Late-Night Hosts Call on Politicians to Take Action After Las Vegas Tragedy

Shortly after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, hosts like Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien, James Corden, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel asked politicians to do something about gun violence

By Elyse Dupre Oct 03, 2017 12:46 PMTags

After the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, the late-night talk-show hosts used their platform to call for change.

Seth Meyers, for instance, called on Congress to take action. 

"But to Congress, I would just like to say, are there no steps we can take as a nation to prevent gun violence? Or, is this just how it is and how it's going to continue to be?" the Late Night With Seth Meyers host said. "Because when you say, which you always say, now is not the time to talk about it, what you really mean is, there's never a time to talk about it. And it would be so much more honest if you would just admit that your plan is to never talk about it and never take any action."

Meyers also took a moment to recognize the "truly wonderful moment" when lawmakers welcomed Rep. Steve Scalise back to Capitol Hill, his first return since he was shot during a GOP team baseball practice this summer. The host then summarized how Scalise said his ability to live today is proof that miracles really do happen; however, the host also said that praying for miracles isn't enough to combat gun violence.

"But is that the best plan D.C. has for dealing with gun violence? When there's a shooting, we just pray for a miracle? Because maybe that is it. But if you're not willing to do anything, just be honest and tell us," Meyers said. "This is how it is. This is how it will continue to be. Instead of saying, this isn't the time to talk about it, just say we're never going to talk about it. If it's going to be thoughts and prayers from here on out, the least you can do is be honest about that."

In a similar way, Stephen Colbert cited Scalise's return as "the kind of moment that gives you hope that Congress might work together for the common good." He also said that "the bar is so low right now that Congress can be heroes by doing literally anything."

"Universal background checks or come up with a better answer; enforce Obama's executive order that denied mentally ill gun purchases or a better answer; reinstate the assault weapons ban or come up with a better answer," he continued. "Anything but nothing. Doing nothing is cowardice. Doing something will take courage."

The host of the Late Show With Stephen Colbert also called upon President Donald Trump to take action. 

"Now, President Trump, you've said you've wanted to be a transformative president who doesn't care about he way that things have always been done in Washington DC. This is your chance to prove it," he said. "And I mean this sincerely, you do not owe the Republicans anything. You know the Republicans tried to stop you from being president. Well, screw them. You want to make America great again? Do something the last two presidents haven't been able to do: Pass any kind of common sense gun control of legislation that the vast majority of Americans want."

On Conan, Conan O'Brien questioned when these mass shootings started becoming a regular occurrence. 

"When I began in 1993, occasions like this were extremely rare," he said. "For me or any TV comedy host back then to come out and need to address a mass shooting spree, was practically unheard of. But over the last decade, things have changed."

O'Brien shared a story of how his head writer gave him a few documents summarizing the remarks he made after the Sandy Hook shootings and attacks in Orlando. The writer said the host might want to review these past remarks to prepare his comments about the Las Vegas tragedy.

"That struck me," O'Brien said. "How could there be a file of mass shooting remarks for a late night host? When did that become normal? When did this become a ritual and what does it say about us that it has?"

James Corden also said that "gun violence should not be a staple of American life" during his late-night talk show.

"Some say it's too early to talk about gun control. For those victims last night, it's far too late," The Late Late Show with James Corden host said. "I heard today a commentator on the news explaining that there is no real way to prevent lone wolf mass shootings like this. And forgive me, because I'm just a foreigner here, and some of you feel I have no place to say this, but how does every other developed country do a better job of preventing these attacks? We can't be surprised that gun crime will always occur where these is such wide availability of guns."

In addition to these hosts' comments, Jimmy Kimmel had an emotional response to the news

"As a result of [the shooting] this morning, we have children are without parents and fathers are without sons, mothers without daughters," the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live said holding back tears. "We lost two officers, we lost a nurse from Tennessee, we lost a special-ed teacher from a local school here in Manhattan Beach.  It's the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up. It's too much to even process."

Jimmy Fallon also encouraged his audience to remember that "good still exists in the world" and opened his show with Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler performing Dido's song "No Freedom."



Watch the videos to see the hosts' full addresses.