Speed Reads

tough crowd

Paul Rudd hosts SNL with no crowd, minimal cast, and no musical guest due to COVID outbreak

Paul Rudd, hosting Saturday Night Live for the fifth time, played to an almost empty house Saturday after a COVID outbreak among cast members forced the show to forego cast, crew, crowd, and planned musical guest Charli XCX, The New York Post reported.

Tom Hanks and Tina Fey — who have hosted 10 times and six times, respectively — joined Rudd onstage to induct him into the auspicious "Five-Timers Club." The idea of the Five-Timers Club originated with a 1990 SNL sketch. Other "members" include Christopher Walken, Melissa McCarthy, and Dwayne Johnson.

"I started the Five-Timers Club," Hanks said.

"Just like you started COVID!" Fay responded, alluding to his status as one of the first celebrities to contract the virus back in March 2020.

Before presenting Rudd with a Five-Timers Club jacket, Hanks also congratulated him on being named "Most Sexist Man of the Year" by People magazine.

"Oh, I think it was 'Sexiest,'" Rudd replied. Rudd received that title last month.

The only two cast members to appear were Kenan Thompson and Michael Che. The five spent the evening introducing pre-recorded sketches and playing old favorites from years gone by. Fey and Che also hosted a stripped-down "Weekend Update," sitting in chairs on the main stage instead of behind the typical newsroom desk.