Late night TV's best react to the recent tragedy.
By now, everyone has heard about the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday night, with the terrifying images saturating news coverage on a round-the-clock basis. As has happened with other tragedies of this sort, even the hosts of late night comedy institutions were unable to ignore the gravity of the situation, addressing it in their own individual ways at the beginning of their respective shows.
Jimmy Kimmel, who has become perhaps the strongest activist voice among the main late night hosts, was in a solemn state as he addressed his studio audience Monday night. "Here we are again, in the aftermath of a terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy," he said off the top, remarking that Las Vegas is not only his hometown, but also the hometown of his band leader. "This morning, we have children without parents, fathers without sons, mothers without daughters, we lost two police officers, we lost a nurse from Tennessee [...] it's the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up. It's too much to even process." He later called on politicians and other influencers on Capitol Hill to get serious about having an open dialogue about gun control and background checks.
Stephen Colbert echoed similar thoughts during a brief opening to his show. He first sent his thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected by this "unimaginable cruelty," before reiterating that the American people could not accept this type of tragedy as a "new normal." "This afternoon, the President called this an act of 'pure evil' and I think he's right," said Colbert. "So what, then, are we willing to do to combat 'pure evil?' The answer can't be nothing," he added, before adamantly proclaiming that doing nothing would be an act of cowardice.
Seth Meyers also sent his condolences to the victims and also thanked first responders in his opening message during his show, before addressing members of Congress directly, asking if there was nothing that could be done to prevent gun violence. "When you say, which you always say, that 'now is not the time to talk about it,' what you really is mean is, 'there is never a time to talk about it.'" Meyers added that it would be more honest of those involved with policy making to just come out and say that they never plan to do anything about it.
Conan O'Brien called the news "absolutely devastating" and he echoed the sentiment felt by many in the general public that shootings like this one are becoming more and more frequent. "When I began [in late night] in 1993, occasions like this were extremely rare," he said. "For me or any TV comedy host, back then, to come out and need to address a mass shooting spree was practically unheard of. But, over the last decade, things have changed." He couldn't be more right.
James Corden also sent his thoughts to the victims and praised the stories of heroism that have come out in the news reports about the Las Vegas shooting, from first responders to resilient concert attendees and so on. He also added this horrifying statistic, to underscore the need for gun control in the United States: 11,660 people have died from gun violence in the last 275 days alone.
Finally, Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show preferred to use music over words to come to terms with the tragedy, offering up a beautiful duet from Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler to help ease the pain. You can watch that below.