Late night comedians react to Pittsburgh shooting

Seth Meyers says his Jewish great-grandfather immigrated to the US in 1869 and moved to Pittsburgh.

October 30, 2018 13:25
2 minute read.
70th Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, U.S., 17/09/2018 - Stephen Colbert

70th Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, U.S., 17/09/2018 - Stephen Colbert. (photo credit: REUTERS/KYLE GRILLOT)

As shows returned to the air waves Monday night for the first time since the deadly Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, several late night comedians discussed the attack.

“It’s tragic, it’s sickening, and our thoughts are with the victims, their families and the larger Jewish community,” said Stephen Colbert in the opening monologue of The Late Show. “But more than that, I want to say, hate is not what America stands for, and tonight all of us are with you.”

Colbert also mocked US President Donald Trump’s suggestion of armed guards as a defense against antisemitic violence.

“Yes it’s so simple,” he said.

“In fact, why didn’t Jewish people have an armed guard for the past 5,000 years? Moses could’ve saved a lot of desert time if Pharaoh knew he was packing.”

Colbert added that “it’s going to take a lot more than this to break the resolve of the Jewish people.

They will continue to worship and learn and sing.”

While Colbert offered a heartfelt message, others briefly mentioned the attack, a departure from the way they addressed other mass shooting events. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver made scant mention, Jimmy Kimmel Live made one reference and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah also barely mentioned the attack.

The Late Late Show with James Corden began with a note that the episode “was recorded before the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.”

The opening screen added: “Our hearts break at this senseless tragedy, while we grieve for the families of the victims, and all those affected.”

Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon said he wants “to send our love to everyone in Pittsburgh,” although he failed to mention antisemitism or the Jewish community.

Seth Meyers, host of Late Night, got more personal with his connection to the city and the community.

“I’m not Jewish but my wife is Jewish, my kids are going to be Jewish,” he said Monday night.

“My great-grandfather was Jewish...

he took a boat in 1869 to Manhattan and then he went straight from there to Pittsburgh – and members of Meyers’s family have been living and... thriving there in the city that welcomed them so many years ago.

So I just want to say thank you to Pittsburgh.”

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