SNL announces replacement for “Expectedly Heartbroken” Yeah Yeah Yeahs

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have cancelled their slot on SNL, so who is set to replace them?

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have dropped out of their upcoming guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, amid guitarist Nick Zinner’s ongoing battle with pneumonia. The band were booked to appear as musical guests on the sketch show on December 17, where they were to share the hosting duties with Elvis star Austin Butler. Now, Zinner’s health has taken “top priority”, the band explained in a social media post. 

It’s been an up and down recovery process,” bandmates Zinner Karen O and Brian Chase wrote. “The band’s top priority is supporting Nick through a full recovery, as a result we had to pull out from our engagements of KROG’s Acoustic Christmas and Saturday Night Live.” Yeah Yeah Yeahs said they were “expectedly heartbroken” over not being able to perform, and cited a “tough week” and “tough year” for Zinner’s health. The band concluded the post by thanking fans and offering well-wishes for “a healthy and happy rest of 2022.”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Credit: Emilio Herce


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Shortly before announcing the cancellation, SNL revealed that Lizzo would replace the band as this Saturday’s musical guest, an appearance which she described as an “honour” on Twitter. It will mark Lizzo’s second stint on the show this year, following her appearance as both the musical guest and the host in April. That stint came one month before the release of her 2022 album Special, and saw her perform the single About Damn Time. 

Despite illness setbacks, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have remained busy in the last few years. In 2020, Karen O revealed that the band was ready to record new music, and later followed up on that promise with a performance of the song Phenomena inside her closet. The band featured on the lineup of this year’s Splendour In The Grass, and debuted new song Lovebomb in a Chicago club in September. 

62nd Annual Grammy Awards - Arrivals
Credit: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Lizzo, meanwhile, was the subject of a 2022 documentary Love, Lizzo, which premiered on HBO last month. The singer was named as TikTok’s most listened-to artist of 2022 earlier this month, and won the People’s Champion award People’s Choice Awards last week.