SNL safely brings back sensational Saturday nights


Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashup

“We’ve been getting support from the governor’s office, which is important because the audience is a huge part of it. Also, us coming back and accomplishing the show will lead to — I hate to use the word normalcy — but it’s a thing that is part of our lives coming back, in whatever form it ends up coming back,” Michaels said in a recent interview.

Saturday Night Live returns to 30 Rock for its new live episode. The 46th season is going to be a special one since the coronavirus pandemic altered the show’s plans. Chris Rock hosted SNL’s return, with the cast and the crew having a challenging task of following COVID-19 guidelines, while at the same time putting on a show that feels authentic to watch. 

SNL did its best to entertain the millions watching from home by appropriately poking fun at life’s current situations. There was nothing off limits, in making fun of the President’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the Presidential debate, and the pandemic. Viewers will laugh at their cheesy sketches, but it is hard not noticing the precautions they are enforcing to keep their actors and audience safe from a COVID-19 outbreak. 

At the beginning of the show when Chris Rock walks onto the stage, viewers can see him, the SNL band and audience members wearing a face mask and a new reality is setting in, on how entertainment is adapting to the pandemic changes. Rock took off his face mask while delivering his monologue and pointed out that SNL is taking precautions by frequently testing everyone who steps foot into the studio building. 

“This is a special show… this show is quite different from every other show. There are so many- everybody, in this audience, has been checked and all week I’ve had things going up my nose. Every day, I come in here,” Rock said during his monologue

As the show continued, it was visible that the actors were not wearing a face mask or staying six feet apart. Viewers debated if it should be mandatory for actors to do so, but the creator/executive producer, Lorne Michaels, assured them that they are safe and just doing their job to bring some normalcy into the show. 

“They will wear masks until the moment the red light goes on, at which point the Velcro back will be taken off. There is no restriction on how many people in the sketch, but there are restrictions on how many people you can have on the studio floor. When sets have to be changed and the stagehand comes in to do it, others will leave,” said Michaels in a recent interview. 

There might be a lack of usage of actors being seen wearing a face mask on television but they do encourage their viewers to put on a face mask was a constant theme. One sketch, in particular, The Stunt Performers, is a parody advertising scene about professional stunt performers who are ready to go back to work, but they can’t do it unless the public wears a mask and stays at home. 

SNL puts a new twist in the meaning that the show must go on in accommodating well with adapting to the COVID-19 guidelines. There might be small noticeable changes to the show, but fans will come to terms that it is still the controversial, outspoken, humorous sketch comedy show that the audience fell in love with.