‘Saturday Night Live’ Honors Ukraine With Moving Chorus Performance In Powerful Cold Open

“Saturday Night Live” opted to scale back on the laughs this week for an important reason.

The long-running sketch comedy series welcomed the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York for a powerful performance in the cold open, paying tribute to the country with a moving rendition of “Prayers for Ukraine.”

The group sang on the main stage of Studio 8H amid a candle display which spelled out “Kyiv,” Ukraine’s capital, and an array of sunflowers, the Ukrainian national flower.

Veteran “SNL” cast members Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong introduced the choir and later returned on camera to deliver a somber rendition of the show’s iconic kick-off, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.”

The episode marked “SNL’s” first since Russia launched a full-scale attack on its neighboring country earlier this week. Global figures have rallied to share public support for Ukraine amid the turmoil, and many celebrities have offered to do their part to give back.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds pledged to match donations to up to $1 million for aid to displaced Ukrainians, while Sean Penn is currently filming an upcoming documentary about the crisis and met personally with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in recent days.

— Erin Biglow

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