Last night, during Jason Sudeikis’ episode of Saturday Night Live, the show announced that—following a spooky hiatus next Saturday for Halloween Eve—the next episode will feature Succession’s Kieran Culkin as host and lovable/extremely divisive orange-headed moppet Ed Sheeran as the musical guest. Then, about… nine hours later, Sheeran announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and will now be “self-isolating and following government guidelines.”
Sheeran made that announcement on Instagram, during which he also noted that he’ll be doing as many previously planned “interviews/performances” as he can from his house. At this point, it’s unclear if that includes SNL, but it seems like it could go either way. The show is certainly set up to do remote musical performances, as it’s not that hard and it had those fully remote episodes in 2020 anyway, but at the same time, why do a remote musical performance unless you absolutely have to?
Sheeran has a new album coming out on Friday, so he would probably prefer some kind of SNL appearance (god knows that Ed Sheeran albums aren’t going to sell unless he makes the full PR tour), but surely SNL has a bottomless supply of musical artists who would be happy to show up and do the show last-minute. Dave Grohl just did SNL last year, so he probably deserves a break, but Paul Simon hasn’t been on in a while. There’s no reason Lorne Michaels can’t give him a call and make him show up at Studio 8H.
The next episode of Saturday Night Live, featuring the return of Kieran Culkin (Deadline points out that he appeared in a few sketches when his brother hosted 30 years ago) and possibly the return of Ed Sheeran (we’re going with “don’t count on it but we’re willing to be surprised”) will air on November 6.