The show decided to forgo a cold open sketch in favor of a moving and somber choir performance.
Needing to address the tragedy before the night could begin, the show decided to forgo the usual cold-open sketch in favor of a moving choir performance paying tribute to the people of Ukraine.
The show tapped the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York to take to the iconic Studio 8H stage, behind a platform covered in candles spelling out "Kyiv," the capital city of Ukraine. Together, the choir sang a powerful rendition of "Prayer for Ukraine."
After the performance, castmemebrs Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon -- who have both been tasked in the past with opening somber episodes following national tragedies -- walked out to deliver the show's traditional start-line, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night."
Saturday Night Live airs live, coast-to-coast, at 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.