'Saturday Night Live' acknowledges Newtown tragedy with a somber opening

snl-cold-open-dec-15-childrens-choir.jpg "Saturday Night Live" for the most part proceeded as usual this week, with Martin Short hosting a mostly festive Christmas episode.

But the show also took a moment to acknowledge the great tragedy in Newtown, Conn., on Friday (Dec. 14) with a solemn opening featuring a the New York City Children's Choir singing "Silent Night."

It was understated, and pretty beautiful, and it struck just the right note before going on with the comedy. Following the cold open -- after which the kids got to say "Live from new York ..." --  and the credits, host Martin Short took the stage with a bawdy monologue and song that featured a host of backstage cameos ranging from "SNL" alums Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey to Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson.

Comedy of course has its place even after a tragic event like Friday's. By noting the very real pain people are feeling, though, "SNL" hit it out of the park with the cold open. Well done, Lorne Michaels and Co.

Here's the video of the choir:

Photo/Video credit: NBC