Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to cut it with Samantha Bee, who offered one of the angriest, most cathartic responses Monday night to the gay nightclub shooting over the weekend–the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“Well, here we are,” the comedian said at the top of Full Frontal. “Now, after a massacre, the standard operating procedure is that 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. And that is great. That is beautiful. But you know what? Fuck it. I am too angry for that. Love does not win unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems.”
Bee went into full takedown mode, tearing into the country’s lax gun control laws and lambasting Florida Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio’s flaccid responses to the tragedy.
While Bee used her fury as a call to action for policy makers, other late night hosts called for unity. “Despair is a victory for hate. Hate wants us to be too weak to change anything,” Stephen Colbert said in lieu of an opening sequence. “Let’s remember ‘love’ is a verb, and to love means to do something.”
Others took the time to consider the attack’s implications for their family. “What do I tell my kids?” Jimmy Fallon asked in the opening monologue of The Tonight Show. “What do I tell them about this? What can we learn from this? What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them? Maybe there’s a lesson in all this, a lesson in tolerance.”
Even Conan O’Brien, who typically shies away from political commentary, weighed in. “I have really tried very hard over the years not to bore you with what I think,” he said. “However, I am a father of two. I like to believe I have a shred of common sense, and I simply do not understand why anybody in this country is allowed to purchase and own a semi-automatic assault rifle.”
Seth Meyers skipped his Late Night monologue, instead doing a “Closer Look” segment to help make sense of the horror. “So much, of the news right now is dominated by the horrific attacks in Orlando, the attack on the LGBT community there,” he said. “And so we decided we would try to address that and, in addressing it, maybe help us all process it a little bit more because I don’t know if we can ever fully understand it.”