Late-Night Hosts Address The Orlando Shooting And Every Single Clip Is Powerful
It was hard for us all to return to work on Monday after the tragic events of the weekend. It is a particularly difficult challenge to return to work as a professional comedian who’s job it is to poke fun at current events to mass audiences each and every night — their job is to make us laugh after a hard day. The mass shooting in Orlando’s LGBTQ nightclub Pulse was beyond devastating. It was beyond a nightmare. Each and every late-night host addressed the Orlando tragedy and approached it with raw honesty and humility true to their own voice, and every single response is worth watching.
Sadly, America has become accustomed to dealing with mass shooting in many ways, as they continue to happen year after year. Despite having dealt with it many times before though, the massacre in Orlando felt much more devastating because not only was it the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history, it was also an attack on the LGBTQ community. The late-night hosts are LGBTQ allies, and they all understood the grave effect this could have on non-straight Americans. They each handled the shooting in their own unique way, but all did so with the deep emotion and anger that most of the nation was feeling.
Samantha Bee attacks every issue on Full Frontal with intense passion and ruthless wit, and this case is no exception. Heartbroken and angry, she left no detail out. She opened with this:
“Hey, is it okay if instead of making jokes, I just scream for seven minutes?”
Yes, yes it is.
She was somehow still able to make me laugh. Also, after watching this, I’m very tempted to up and move to Australia.
Seth Meyers did the good news first. He addressed the amazing efforts and accomplishments by the Orlando community, the LGBT community, and reminded us that there are ways we can help. Via a “Closer Look” segment, Meyers tried to “help us all process it a little bit more, because I don’t know if we can ever fully understand it.”
He took more of a “just the facts” approach, which is sometimes all you can muster when trying to understand how or why something like this would happen.
Jimmy Fallon told no jokes when addressing the massacre — he spoke from his heart, as an American and as a father. He said:
“What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?”
Conan O’Brien also spoke from his heart as a father, and as someone very confused as to why assault rifles are available for purchase. We’re right there with you, O’Brien. He said:
“It’s time to grow up and figure this out.”
Stephen Colbert reminded us not only to love, but that “love” is a verb “and ‘to love’ means ‘to do something.'”
Trevor Noah used a poignant and personal analogy to bring home a powerful point, while also delivering this perfect joke:
“ISIS without guns is just a blog.”
Last but in no way least, we have Larry Wilmore. He focused on the media and *certain* politicians’ avoidance of saying the word “gay,” pointing out that they have no problem using the term “gay marriage” when voting against it.
Although these are all effective and powerful statements on the tragedy that occurred in Orlando, only John Oliver mentioned the fact that it was Latin night at Pulse on the night of the shooting. The LGBT community is a minority group, and the Hispanic LGBT community is a minority within a minority. There are a lot of details and issues being addressed and argued as a result of this weekend, and the fact that it was Latin night should be one of them too.