You know things are bad when Saturday Night Live can’t record, but the show has been observing the CDC’s social distancing guidelines since the pandemic hit the U.S. Which is a good thing, since New York City has quickly become a global epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.
But necessity is the mother of invention and the show, like life, must go on. So SNL has announced that it will be airing this weekend, although exactly what that means remains to be seen. But the show’s tweet implies that the cast will all join from the safety of their homes over what sure promises to be one of the wildest Zoom calls in history.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 9, 2020
The appeal of SNL has always been just how close the show can fly to the sun without burning. For the most part, the skits warrant either the occasional chuckle or a blank stare, but they’re at their best when things go ever so slightly off the rails, leading to cast members collapsing into chuckles on stage or things generally going awry in a fun way. There will certainly be plenty of opportunities for things to go off the rails here so, yeah, we’ll see what happens.
On that note, the show is also reeling from the loss of longtime producer Hal Willner, who’s worked on SNL since 1980 and died of COVID-19 complications. Whatever other worthy criticisms the show has faced, the cast is definitely pulling together amidst some very real heartbreak and grief.