Required Viewing: 3 Late-Night Responses to the Orlando Shooting

Late-night hosts are confronted with a real quandary in their first show after a tragedy. The response is usually to refrain from jokes and say something hopeful, which is what almost every late-night host did last night—everyone except Samantha Bee on “Full Frontal.”

She tore into the news with nothing but anger and pointed jokes, having no time for platitudes like “love wins.” “After a massacre, the standard operating procedure is you stand on stage and deliver some well-meaning words about how we will get through this together, how love wins, how love conquers hate. That is great, that is beautiful, but you know what? F— it,” she said. “I am too angry for that. Love does not win unless we start loving each other enough to start fixing our f—ing problems.”

More: How You Can Help Victims of the Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Conan O’Brien also used the moment to break from his otherwise apolitical show. “I have tried to understand this issue from every side, and it all comes down to this: Nobody I know—or have ever met in my entire life—should have access to a weapon that can kill so many people so quickly,” he said. “It’s time to grow up and figure this out.”


Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers looked for lessons. Seth took a deep dive into the politics of gun control, while Jimmy focused on the hate crime itself. “Maybe there’s a lesson in all this. A lesson in tolerance,” Fallon said. “ We need to get back to being brave enough to accept that we have different opinions, and that’s OK, because that’s what America is built on. The idea that we can speak up and live our lives and not be punished for that or mocked on the internet or killed by someone you don’t know.”



But Stephen Colbert focused on love itself and how it can conquer despair. “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,” he said. “Love is a verb and to love means to do something.”