Jack White is stepping in as a last-minute replacement on this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” after the NBC show dismissed previously booked artist Morgan Wallen after he ran afoul of COVID-19 guidelines.
White, former frontman of the White Stripes, will make his third solo appearance (and fourth overall, including the White Stripes’ appearance in 2002) on “SNL” on Oct. 10, with host Bill Burr. “The White Stripes Greatest Hits” collection will be released Dec. 4.
Country singer Wallen, who was a contestant on “The Voice” Season 6, on Wednesday posted an Instagram video telling fans that he was informed by “SNL” that he would no longer be able to play the show. He said he had not tested positive for COVID-19, but “my actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams.” Wallen was referring to TikTok video posts that showed him socializing in Alabama without a mask at a crowded bar and a house party.
“Jack White is coming in, and there could be some… other stuff,” Lorne Michaels, “SNL” creator and executive producer, said in an interview that aired Friday on “Today,” alluding to possible surprise guests. “Calling someone on a Thursday to be here for a Friday is, uh, complicated. It has to be people who are ready to go… and [White is] always good on the show.”
Regarding Wallen, Michaels also commented that he “probably isn’t the first country singer [or] the first person from rock ‘n’ roll who partied after, in that case, a football game… But we’re just living in a different time, and everything it scrutinized.”
“Saturday Night Live,” currently in its 46th season on NBC, is produced in association with Michaels’ Broadway Video. Earlier this month, every season of “SNL” became available NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
This season’s “SNL” premiere on Oct. 3 was hosted by Chris Rock, with musical guest Megan Thee Stallion. Special guest stars Jim Carrey (as Joe Biden), Alec Baldwin (as Donald Trump) and Maya Rudolph (as Kamala Harris) were featured in the cold open, recreating the disastrous first presidential debate in which Trump repeatedly interrupted and insulted Biden.
“Saturday Night Live” returned last week to Studio 8H at 30 Rock for the first time since April, when the show moved to an “at-home” remotely produced format amid the COVID-19 pandemic.