Watch the 'Saturday Night Live' Tribute to the Newtown School Shooting Victims

The New York City Children's Chorus Displaces Usual Comedic Cold Open

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How do you kick off a live TV comedy show just one day after a massacre at a New England elementary school that has made international news? If you're "Saturday Night Live," you dispense with the usual topical cold-open sketch and instead present the New York City Children's Chorus singing "Silent Night." Though the show didn't explicitly identify the brief musical performance as a tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, it did label it as such after the fact on its website, and if you had the tragedy at all in mind, it was difficult to listen to kids singing "sleep in heavenly peace" without getting a lump in your throat.

The show is getting widespread praise for the subdued tribute. The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff, for instance, called it a "quietly powerful opening" and the Associated Press, in an unbylined report, wrote "Not known for treating anything seriously or tenderly, the show made a fitting exception during the first moments of its show Saturday . ... It was the night's sole reference to the tragedy and struck just the right tone."

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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