The cold open sketch is a mainstay of Saturday Night Live episodes.
But this week, the comedy show swapped their usual jokey opening for something more serious.
Following Russia's attack on Ukraine, SNL paid a moving tribute to the crisis with an emotional rendition of 'Prayer for Ukraine'.
In place of the usual cold opening monologue, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong appeared on stage and kicked off the show by introducing the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York.
The choir - which was stood behind a table where 'Kyiv' was spelled out in candles - then performed Prayer for Ukraine to a live audience and viewers watching at home.
When the emotional tribute drew to a close, the show resumed as normal, with McKinnon and Strong returning to stage with the traditional phrase "Live from New York, it’s Saturday night." Comedian John Mulaney then took the helm as host for the remainder of the episode.
Viewers both at home and in the audience were deeply affected by the tribute, with many moved to tears. They took to Twitter to discuss the choir's emotional impact.
"Omg! @nbcsnl! You’re giving me chills right now! So beautifully haunting. #Ukraine #snl," one person commented.
Another tweeted: "Anybody else burst into tears while watching the cold open of #SNL? #Ukraine," while a third wrote simply: "This opening broke me. #SNL #Ukraine."
Meanwhile, many other viewers praised SNL bossed for their bold decision to swap out the lighthearted opening for something more serious.
"Wow #snl just wow best tribute to Ukraine ever #AmericaStandsWithUkraine @nbcsnl," one person tweeted, while another added that it was a "very moving and respectful tribute to Ukraine and Kyiv."
"What a remarkable way to open the show," agreed a third user.
President Vladimir Putin announced a Russian military operation in Ukraine on Thursday. Since then, Russia military forces have launched advancements by land, sea, and air, with deadly unrest breaking out across Ukraine. Meanwhile, social media has become flooded with footage of terrified citizens trying to flee the country.
It is reported that at least 150,000 Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries for refuge.