For the first time all season, the cast and crew of Saturday Night Live have left on break for the first time this year. The scheduled break was actually supposed to come a week earlier, though Lorne Michaels and company decided to squeeze another episode in to deal with the fallout over the 2020 presidential election. Because of that, fans got a surprising five episodes in a row and now, SNL is off for the next few weeks.
In lieu of a new episode, NBC is airing two episodes in its place. As the norm, the network is broadcasting an old school version in an early slot at 10 p.m. Eastern, one that features Martin Short and No Doubt from an episode in 1996. In the regular SNL time slot, the Season 46 premiere hosted by Chris Rock will get an encore showing.
It has yet to be revealed when the live sketch show will return to 30 Rock, though it's expected to be back for at least a few episodes before its traditional extended Christmas and New Year break.
Fortunately enough for all those involved with the show, they were able to return to Studio 8H with extended COVID-prevention measures in place. According to Michaels, the move was necessary in producing the show moving forward.
"We need the audience, obviously. With comedy, when you don’t hear the response, it’s just different. With the kind of comedy we do, which quite often is broad, timing gets thrown off without an audience," Michaels explained. "And for me, what is most important is when you’re absolutely certain of some piece on Wednesday, and then the dress-rehearsal audience sees it on Saturday and tells you you’re wrong. . . .I think 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. So the physical problems of doing it — number of people who can be in the studio, number of people who can be in the control room, how you separate the band so that they’re not in any jeopardy — all of those are part of the meetings we’ve been having"