Former White Stripes frontman Jack White will replace Morgan Wallen as Saturday Night Live‘s musical guest tomorrow night. Wallen, a country singer, was initially tapped to perform on the October 10 show hosted by Bill Burr, but on Wednesday evening, he was dropped for breaching COVID-19 protocols.
SNL boss Lorne Michaels announced the musical guest shakeup this morning on NBC’s Today. “I know Jack White is coming in, and there could be some other stuff still in discussion,” Michaels told Willie Geist. He revealed that White was a great choice because he has experience as an SNL musical guest — he last performed on the show in 2018, and has performed three additional times — and was available on short notice.
“It depends on whether their band is together,” said Michaels. “Calling somebody on a Thursday to be here for Friday and say, you know, is complicated. It has to be people who are ready to go.”
Early this week, TikToks of Wallen, 27, partying in Alabama went viral. The country singer, who was not wearing a mask, appeared to be in a crowded bar with dozens of other people, and in certain videos, he can be seen kissing different women throughout the night.
In a video released Wednesday night, Wallen revealed that he would no longer be performing on Saturday Night Live this weekend. “My actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” he said. “I respect the show’s decision because I know I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership for this. I’d like to apologize to SNL, to my fans, to my team for bringing me these opportunities, and I let them down.”
For the past few weeks, SNL has operated under strict COVID-19 protocols meant to keep the cast, crew, and audience members safe. Audience members — who, it was recently revealed, are being paid for their service — will be temperature checked, given a rapid COVID-19 test, and required to fill out a health questionnaire upon arrival. Once inside the building, they will need to wear a mask for the duration of the show and sit with their previously-identified “social bubble.”
Saturday Night Live airs tomorrow, Saturday October 10, at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
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