This SNL Loophole Allows Them to Have a Live Audience Despite COVID

Ever want to join the cast of SNL? Turns out all you have to do is stand in line. 

How can you have a live TV show during corona? Some of the daytime talk shows have been showing people on iPad screens and selling tickets to be in the virtual audience. But a show like Saturday Night Live likes to turn up. 

Those performers feed off the energy of a live audience and that's what helps their jokes land. 

But the return of SNL was complicated. How could they get a live audience inside with all the corona restrictions? 

The answer was paying them...

The New York Times reported that members of the Saturday Night Live studio audience who attended the show's highly anticipated 46th season opener were paid. This technically makes them cast members whose job it was to contribute to the laughs. 

One attendee told The New York Times that he and his friends each received checks for $150 once the show had ended. He added that they were not informed they would be paid but were asked to take a rapid response COVID-19 test and fill out some health paperwork before attending. 

It's unclear as to how many people were in the audience during the live taping, but a New York Health Department Official said SNL closely followed state department guidelines. 

Saturday’s show was filmed in NBC’s Manhattan studios instead of online, like some of the experimental versions they did this summer. At least four more live shows are expected to be taped throughout the rest of October.

What do you think of SNL's move here? Do you think it's clever or irresponsible? Let us know down in the comments.     

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