On Sunday morning, Ed Sheeran dropped an Instagram post informing the world that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and would be quarantining for the appropriate amount of time. Until the scientific community deems him fit to reenter society, Sheeran said he’d be giving interviews and performances remotely from his home. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Sheeran had just been announced as the musical guest for Saturday Night Live November 6, with host Kieran Culkin. According to “Page Six,” SNL producers are “scrambling” to find a replacement that fits Sheeran’s demo. Although Sheeran has volunteered to perform remotely, “Page Six”’s source seemed to think that was something SNL was loath to do. “The show likes to have the performer in studio,” they said. SNL had remote musical guests for the “SNL at Home” episodes, with Chris Martin, Miley Cyrus, and Boyz II Men all beaming in performances.
This isn’t the first time musical guests have had to do last-minute switcheroos on SNL. After videos surfaced of him partying maskless and sucking unvaccinated face, the show canceled Morgan Wallen’s October 2020 appearance. Wallen eventually did wind up performing (and doing a sketch) on the show. Then he got caught on video saying the N-word. Whatta year for that guy!
John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats offered the band’s services for the November 6 show, as “No Children” has become a trauma-processing lip sync on TikTok. Does that count as the same demo as Ed Sheeran? Perhaps not. If Lorne is unmoved by Darnielle’s plea, Patton Oswalt has suggested that Harry Potter star Rupert Grint front a cover band called Ed Near-an. Grint starred in Sheeran’s video for “Lego House,” so this … could … work.