Last night, Saturday Night Live paid tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut through song. The venerable comedy show put parody, laughter, and host Martin Short to the side for a little under two minutes and opened the show with the New York City children's choir, dressed in red robes, singing "Silent Night." At the end of the classic Christmas song, the children looked into the camera and screamed, "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" and the show, as they say, went on.
It was beautiful. It was elegant, it was tasteful, it was understated, it was meaningful, it was perfect. And it wasn't something you'd expect from a show known for taking the piss out of everything.
Why it may not be a their place, or responsibility, to acknowledge a tragedy like the Sandy Hook shooting, I found SNL's tribute not only wonderfully and emotionally appropriate, but pertinent, and necessary.
SNL, whether they intended to or not, brought the focus of that horrifying Friday morning in Newtown back to the children. Listening to those young girls and boys reminded everyone that there are 20 children dead who had similar round cheeks, innocent eyes, who wore glittery red headbands and Spider-Man underwear, who won't get to sing that song this season.
With all the news about suspected shooter Adam Lanza, about the guns he used, about his alleged mental heath issues, Saturday Night Live pushed all that inadvertent aggrandizing aside and nudged the children into the forefront. For at least two minutes, SNL changed the conversation. And for that, I'm grateful.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
What did you think of SNL's opening?
Photo via hulu.com