The December 15 episode of "Saturday Night Live" featured a tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
The New York City Children's Chorus performed "Silent Night" during the show's opening, which is typically reserved for a sketch. The performance can be seen below. The host for the night was Martin Short.
This is not the first time the show has paid tribute in light of a tragedy. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the sketch comedy series opened its first show of that season (which aired on September 29, 2011) with remarks from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He saluted police, fire and rescue workers who had joined him on stage and Paul Simon sang "The Boxer."
According to The New York Times, the children's chorus was initially contacted on Monday, December 10, to perform with Paul McCartney, who was the musical guest for the episode. The children were set to accompany the music legend for his song "Wonderful Christmastime."
"As the situation in Connecticut evolved, everybody realized that we needed to do something meaningful, to remember the folks in Connecticut," Mary Wannamaker Huff, the artistic director of the children's chorus, told the newspaper in an interview. "So 'Silent Night' was just a natural piece to do. The New York City Children's Chorus actually has their Christmas concert today, and so 'Silent Night' was on the tip of our tongues."
The children within the chorus ended their performance with the typical introduction of the show, saying "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
Watch the "Saturday Night Live" tribute below.