‘Saturday Night Live’ Kicked Off with an Unexpected (& Moving) Cold Open Last Night

Saturday Night Live returned last night after almost a month-long break, and the episode kicked off with a very surprising and touching opener.

In the wake of Russia's invasions and attacks on the country of Ukraine, the sketch comedy show began with a tribute to Ukraine and its people. SNL comedians Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong walked onto the stage at the beginning of the show and introduced a choir that was standing behind them.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York,” they said together. This was followed by a performance from the chorus, who sang the song “Prayer for Ukraine.” At the end of the number, McKinnon and Strong returned to the stage, where they said, “Live from New York, it's Saturday Night” (in a more serious tone than the line is usually delivered). The camera then panned over a collection of candles that spelled out “Kyiv,” the capital of Ukraine and one of the cities that is currently under attack.

Users on YouTube showed how much they loved the unexpected beginning to the episode. One person commented, “I think this has to be one of the most well done, if not best, cold opens in SNL history. It was respectful, beautiful.” Another person wrote, “I never thought an SNL cold open would bring me to tears, but here we are. That was beautiful.”

This is just the latest instance of entertainers showing their support for the people of Ukraine. Many have spoken up on social media or the internet, like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively just announced that they would be matching donations up to $1 million in order to help Ukrainian refugees.

Well done, SNL.

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Joel Calfee

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...
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