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Saturday Night Live rose to the unenviable challenge of putting on a comedy show the day after an unthinkable tragedy.
Forgoing a comedic cold open, the NBC show began with the New York City Children’s Chorus singing “Silent Night.”
After the song, the children delivered the standard “Live from New York” line, and the opening credits kicked in.
This week’s episode was hosted by Martin Short, with musical guest Paul McCartney. Short did not address Friday’s mass-shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school during his opening monologue. While some Hollywood-related events were postponed in light of the shooting, a spokesperson for the show told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday that the episode would continue as planned.
SNL has dealt before with putting on a show in the aftermath of tragedy. In 2001, SNL‘s 27th season premiered 18 days after 9/11. That episode’s cold open featured executive producer Lorne Michaels asking then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, “Can we be funny?”
“Why start now?” Giuliani responded.
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