As New York state coronavirus guidelines state that only “paid employees” can be present in a studio or while filming.

So as to make sure that the live audience for NBC’s Saturday Night Live is not compromised, the production “hired” people as cast members. NBC paid people an amount of $150 to be present on set as the live audience for the filming of Saturday Night Live. 

The show released its 46th season this weekend since having not aired a new episode since the 7th of March raised concerns.

Though the actual concerns were raised about how it would allow for its usual live audience to be present on set keeping in mind the new corona virus guidelines as issued by the state of New York City.

But the show, which featured a cold open mocking session on last week’s presidential debate, met the restrictions by handing guests $150 checks as they left, much to their surprise.

A freelance writer, Sean Ludwig, who runs a barbecue website and newsletter, attended the show with seven of his friends. He tweeted about his experience on the show, the tweet said, “Had an incredible time tonight at Saturday Night Live. 

Here’s the kicker: we didn’t know it until after but we were PAID for our time, likely to meet New York State’s requirements for only paid staff to be in the audience.”

He also said that he got the tickets via a website called 1iota, which usually screens audiences for talk shows and other events. 

NBC is pretty serious about the sanitization and safety of its guests. Ludwig said that he and his friends were given a rapid virus test and asked to sign health forms indicating that they did not have Covid-19 or symptoms of the disease. 

They also had to say they had not come into contact with anyone who had the virus lately, before they were permitted access into the production’s premises to attend the show. 

1iota’s coronavirus protocol stated that all guests would be required to take a nasal antigen test upon arrival, with results available before the start of the show. 

Guests were also required to wear a face covering at all times in the building and were asked a series of questions about potential corona virus exposure. 


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