Despite fears that a second viral wave will soon hit New York City, Saturday Night Live is returning this weekend. And since a lot of us are still locked down and quarantining, for once, we won't feel like friggin' total losers for staying in and watching television on Saturday night. Not only is the show going to be back in its regular studio, but it will also feature a live audience of actual flesh-and-blood human beings.
How are they planning on pulling this off? Through a series of thorough medical screenings for audience members, including a questionnaire, temperature checks, and they have to self-administer a nasal swab for a rapid COVID test, the results of which will come back before you're allowed to enter the stage and enjoy, say, another one of those goddamn "Californians" sketches.
The season premiere is already sold out, meaning that a lot of folks are happily trusting their health and safety to the same people who gave us an entire episode hosted by Trump. While we don't know exactly how many people will be attending (and a number of tickets have been set aside for healthcare workers) it is a little surprising that the show will be hosting a crowd of people. The last few SNL episodes were filmed with webcams in assorted bungalows; the show just getting back into the studio is a win here. Currently, many shows are foregoing a studio audience and settling for the ambient chuckles of the crew or a virtual crowd, as seen in this viral clip from The Kelly Clarkson Show featuring an audience of fans on television screens awkwardly gyrating to the latest Vin Diesel banger.
Surely SNL could have just thrown a few flatscreens into Studio 8H and let their fans chuckle or clap at an unnecessary celebrity cameo that affirms their personal political beliefs remotely. Even WWE isn't letting outsiders back in yet. Just saying.
Top Image: NBC Universal