Both late-night hosts re-recorded their show's opening monologues on May 24 in order to address the tragic mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
As a father of three, Corden, called the violence "unfathomable" in a powerful statement during The Late Late Show. "When I drop my kids off at school this morning and kiss them goodbye, it doesn't cross your mind that that could ever be the last goodbye," he explained. "The thought of that phone call—that your child is the victim of a mass shooting—is beyond comprehension as a human being."
He continued, "I'm so deeply sad for the families of these children, the trauma of the survivors and for the future these kids will never see."
Corden went on to share his heartbreaking frustration over "the number of people who must think this is an OK byproduct to never make meaningful changes to gun laws," adding, "It doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't reflect the country that I think America is."
Reflecting on the U.S.'s strengths, Corden, 43, noted that while the U.S. is "on the forefront of medicine, of technology, of innovation," when it comes to the issue of gun violence, however, "America is one of the most backward places in the world."
"This year, there have been no school shootings in England. This year, there have been no school shootings in Japan," the Brit emotionally shared. "This year, there have been 27 school shootings in America and 212 mass shootings and we are just five months into the year."
"Words of thoughts and prayers will come from our leaders, but I fear change never will," the host concluded. "I hold out hope that this country will eventually wake up and change this senseless gun culture, while my heart simply goes out to every single person in Texas tonight."
Colbert, also a father of three, found himself becoming similarly emotional in his The Late Show opening monologue and urged lawmakers to put appropriate measures into place to "prevent this from ever happening again."
"We learned of an unspeakable shooting in Uvalde, Texas today. And while we can add our prayers for the dead," the 58-year-old said, before pausing to collect himself, "there is nothing that can ever be said that can approach the immeasurable grief of those families. But, while we're at it, let's pray this time that our leaders show a modicum of courage in trying to prevent this from ever happening again."
The host acknowledged, "prayers won't end this."
He added, "Voting might so, when you vote, ask yourself this question: ‘Who, running for office, has publicly stated that they're willing to do anything and everything in their power to protect your children from the criminally insane number of guns in America?'"