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Covid hits ‘Saturday Night Live’

Production of Saturday night's 'SNL' was thrown into disarray when numerous cast members tested positive for COVID-19, reports variety.com.

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‘Saturday Night Live’ bowed to the rising threat of Covid-19, opening its final show of 2021 with a pre-taped segment that featured stars Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, Steve Martin and Kenan Thompson, welcoming host Paul Rudd into the ‘Five-Timers Club’.

Production of Saturday night’s ‘SNL’ was thrown into disarray late this week when numerous cast members tested positive for COVID-19, reports variety.com.

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Crew members became vocal about concerns of gathering as usual to produce the live broadcast at 30 Rock’s famed Studio 8H, prompting NBC to drop the live audience and use a limited crew for tonight’s installment.

The episode opened with a “previously recorded” slate as Hanks bounded out on the familiar stage in a royal blue jacket with an oversized “5” patch over the right breast.

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Rudd, the beloved comedy character actor, was set to log his fifth time at the helm of ‘SNL’.

“As you know I started the Five-Timers Club,” Hanks said. “Like you started Covid,” Fey responded.

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Hanks explained that the segment was recorded earlier on 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 wore the same jacket with five emblems.

Martin, also wearing a blue-5 jacket, joined in the salute to Rudd via Zoom video.

Martin Short, who is Steve Martin’s co-star in Hulu’s quirky new hit ‘Only Murders in the Building’, butted into the latter’s shot briefly and noted that he has only hosted ‘SNL’ three times.

Thompson, ‘SNL’s’ longest-tenured player, came out alongside Rudd to present his jacket.

“Congratulations on hosting the show four and a half times,” he said, before helping him put on the jacket which did feature a full-fledged 5.

Fey ribbed Rudd for his status as People magazine’s latest choice for ‘Sexiest Man Alive’. “Mr. sexy Five-Timer,” she quipped.

Rudd explained the show’s predicament amid the winter Covid spike and explained that the show would be filled with segments taped earlier in the week and a few classic bits selected by him and others.

Among them was 2006’s early viral video hit ‘Dick in a Box’ featuring Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake.

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