Dec. 18’s ‘SNL’ episode was a shuffle due to COVID! In a last minute switch, Tina Fey replaced Colin Jost on ‘Weekend Update.’
Cute the time machine: Tina Fey is back on Saturday Night Live! The 51-year-old unexpectedly popped in to host Weekend Update in place of usual host Colin Jost, 38. “It’s not what you think — he’s having work done,” she joked alongside Michael Che. The duo were on the main stage at Studio 8H versus the news desk set up, performing for an audience of just three: Tom Hanks, Kenan Thompson and of course, host Paul Rudd.
“We thought we’d read these dumb jokes and see if we could make these three laugh,” Che added as Tina asked the trio to confirm they have not heard the jokes before. “Except the two you blew in the rehearsal,” Tom called out, before Michael went into the first stories of the night: OJ Simpson‘s parole being over early and Elon Musk getting a major cover from Time. “Elon Musk is was named Time‘s Person of the Year, which you can read on your phone as your Tesla drives itself into a lake,” Tina hilariously announced.
Of course, Tina is no stranger to Weekend Update: the Mean Girls star hosted the segment with co-star Jimmy Fallon from 2000 – 2004, and then with real-life BFF Amy Poehler from 2004 – 2006. Tina and Amy were the show’s first-ever and only all-female anchor team. Tina originally joined the show in 1997 as a writer, was one of the SNL‘s main stars when she departed in 2006 to pursue other projects in film and television.
The Dec. 18 episode of SNL went to air looking very different than planned due to COVID-19. Amid the spreading Omicron variant, the network cancelled tickets for the in-person audience that was set to attend just hours ahead of the taping. “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,” SNL tweeted earlier this after noon.
The formal statement was issued shortly after reports surfaced that several of the actors had allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 — including Colin, per The New York Post. Amid the shuffle, musical guest Charli XCX also pulled out of her performance due to limited production staff. “My performance will not be able to go ahead. I am devastated and heartbroken,” the British singer wrote via social media.
— Charli (@charli_xcx) December 18, 2021
“Our crews and teams worked so hard to bring this musical performance to life. It can’t happen this time, but I’ll be back,” she added, confirming she is currently “safe” and “healthy.” Charli urged fans to “take care of themselves” and “get vaccinated” as she signed off her statement.