Saturday Night Live Pays Tribute To Victims Of Newtown Tragedy

Access Hollywood
New York City Children's Chorus on 'Saturday Night Live,' December 15, 2012 -- NBC

"Saturday Night Live" strayed from the comedic path for their cold open on this week's show, opting instead for a somber performance of "Silent Night" by the New York City Children's Chorus in light of Friday's Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.

A source inside rehearsals for the NBC late night sketch show told Access Hollywood the touching performance was a last minute decision, and was added to the schedule late Saturday.

PLAY IT NOW: President Obama Reacts To Connecticut School Shootings

In another nod to victims of the shooting and grieving families, during rehearsal, Seth Meyers ended his Weekend Update segment with a comment offering sympathy to those affected by the atrocious Friday event, our source said.

Those comments did not make the actual show.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: The Latest Star Sightings

On a lighter note, our source said Sir Paul McCartney warmed up prior to his performances (much to the delight of the audience), and even treated the crowd to a few impromptu dance moves, prompting in-studio fans to yell, "Paul, we love you!"

The show, hosted by "SNL" alum Martin Short, was filled with cameos by stars such as Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Fallon and Kristen Wiig - many of whom were on hand for a staff Christmas dinner.

-- Erin O'Sullivan

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Paul McCartney: From Liverpool Boy To International Legend

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.