After 9/11, Saturday Night Live decided to forgo its usual comedy cold open and instead welcomed Paul Simon, who sang “The Boxer” surrounded by New York City firefighters. This week, in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, they did it again.
Jason Aldean, who was performing in Las Vegas when the shooter opened fire, stood on stage at 30 Rock’s Studio 8H and delivered a somber message to viewers.
“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” he said. “Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night, how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and they are all part of our family.”
“So I want to say to them, we hurt for you, and we hurt with you,” Aldean continued. “You can be sure that we are going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit are unbreakable.”
With that, Aldean began to play “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty, who died of a heart attack the day after the shooting.
Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump was nowhere to be seen, and this time it was probably for the best.