‘SNL’ COVID-19 outbreak cancels live audience: ‘Everyone is fearful’

    Saturday night may not be so live from New York this week.

    The Post has learned that “Saturday Night Live” was on the verge of canceling tonight’s final episode of the iconic sketch show’s 2021 season due to an in-house outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases.

    A set insider has revealed that “four actors” have tested positive for coronavirus — and “three others” have called out because they are now “fearful” about coming to NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center, where the weekly sketch show is filmed in Midtown.

    Another insider claimed that executive producer Lorne Michaels, 77, had tested positive, but one set source denounced that as “NOT” true. Still, an insider added that the “show must go on but don’t expect to see Colin Jost, Sarah Sherman or (Aristotle) Athari.” Jost, 39, usually hosts “Weekend Update” with Michael Che, 38, while Sherman, 28, and Athari, 30, are both newcomers to the ensemble this season.

    A source also told The Post that Cecily Strong, 37, is one of the cast members who has voiced concern over the outbreak.

    In a statement to The Post, a show representative said: “Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and the show will have limited cast and crew.  The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.”

    A tipster said the cast and crew were currently in rehearsals at Studio 8H for the episode — set to be hosted by Paul Rudd, 52, with musical guest Charli XCX, 29 — on Saturday afternoon, adding that “you know who” — meaning Michaels — was “trying to hold on” and continue with the show.

    “Saturday Night Live” musical guest Charli XCX, guest host Paul Rudd and series cast member Ego Nwodim are seen here during promo shoots in Studio 8H on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021.
    Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

    However, the mood is grim in Midtown.

    “Everyone is fearful here,” the insider said. It would be Rudd’s fifth time hosting the series.

    Representatives for Rudd did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

    The show normally films a rehearsal run-through at 8 p.m., though there was no word on whether that would happen.

    On Saturday afternoon, “Saturday Night Live” tweeted that ticket-holders for Saturday’s show would be contacted.

    “If you have won tickets to this show, you will be receiving more information soon,” the show posted. “Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    The not-ready-for-primetime outbreak comes as a string of Broadway shows — including “Company,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” and “Freestyle Love Supreme” — have all temporarily shut down this past week due to COVID concerns.

    The Radio City Rockettes — just around the corner at Radio City Music Hall on Sixth Avenue — also cut their season short on Friday after an outbreak.

    On Friday, New York State shattered a record and recorded more than 21,000 new coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period as the Delta and new Omicron variants spread.

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