The Orlando mass shooting led Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah to take time out from their respective late-night shows on Monday to speak on what this latest tragedy means to us as a country.
Colbert opened “The Late Show” on CBS by saying that we as a nation have come to except moments like this, and that we pretty much know how it will play out.
“You know what a president, whoever it is, will probably say. You know what both sides of the political aisle will say,” Colbert said. “You know what gun manufacturers will say. Even me, with a silly show like this, you have some idea of what I will say. Because even I have talked about this when it has happened before. It’s as if there’s a national script that we have learned.”
“And I think by accepting the script we tacitly accept that the script will end the same way every time” he continued. “With nothing changing. Except for the loved ones and the families of the victims for whom nothing will ever be the same.”
Fallon, who hosts “The Tonight Show” on NBC, offered similar sentiments and also called on Americans to use this as teaching moment for tolerance.
“Maybe there’s a lesson from all this. A lesson in tolerance,” Fallon said. “We need to support each other’s differences and worry less about our own opinions. Get back to debate and away from believing or supporting the idea that if someone doesn’t live the way you want them to live, you just buy a gun and kill them. Bomb them up. That is not OK.”
“We need to get back to being brave enough to accept that we have different opinions and that’s OK, because that is what America is built on,” Fallon continued. “The idea that we can stand up and speak our minds and live our lives and not be punished for that, or mocked on the Internet, or killed by someone you don’t know.”
Noah, a South African comedian who replaced Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show,” gave the most pointed criticism, in which he described his own take on the tragedy from the perspective of someone recently arrived in this country.
“I wonder if President Obama ever thought to himself that mass shooting speeches would be such a big part of his job,” Noah said. “You know, at this point, he’s hosted 12 State Dinners, but has had to make 16 mass shooting addresses.”
“The saddest part is every time this happens, it feels like America has already decided,” Noah continued. “This is exactly the kind of country it wants to be. Because we know how this always plays out: We’re shocked, we mourn, we change our profile pics, and we move on. It’s become normal. I’m sorry. Maybe it’s because I’m new, but it’s not normal. And it shouldn’t be normal. We shouldn’t allow this to be normal.”
Watch Colbert above