Conan O’Brien, Late Night Hosts Address Orlando Shooting
Late night hosts traded in the jokes for a more somber tone on Monday as the country continues to mourn after Sunday’s tragic shooting in Orlando.
Some of the comedians used their platform to offer their condolences and support to the victims’ families as well as the LGBT community, while others asked their viewers to take a stand against gun violence.
Check out what Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and the rest of late night had to say about the Orlando massacre.
“I have always, always made it a policy to stick to my job and keep my opinions to myself. I have really tried very hard over the years not to bore you with what I think. However, I am a father of two, I like to believe I have a shred of common sense, and I simply do not understand why anybody in this country is allowed to purchase and own a semi-automatic assault rifle. It makes no sense to me. These are weapons of war and they have no place in civilian life.”
“This country was built on the idea that we do not all agree on everything, that we are a tolerant, free nation that encourages debate, free thinking, believing—or not—in what you choose. I, as a new father, am thinking, ‘What do I tell my kids? What do I tell them about this? What can we learn from this? What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?’ Maybe there’s a lesson from all this, a lesson in tolerance.”
“I wonder if President Obama ever thought to himself that mass shooting speeches would be such a big part of his job. Because, you know at this point, he’s hosted 12 state dinners, but he’s had to give 16 mass shooting addresses… America needs to ask itself the question: Do you want to be a country that takes reasonable measures to protect its citizens, or should we tell the president to prepare speech No. 17?”
“There is no shortage of troubled 20-somethings out there. Whether they’re radicalized by ISIS or homophobia or white nationalism or a dislike of movies, we’re making it far too easy for their derangement to kill us. So until we as a nation find the political will to reject a mass shooting per day as the price of freedom, I’m just going to pray. Are you there God? It’s me, Sam. Please bless the victims and their friends and families in their times of unspeakable pain. Give us the courage to say no more and while you’re at it, please send the NRA a plague of boils. Amen.”
“Hate wants us to be too weak to change anything. Now these people in Orlando were apparently targeted because of who they love and there have been outpourings of love throughout the country and around the world. Love in response to hate. Love does not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script. So love your country, love your family, love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando.”
“As we debate this going forward, it’s worth keeping in mind the president’s words. We have to decide what country we want to be. Unfortunately, based on Donald Trump’s tweet, it seems that he’s already decided… I don’t know who’s been congratulating Donald Trump, but you may want to redirect your congratulations to the first responders or those waiting in line to give blood. They’re the ones who deserve congrats and they’re not asking for it. I have a feeling Donald Trump’s not giving blood, and if he did, no one would want it, because it probably looks like ectoplasm.”
“Whether or not a jihadi extremist was at the heart of this attack, this was an attack on gay, safe spaces. But for those members of the LGBT community who feel scared, don’t stop singing, dancing, or living. We need to bring the vibrant love and joy of the gay club into the outside world, not bring the outside world’s violent hatred inside gay clubs.”