Popular television show ‘Saturday Night Live’ paid tribute to Ukraine in its cold open by featuring a folk chorus singing a traditional anthem from the embattled Eastern European nation while a cluster of candles spelled out “Kiev.”
The 13th episode of the late-night mainstay’s 47th season opened with stars Kate McKinnon and Cicely Strong introducing members of Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York.
A group of male and female singers, wearing intricately embroidered traditional outfits, sang the rousing choral selection ‘Prayer for Ukraine’, reflecting the resilient spirit of the nation that has been under attack from Russian on multiple fronts since earlier this week.
The somber setting on the ‘SNL’ stage featured a cluster of candles and bouquets of yellow flowers, evoking Ukraine’s national colors of yellow and blue. After the song ended, McKinnon and Strong returned to deliver the opening ‘Live from New York, it’s Saturday night’, while the camera zoomed in on a cluster of candles that spelled out ‘Kiev’, the Ukrainian capital.
Tonight’s episode is hosted by ‘SNL’ alumnus John Mulaney, who joins the famed ‘five-timers’ club of hosts who have fronted the show five times or more.
That list includes Steve Martin, Drew Barrymore, Tina Fey, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Scarlett Johansson and Melissa McCarthy.
Actor Paul Rudd was the latest to join the five-timers bunch on December 18, when he hosted an “SNL” installment with no studio audience because of the Omicron variant Covid surge that hit New York hard late last year.