heartbroken.”

She then urged her fans to “look after yourselves out there and make sure you get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

Rudd is returning to Studio 8H as host for the fifth time — typically a milestone of much fanfare. British pop star Charli XCX is the night’s musical guest. The Dec. 18 episode was the NBC show’s last announced episode for the year.

It’s unclear which cast members will appear on Saturday’s show, which usually tapes a dress rehearsal at 8 p.m., followed by the live show at 11:30 p.m.

The Show returned for its 47th year in SeptemberWith 16 cast members, and five featured actors, it is quite a crowded field. Because of its size, the cast allows for extraordinary flexibility. This means that the high-profile cast members can have time off to work on other projects.

The show said on social media that those who had won tickets to the night’s show would receive more information soon.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Billie Eilish Episode 1813 — Pictured: (l-r) Aristotle Athari, Bowen Yang, Punkie Johnson, Finneas, host Billie Eilish, Kate McKinnon, Miley Cyrus, Ego Nwodim, Andrew Dismukes, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, and Alex Moffat during Goodnights & Credits on Saturday, December 11, 2021.
Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It is not the first time this has happened. Lorne Michaels-produced showThe coronavirus pandemic forced the company to adjust. The outbreak of the virus halted its 45th season for about a month, but “SNL” was back on the air by mid-April with a “quarantine version” of the show hosted by Tom Hanks.The Show returned to 30 Rockefeller CenterIt is now in its 46th Season after having implemented COVID-19 protocols. booted singer Morgan Wallen from that season’s second episode for breaking rules. Just last month. British singer Ed Sheeran had to perform from homeFollowing contracting the coronavirus.

New York state reported Saturday that nearly 22,000 people had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday — eclipsing the previous day’s mark for the highest single-day total for new cases since testing became widely available. Nearly half of all positive test results came from the city. Omicron could become the most dominant variant of coronavirus in many countries within weeks.

New York City’s other live entertainment shows have been devastated anew by the recent coronavirus surge,Numerous Broadway stage were made to shut down by outbreaks. Mayor Bill de Blasio this past week declared omicron “in full force” in New York, snuffing out holiday mainstays like the Rockettes Christmas show and threatening others yet — all portending another holiday season without much cheer.


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