12 people died in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night. Where maybe that would have been an opportunity (and expectation) for late night comedy shows to address it in some form before continuing with their shows the next day, not all did.
That’s not a condemnation of those shows’ decision-making processes, but more of a consequence of the number of these occurrences both this TV genre and the country at large have had to wrestle with over the past few years.
On Wednesday’s edition of “The Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert added to the now-traditional somber moment of reflection before digging into the evening’s other plans. While introducing one of the episode’s guests — reelected New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand — Colbert took the chance to mention the National Rifle Association by name.
“For so many people, it’s become all too common in America,” Colbert said of the growing number of these shootings in this country. “Americans, whatever their political party, know that now is the time to take action to keep our communities safe.”
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Colbert then noted that Gillibrand “has an ‘F’ rating from the NRA.”
Colbert’s CBS late-night counterpart James Corden also took time to acknowledge Wednesday night’s tragedy. While he didn’t address any particular lobbying groups by name, Corden did lead the audience in a moment of silence while the names and faces of all those who died were included on screen.
“What can we say that hasn’t been said? How do we continue to beg the leaders of this country to change this culture when they clearly won’t?” Corden said. “When votes and financing and tradition seem to matter more than people’s lives, how do we stop this from just becoming the norm?”