Trevor Noah had already taken a similar no-joke approach to the shootings on The Daily Show.
Thursday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College left 10 dead, including the suspected gunman, identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. He told viewers that we may have heard there was “a tragic event that took place in Oregon”.
“This isn’t a normal situation for me“, Noah said of the shooting.
Noah added that all he could do at that moment was express his grief and do what he does best, which is “try to make people laugh”. He then veered into that acerbic Colbert style to discuss the “honesty insanity” of Donald Trump.
Noah and Wilmore won’t return with new shows until Monday night. Maher couldn’t recall a president saying anything like that before, he said.
On Friday night, Stephen Colbert spoke briefly about the shooting in Oregon, stating that something definitely had to change, but he admitted that he didn’t know what. “But I think pretending is part of the problem”. “I don’t know how to start a show like this”, Colbert said on his difficulty processing the Sisyphean repetition of violence, gun culture, and the inane way we talk about these issues.
“In the face of the killings in Oregon yesterday, I honestly don’t know what to do or say, other than that our hearts are broken for the people struck by this senseless tragedy”, the host continued.
“When somebody asked him last week who should replace Boehner as Speaker of the House, McCarthy said ‘Why not me?’ and then immediately explained why not”, Colbert began.