Between hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, and James Corden, the mood was somber throughout the late night comedy stratosphere.
Every comic opened their show focusing on the tragic events that unfolded in Las Vegas on Sunday night where Stephen Paddock allegedly opened fire on a country music concert killing 59 and wounding over 500. They all offered their thoughts and prayers to the victims and their appreciation for law enforcement and first responders. However, most of them took a few minutes to ensure they weighed in on the gun control debate.
While Jimmy Fallon deferred any commentary and let Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler perform the song “No Freedom” to honor the victims, Jimmy Kimmel choked back tears for almost 10 minutes to discuss the tragedy of Las Vegas and also blast President Trump and Congressional Republicans for their unwillingness to pass common-sense gun control legislation.
“President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday. He spoke this morning, said he’s praying for those that lost their lives,” Kimmel, who originally hails from Las Vegas, said. “In February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally.”
He continued. “Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and a number of other lawmakers — who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip — also sent their thoughts and prayers today.”
Stephen Colbert implored President Trump to ditch Congressional Republicans and be the one president who could do what none of the previous presidents have done with respect to gun control.
“You’ve said you want to be a transformative president who doesn’t care about the way things have always been done in Washington. This is your chance to prove it,” Colbert said. “You want to make America great again? Do something the last two presidents haven’t been able to do—pass any kind of common gun control legislation.”
Seth Meyers ripped Congress for their inaction to combat gun violence.
“To Congress, I’d just like to say, are there no steps we can take as a nation to prevent gun violence? Or, is this just how it is and how it’s going to continue to be,” Meyers inquired. “It would be so much more honest if you would just admit that your plan is never to talk about it and never take any action.”
Meanwhile, hosts like Trevor Noah and James Corden compared living in their respective home countries of South Africa and the United Kingdom to the United States where they’ve never seen this high frequency of mass shootings. Noah noticed that when it comes to gun violence, no one ever seems to blame the root cause of it.
“I’ve never been to a country where people are as afraid to speak about guns,” Noah explained. “When a plane crashes, we talk about plane safety immediately. When a bridge crashes, we talk about infrastructure immediately. […] We seem to avoid to do everything to talk about guns.”
Conan O’Brien was pretty sick and tired of having to address mass shootings during his show, referring to a file his head writer presented him with remarks he made after the shootings in Orlando and Sandy Hook.
“That struck me,” O’Brien said. “How could there be a file of mass shooting remarks for a late-night host? When did that become normal? When did this become a ritual? And what does it say about us that it has?”