As you may have heard, the season finale of Saturday Night Live underwent a few changes before airtime!
Because Covid was rapidly spreading among cast and crew and other workers did not want to put themselves at risk, the network chose not to have a live studio audience. In addition most of the cast were not in studio either because they had contracted Covid (Omicron) or did not want to get it.
It was going to be guest host Paul Rudd's fifth time hosting and there were some special things planned which had to be changed; in addition musical guest Charlie XCX opted not to perform and left the studio earlier in the day.
Instead, Rudd and some special guests such as Tina Fey, Tom Hanks and cast member Kenan Thompson participated in the opening sketch and most of the other sketches were either recorded earlier in the day or week with some video coming from previous seasons.
In the show's opening, Hanks explained that the segment was recorded earlier Saturday and that the decision had been to scale down the show and go without an audience for safety’s sake.
“But I wasn’t going to fly across the country and not be on TV,” Hanks quipped before he invited Fey on stage. She joined in the same jacket with 5 emblem.
Toward the end of the show, Fey returned to the main stage, where she sat with Michael Che in director’s chairs to deliver a stripped-down edition of “Weekend Update.” The two delivered the string of one-liners about current events to an audience of three — Hanks, Rudd and Thompson — who sat before them surrounded by mostly empty folding chairs.
Among the stories tackled: the NFL’s decision to mandate boosters for players after more than two dozen tested positive for COVID. “Hopefully the [New York] Jets’ booster shots will come with a little bit of steroids,” Che quipped.