‘Saturday Night Live’ Pays Tribute to Ukraine with Cold Open Performance by Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York

Saturday Night Live returned to the airwaves on Saturday night (Feb. 26) with a somber tribute to the people of Ukraine, as they battle Vladamir Putin, who began an invasion on their country on Thursday, Feb. 24.

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In the cold opening of the show, which is usually reserved for comedic relief and mockery of world events, SNL used the moment to show support and pay tribute to the people of Ukraine with a performance of “Prayer for Ukraine,” by the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York.

In a dimly lit opening, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong stood together to introduce the choir.
“Ladies and gentleman the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York,” they said. The stage was set with the choir lined up behind a table of white candles and sunflowers, the Ukrainian national flower.

As the choir finished their song, McKinnon and Strong re-entered the shot to say, in a somber tone, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.“ The overhead camera then focused on the table of candles, located in front of the choir, which spelled out Kyiv.

While the opening was a somber tribute, Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Michael Che did address the invasion with a few jokes.

“Well this week Russia began their invasion of Ukraine, President Putin launched the attack with support from allies like Belarus and Tucker Carlson (Fox News host), Jost said. “Many analysts were surprised that Putin went through with the invasion even though it was obviously going to be a colossal mistake. But he couldn’t back down after all of that build-up. Kind of like how NBC still had to go through airing the Winter Olympics.“

Che continued talking about the invasion saying, “After the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian stock market fell 30 percent to a negative 90 percent.”

Comedian and former show writer John Mulaney hosted Saturday night’s show.

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