Last night, the late-night hosts offered somber reactions to the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend. Although trying to unpack what happened in those tragedies would be difficult, the late-night hosts proved that unpacking some of the politicians’ responses is a momentous task itself. From saying the wrong cities to invoking soup, the president, presidential candidates, and Republican leaders made themselves perfect targets for Late Night, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Daily Show, The Late Late Show, The Tonight Show, The Late Show, and The Super Late Show. Just kidding. That last one is obviously not real; just trying to lighten the mood before we move on.
Here’s a roundup of how the late-night shows reacted to the news.
Late Night With Seth Meyers
Late Night took *cue musical sting* a “Closer Look” at the aftermath of the tragedies, especially the odd explanations politicians tried to use. In response to Texas senator John Cornyn invoking homelessness when talking about “complex issues” like mass shootings, Seth Meyers said, “That’s like telling your wife ‘There are a lot of reasons that our marriage is failing, like my multiple affairs or the fact that you’re always mad about my multiple affairs.’” The Texas lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, and the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, went on Fox to blame video games for the rise of gun violence. “If video games were so influential,” Meyers said, “they should make one about Congress called F-cking Do Something.”
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert’s Trump impression got put to good use last night. He recited tweets like Trump, made up video-game names like “Tetris Munch, obviously, Ghost Mario, and Grand Theft Pong,” and sang a rendition of “Kumbaya My Lord,” with the lyrics changed to “Send her back, oh Lord, send her back.” But Trump did not get all of Colbert’s fire, despite calling Dayton “Toledo.” (“It’s not like Ohio is important for presidential elections,” Colbert deadpanned.) Joe Biden, who mourned the tragedies in “Houston and Michigan,” got a “Holy Toledo …” from the host. And another Democratic presidential candidate, Cory Booker, got made fun for his weird choice of words. His campaign manager tweeted out a text from Booker, calling the president’s statement “bullshit soup.” Stephen Colbert, in his best Cory Booker voice, said, “You’re dipping your spoon in the bullshit soup, but you don’t even know the taste of ass croutons.”
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Jimmy Kimmel was not having it with the Republican leaders and their responses to the recent tragedies, saying, “Here’s something we can all agree on: Too many people are being shot by high-powered weapons.” Shortly after, he called Mitch McConnell an “evil, soulless old creep.” As for Kevin McCarthy’s attack on video games, Kimmel had no time for beating around the bush. “Video games are not linked to gun violence, but you know what is linked to gun violence? Guns are linked to gun violence.” But some things are much harder to wrap your mind around, like how Donald Trump managed to call Dayton “Toledo” when the teleprompter didn’t say that at all. “Someone got this shot and it clearly says ‘Texas and Ohio,’” Kimmel pointed out. “So nice work, Don Burgundy, you’re doing great.”
The Late Late Show With James Corden
To start off The Late Late Show, a montage played of every single time since 2015 James Corden has had to send his condolences to the victims of mass shootings and their families. The two deadliest modern shootings, the Pulse nightclub shooting and the Las Vegas shooting, happened within a year of each other. “Our responsibility on this show is to try and entertain you and hopefully be a brief escape from the heaviness that comes from times like these,” Corden said. “We hope we can do that tonight.”
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
In his short opening monologue, Jimmy Fallon asked viewers to donate, call their representatives, vote, and protest in order to “make things better.” “No matter what side of the political coin you land on, we all agree this is happening too much and it has to stop, so please make your voice heard,” he urged.
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah took an analytical approach to the topic, titling his segment “What Causes Mass Shootings?” Spoiler alert: It’s not video games. Trump’s theory blames the internet for radicalizing domestic terrorists and, you know what, Noah isn’t all that against tighter controls on the internet. “I thought I was talking to a lonely middle-aged man who needed my Social Security number. Turns out it was some beautiful woman who wanted to date me,” he said, squinting at the camera. “What the hell?” With mass shootings and violent video games making a similar rise in popularity over the last 20 years, Noah considered House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s stance. But Noah noted a flaw, saying, “Crocs were invented over the last 20 years, and I know they inspire anger in me.” So, it seems there might not be one solid reason why mass shootings happen, but Trevor Noah found one thing every single shooting has in common: “Whatever motivated it has to be combined with a gun.”