7:56am PT by Lauren Huff, Lexy Perez
Late-Night Hosts Stand With Students Who Staged Walkouts to Protest Gun Violence
Late-night hosts stood in solidarity with students across America who staged walkouts Wednesday to protest gun violence in the wake of the deadly Parkland, Florida, shooting last month that left 17 dead.
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah said on his show of the protests, "For once, the students evacuated on their own terms."
He expressed incredulity that people seem to be surprised that kids across the nation have become outspoken on gun control. "Some of the biggest political movements were led by young people. Kids fought for civil rights, kids fought against Apartheid in South Africa and to stop the Vietnam War," he said, calling the walkouts a perfect example of "how a youth movement can turn into an everyone movement."
And to those who don't think the students should be allowed to demonstrate with walkouts, he said, "Wait, you don't want kids outside because it's not safe? The schools are not safe, that's literally why they're marching."
On The Late Late Show, James Corden praised the students for their “really amazing” activism and said they shouldn’t face punishment for protesting during school. “Politicians should know if they turn their backs on these students, they could face punishment of their own,” the late-night host said before joking, “You know, like [having to] get a real job after the next election.”
Corden also took a moment to emphasize how telling it was that some cable networks, including the Viacom channels, made the executive decision to suspend their regular programming for 17 minutes, to stand in solidarity with the protesting students and pay honor to the lives lost. “Comedy Central is tougher on gun violence than the United States government. But it was great work, kids!”
During her opening monologue on Full Frontal, host Samantha Bee applauded the students for their dedication; their hard work is something she hasn't witnessed in quite a while.
“These kids have been filling me with hope and I’m sure they’ve also been filling the GOP establishment with fear,” Bee said, later explaining that their generation will be the first the prior generation “won’t be able to call lazy.”
Having covered tragic mass shootings before on her show, Bee said that the specific coverage always becomes the hardest part of her job. “I’ve screamed. I’ve cried. I’ve seen staffers have panic attacks, because of their own brushes with gun violence,” she explained, adding that covering mass shootings are the “worst” for she never thought any change would be made.
The late-night host then took a moment to thank the protesting students for giving her the hope she never knew she could feel. “But I should’ve known better. I should’ve known that a generation would come that wouldn’t repeat our mistakes. … You guys were what I was praying for.”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers called the walkouts a "fantastic and beautiful thing that I support full-heartedly" but joked that there "would be that one kid who's going to see this and start watching the news for any reason to walk out of school."
Imagining a potential scenario, Meyers said, "You guys! Republicans are pushing a bill that could delay negotiations over the debt ceiling! Walk out, walk out! Just me? Walk out!"
During The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, who donned an orange tie to pay honor to the students, also expressed his praise for the protests. “I just quickly want to send my support and thanks to the students and teachers who were part of National Walkout Day today. It’s been such an incredible thing to see. People all over the country making their voices heard and pushing for change… We support you. We thank you and the future thanks you.”