SNL finally returned this past weekend with a live studio audience — for the first time in over six months.
Though some questioned how exactly they were adhering to the strict NY State media production restrictions, people were able to reserve their tickets and the show went on without a hitch.
But as Gothamist discovered, thanks to some attendees who posted about the experience on social media, the way they are getting around it is by paying the audience!
In the media production stipulations it reads, “Prohibit live audiences unless they consist only of paid employees, cast, and crew. Employees, cast, and crew may make up a live audience of no more than 100 individuals or 25% of the audience capacity, whichever is lower, and maintain 6 ft. of social distance in all directions.”
By paying audience members the tidy sum of $150, they are now “paid employees.” Voila.
Had an incredible time tonight at @nbcsnl. 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 pic.twitter.com/Qp3XmFBjLB
— Sean Ludwig (@seanludwig) October 4, 2020
We’ll see how long the State allows it, though Gothamist did speak to someone from the NY Health Department, who said they found “no evidence of non-compliance.”
Oh and you’ll also get a rapid same-day COVID-19 test for attending, which is a pretty hot commodity nowadays. Win win?
featured image source: Video Still / Youtube Saturday Night Live