16 December 2012 5:36 AM, PST | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Just as it did when the show returned after 9-11, Saturday Night Live found a way to eloquently acknowledge a tragedy and move on to comedy. In the eerie but appropriate cold open, the New York City Children’s Chorus sang “Silent Night,” with the line “sleep in heavenly peace” a piercing tribute to the children lost in the Newtown shooting. But after a brief black screen, followed by the kids saying, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night,” the show’s Christmas episode turned out to be one of the best – if most retro -- of the season, with Martin Short as host and Paul McCartney as musical guest. Short’s opening song had him roaming the hallways encountering an all-star lineup  of cameos: Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks  -- and a llama. There was Alec Baldwin as Tony Bennett, appearing with Jay Pharoah as a kilted Kanye West. »


- Caryn James

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