To paraphrase Ned Flanders’ lousy beatnik parents, “They’ve tried nothing and they’re all out of ideas.” After deciding that “live with it” is the only recourse the United States has for dealing with yet another highly transmissible COVID-19 variant, much of the U.S.’s corporate backers of entertainment is doing the whole risk-reward analysis and landing on ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The NBA won’t postpone Christmas Day games; Broadway is going dark for certain shows; SNL did a quarter cast—not too shabby.
But the latest to decide that maybe some of this crap just isn’t worth it is Fox, who canceled something called New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022. Of course, we all know that everyone was looking forward to Joel McHale and Ken Jeong delivering cheers and jeers for 2021, but it’s just not in the cards.
“While we are confident in the health and safety protocols for Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022, the recent velocity of the spread of Omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards. We will not be moving forward with Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022 in New York. The health and safety of our casts and crews has always been, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement.
Fox is making the right call on this one, considering how quickly the omicron variant is spreading across the world, and it’s simply too grim to imagine anyone ending up in the hospital because they attended Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022.
Interestingly enough, Jenny McCarthy, one of Hollywood’s most infamous anti-vaxxers, sits proudly next to Jeong at the judges’ table on Fox’s hit The Masked Singer. They also air something called Tucker Carlson Tonight, so it’s hard not to see Fox as partly responsible for the pathetic vaccination rates in the United States. Fox is a real snake eating its own tail—an omicron ouroboros. Still, this seems like a good time to remind readers that getting vaccinated and boosted is still the best way to avoid hospitalization and death from all known variants. It also protects other people from getting sick, which is a good and nice thing to do this holiday season.
Meanwhile, no other networks are following suit. ABC will, once again, have Ryan Seacrest do his best Dick Clark on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. NBC will have whatever the hell that Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson thing is. And CBS is doing Nashville’s Big Bash. As hard as it is to believe, Fox was the only network to realize that maybe New Year’s would still happen even if there weren’t two guys in ear muffs screaming over a Times Square crowd. Cheers to them. Jeers to the rest.