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“SNL” Returns With Pete Davidson Discussing Israel-Hamas War And Surprise Cameos By Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce

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After a six-month break brought on by the writers’ strike, “Saturday Night Live” returned on Saturday for its 49th season. Pete Davidson, a comedian and former “SNL” cast member, served as the show’s chilly opener.

Prior to the scheduled sketch programming and unexpected cameos by Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, Davidson gave sobering words on “the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza.”

“This week, we saw the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza. And, I know what you’re thinking, who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?” said the host, periodically earning laughter from the live studio audience. He addressed the war in a tone reminiscent of past “SNL” tributes to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the victims of 9/11.

When “SNL” entered reruns earlier this year owing to the Writers Guild of America strike, Davidson’s original hosting role on the previous season finale of the show was canceled.

Davidson talked about the passing of his father, Scott Davison, a firefighter from New York City who perished in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.

“I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering – Israeli children and Palestinian children – and it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place. No one in this world deserves to suffer, especially not kids,” he said. Davidson recalled how he found joy watching stand-up comedy while grieving the loss of his dad and concluded with a parting thought that segued into the rest of the show.

“Sometimes comedy is really the only way forward from tragedy,” said Davidson. “My heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week. But tonight I’m going to do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy and that’s try to be funny. Remember, I said try. And live from New York, it’s Saturday night.”

Swift, who made a brief surprise cameo on the “SNL” stage, was a recurring theme in the evening’s comedic segments. The pop queen made the unexpected cameo in time for the theatrical release of her Eras Tour concert video and introduced Ice Spice, the musical guest for the evening, before the rapper’s second performance.

However, Swift was primarily the focus of the “SNL” opener due to her alleged relationship with Kelce, the tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, who was also the subject of jokes as the ensemble parodied Fox News’ coverage of the National Football League. Veteran “SNL” performer Kenan Thompson, who was playing a broadcaster, remarked in that scene, “When we get back, we are going to speak with someone who actually wants to talk football,” to which Kelce, in his own unexpected appearance, abruptly responded, “Yes, please!”

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