Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks, Tina Fey and Steve Martin Make Surprise Appearances to Welcome Paul Rudd to Five Timers Club

Paul Rudd and his friends are making the best out of a weird time at 30 Rock. Rudd had been working at Studio 8H all week toward his fifth hosting spot on Saturday Night Live. Then fast forward to Saturday, and the proverbial stuff hit the fan—a handful of cast and crew members to the live sketch comedy reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The dominoes quickly started to fall, and some insiders quickly began speculating if Lorne Michaels and company would pull the plug on the show's last live episode of the year.

Michaels and his supporters powered on, instead working feverishly to bring a couple of major guests stars onto the show to introduce Rudd for his legendary fifth stint. Tom Hanks—the first person to host the series when the pandemic began last year—and Tina Fey arrived on the stage at Studio 8H to award Rudd his "Five-Timers" jacket.

It was also revealed that no live sketches would take place and instead, Saturday Night Live would air all of the pre-recorded digital shorts it filmed throughout the week.

Tonight's episode—airing December 18th—will also be shown without a musical guest. Charli XCX was forced to pull her performances from the show due to the change in crew numbers. It would have been the singer's second time on the show.

"Due to the limited crew at tonight's taping of SNL my musical performance will no longer be able to go ahead. I am devastated and heartbroken," the popstar wrote on social media. "It can't happen this time but I'll be back. I am currently safe and healthy, but of course, very sad. Please look after yourselves out there and make sure you get vaccinated if you haven't already."

The New York Post reported at least four actors on the show tested positive for COVID, including Colin Jost, Sarah Sherman, and Aristotle Athari. Sherman and Athari are both first-year featured players on the show.