Saturday Night Live will return this weekend with original content amid the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the entertainment industry to its knees. The show will look a bit different, however, as segments will be produced remotely, and will likely be taped for broadcast rather than aired live.
You can definitely count on seeing Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Michael Che, though again, it’s unclear whether they’ll be seated next to each other in their usual studio, or whether they’ll record the segment from the safety of their own homes.
NBC also promised there will be sketch material from other cast members, though we aren’t sure which SNL players will make appearances, or if they’ll even be seen together. The episode will air in its regular time slot, and while there won’t be a host, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few special guests agreed to help cheer America up for 90 minutes.
Expect SNL to take aim at social distancing and the Netflix sensation Tiger King, whose Carole Baskin is already set to be played by SNL‘s Kate McKinnon in an upcoming TV series.
The network made it clear that SNL is not returning to its normal schedule, and this weekend’s show is being considered a one-off, so it could be several weeks or months before we see Lorne Michaels‘ comedy crew again. John Krasinski had been slated to host the March 28 episode with Dua Lipa as musical guest, but that show was scrapped after the entertainment industry was forced to shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.
Many late night talk shows have continued to air through the crisis, using Zoom to bring in special guests from the comfort of their multi-million-dollar homes. SNL is, of course, a different beast that relies on a sizable ensemble and their comedic chemistry, but the show has weathered all kinds of storms in the past, so this week’s episode will come as another logistical challenge for the cast and the production staff.
As they say in Hollywood, the show must go on, so kudos to the SNL team for stepping up and doing what they can to take our minds off this pandemic and make us laugh for a couple hours. To watch John Mulaney tell some fun behind-the-scenes stories from his time as a writer on SNL, click here. Oh, and see the SNL tweet below for a glimpse at Jost’s quarantine beard. I bet Scarlett Johansson loves it…
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 9, 2020