In Wake of Vegas Shooting, Late Night Comics Let Go of Humor to Push for Gun Control
Following Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas, each of the late night comics were clearly not in the mood for jokes as they opened their shows Monday.
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert addressed President Trump directly, saying the commander in chief could live up to his campaign promise to “make America great again.”
Sitting behind his desk, Colbert said that jokes were “not appropriate” to discuss the “shock, grief and anger we all feel.”
The host said that it's now up to Trump to be the man who wanted to transform Washington.
“You do not owe the Republicans anything," he said. "You know the Republicans tried to stop you from being president. Well, screw ’em. You want to make America great again? Do something the last two presidents haven’t been able to do — pass any kind of common sense gun control legislation that most Americans want.”
Jimmy Kimmel was reduced to tears as he spoke about Sunday night's atrocity.
“This morning, we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters. We lost two police officers. We lost a nurse from Tennessee. A special-ed teacher from a local school here in Manhattan Beach.
“It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up. It’s too much to even process — all these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people,” he said.
Kimmel then lashed out at President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan for failing to pass tighter gun restrictions.
“President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday. He spoke this morning, he said he was praying for those who lost their lives. You know, in February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally.
“The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their b***s in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today — which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country. Because it is, it is so crazy,” he said.
British comic James Corden stood before a dimly lit audience as he talked about the shooting on The Late Late Show.
“Gun violence should not be a staple of American life,” he said.
Jimmy Fallon enlisted a subdued Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler for a moving tribute to honor the victims as they performed Dido’s “No Freedom.”
On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah found a way to balance humor and seriousness as he spoke about the shooting.
“Just to give you an idea of how far away America is from actual gun control, this week Congress is going to vote on deregulating gun silencers. Because I guess Congress is thinking, ‘Gun violence is out of control — how can we make it quieter?'" the South African comic quipped.
He also stated that in the two years he has lived in New York City, America has faced 20 mass shootings. He said that in lieu of thoughts and prayers, he wanted to offer an apology.
“I’m sorry that we live in a world where there are people who will put a gun before your lives,” he said.
Around the world, monuments went dark in solidarity with the people of Las Vegas.
On Dancing With the Stars, host Tom Bergeron started the show with a heartfelt message.
“All of us at Dancing With the Stars want to send our thoughts, love, and prayers to everyone touched by the senseless violence in Las Vegas,” he said. “Please know we are doing tonight's show with you foremost in our minds and hearts.”
The Monday Night Football broadcast also kicked off with a moment of silence.
The Empire State Building in New York was dark, with the exception of a rotating orange halo dedicated to "shining a light on gun violence."
The spire of One World Trade Center was dark except for a single orange badge to honor the victims of the shooting.
In Paris, the Eiffel Tower went dark for the victims of the Vegas shooting, as well as a train station attack in the French city of Marseille.
The main strips in Vegas and in Reno, Nev., also went dark Monday night.