Live from New York, it’s epidemically modified Saturday Night Live.
The sketch show on NBC is still going on, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Big Apple, without a studio audience. The evening marked Paul Rudd’s fifth time as a host.
The series announced Change Day on Twitter. It also sent home several members of the cast and crew, special guests and music guest Charli XCX as the omicron variant of the coronavirus spread, according to a person familiar with the plans who was not authorized to speak publicly.
But Tom Hanks still showed up. “I come here from California, and if you think I’m going to fly 3,000 miles and not be on TV, well, you have something else coming in,” Hanks cracked, wearing a jacket emblazoned with a “5,” indicating how many times he’s hosted . Hanks also welcomed former SNL cast member and writer Tina Fey, a five-time teammate of the club.
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“Tina, working five more times, thank you for joining me,” Hanks said. “You know, I’ve started the Five Times Club.”
“Oh, like you started COVID,” Fey joked with Hanks’ diagnosis in March 2020, making him one of the first celebrities to announce their own COVID battle.
“Thank you for coming,” Rudd said to Faye and Hanks. “I am very frustrated.” But the latest issue of People magazine titled “The Sexiest Man Alive” could easily calm down. He still received his hosting jacket, given to him by cast member Kenan Thompson, who joked that Rudd earned the feat for hosting him “4.5 times.”
Thompson and Fay explained that the show will continue to build on sketches filmed earlier in the week and previous favorites. “It’s going to be a little bit like a new Beatles documentary,” Rudd said, referring to director Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Return.” “There’s a lot of old shots but there’s just enough new ones to like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ll watch that. “
Contributing: Elise Briscoe
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘SNL’: Paul Rudd’s fifth show as host is based on old taped graphics