As Trevor Noah wrapped up his first week as the new host of The Daily Show, the South African comic got a rude awakening following the mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College.
Noah opened his show on Thursday night looking directing into the camera.
“By now as you may have heard, a few hours ago, there was a tragic event that took place in Oregon," he said. "You know, normally in one of these situations, I’d just speak from the heart. But honestly this is not a normal situation for me."
He went on: “I haven’t had the time to feel, let alone think, about everything that’s happened. I’m sure that’s true for many people out there. So, right now, we can only express our grief for the people who are lost. I guess I can do what I do best, and that’s try to make people laugh. Let’s do our show.”
He then went into his regularly scheduled program.
Noah’s predecessor Jon Stewart would often break into a serious tone after an American tragedy. Famously after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Stewart took the country’s emotions summed them up in his opening monologue. Following the recent church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina this June, Stewart traded comedy for stern commentary.
Some of Noah’s Daily Show colleagues vented their frustration on social media.
Correspondent Aasif Mandvi tweeted:
Hey Obama we can vote against guns as much as we want but we cannot outspend the Koch Bros and the NRA.— aasif mandvi (@aasif) October 1, 2015
Jessica Williams tweeted:
In your mind what is the difference between "omg ok the shooter is crazy but we still need more guns" and— Jessica R. Williams (@msjwilly) October 1, 2015
"Omg ok all women are crazy & will get abortions for funsies so no more abortions for anyone ever"?— Jessica R. Williams (@msjwilly) October 1, 2015
On Thursday, President Obama addressed the shooting from the White House. It was the 15th time during his presidency that he was responding to a mass shooting.
He was visibly angry and upset when he said: “There's been another mass shooting in America... That means there are more American families, moms, dads, children, whose lives have been changed forever. I've been to Roseburg. There are really good people there."
He urged Americans to look at this incident as a wake-up call, saying, "The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium is routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it — we’ve become numb to this."
His address was echoed by others.
Hillary Clinton tweeted:
Another devastating shooting. We need sensible gun control measures to save lives, and I will do everything I can to achieve that. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 1, 2015
Jimmy Kimmel tweeted;
Numb, dumb, right, left, whatever we are, NO ONE wants this to happen again. Let's work TOGETHER to make it stop #UCCShooting— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) October 1, 2015
Larry King tweeted:
Jessica Chastain tweeted:
While U.S. has 5% of the world's population, it saw 31% of public mass shootings #UCCShooting— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 1, 2015
Comedian Amy Schumer summed up America’s emotions:
Love to Oregon— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) October 1, 2015