For those who missed it, here’s the lovely, unexpectedly moving cold open to “Saturday Night Live” last night.
Access Hollywood noted:
“Saturday Night Live” strayed from the comedic path for their cold open on this week’s show, opting instead for a somber performance of “Silent Night” by the New York City Children’s Chorus in light of Friday’s Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.
A source inside rehearsals for the NBC late night sketch show told Access Hollywood the touching performance was a last minute decision, and was added to the schedule late Saturday.
UPDATE: From the NY Times:
Mary Wannamaker Huff, the artistic director of the children’s chorus, said in an interview on Sunday morning that her group was first contacted by “Saturday Night Live” on Monday to perform with Mr. McCartney, who was looking for accompaniment on his song “Wonderful Christmastime.”
“As the situation in Connecticut evolved,” Ms. Huff said, “everybody realized that we needed to do something meaningful, to remember the folks in Connecticut. 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.”
“When something tragic happens like this,” Ms. Huff added, “you have to love the people you’re with. One thing that can help you love and heal and talk and grieve is music. Especially the pure sounds of children. I hope that it at least allows people to feel and to grieve and to hug their own children tighter.”
And yes: the kids returned near the end of the show for a rendition of “Wonderful Christmas Time” with Paul McCartney.