Saturday Night Live took a different approach to its cold open on the night after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Instead of starting with a topical joke, the show kicked off with a touching performance of 'Silent Night', as sung by the New York City Children's Chorus, to pay tribute to those lost and affected by the tragedy.
Singing by candlelight, the choir performed in red robes, and delivered the "Live, from New York, it's Saturday night" line together, just before the opening credits. Martin Short, this week's host, did not address the shooting or the cold open, and instead performed a comedic, cameo-filled monologue -- as one would expect from the show's holiday episode.
The rest of the show carried on as usual, with surprise appearances by Samuel L. Jackson, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon and Kristen Wiig, and musical performances by Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. The choir later joined Paul McCartney on stage for a rendition of 'Wonderful Christmastime.'
The film premieres of Jack Reacher and Parental Guidance were postponed or cancelled in wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, but a Saturday Night Live spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday that the show would go on.
But, this is not the first time Saturday Night Live has gone on air after a tragedy. In one of the show's most memorable moments, the 27th season premiere went to air 18 days after Sept. 11, 2001. In that episode, then-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, New York firefighters and police officers joined the cast and executive producer Lorne Michaels on stage. Before starting the show, Michaels turned to Giuliani and asked, "Can we be funny?" to which the he replied, "Why start now?"
Watch the 'Silent Night' performance by the New York City Children's Chorus on Gossipcop, here.
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