'Late Late Show' Host Craig Ferguson Replaces Monologue With Heartfelt Message About Colorado Shooting (Video)

Ditching a planned bit about "The Dark Knight Rises," Ferguson soberly acknowledged, "I can't really talk about it in front of an audience with the skeleton robot and all of that."

In the wake of national tragedies it’s difficult for comedians and late night shows to know how to plow forward with their material, but Craig Ferguson is addressing that dilemma head on.

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At the top of Friday night’s Late Late Show, host Ferguson ditched his usual monologue in favor of a sober and heartfelt statement in support of those affected by the theater shooting that occurred Thursday evening in Colorado.

“Obviously the events of today would make it difficult to broadcast a show tonight which began with the phrase ‘It’s a great day for America’,” Ferguson said, referencing his daily opener. “I couldn’t let that happen.”

Ferguson explained that he shot Friday’s show on Thursday, and his original monologue discussed the impending release of Christopher Nolan’s film, The Dark Knight Rises. “As chance would have it, the show you’re about to see tonight was recorded last night, before the terrible events in Colorado, and the monologue in that show was about Batman, and the movie,” Ferguson said. “I felt that it was inappropriate to show that monologue.

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“The rest of the show was fine, he continued. “But I didn’t want to make a whole show about the events of Colorado, because I’m sure there’s been a lot of media coverage, and I didn’t want to add my rage and despair to everyone else’s.”

At a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on Thursday, a young man dressed as Batman villain The Joker opened fire in a crowded theater, killing 12 and injuring at least 50 more. Ferguson emphasized that his show is seldom a platform for discussion of tragedies like this one, and he hoped that the remainder of the show would entertain people as they came to terms with the events in Aurora, Colorado.

“I’m not going to try and make sense of it,” he said. “I’m not going to blame anyone for what happened there. How do you make sense of something like that? The difficulty I have is to be topical, but for the most part I try to avoid stories which are grisly – because it’s not really my job. But I can’t ignore this one, and I can’t really talk about it in front of an audience with the skeleton robot and all of that – that doesn’t make sense. So if you’ll indulge me, it’s just a bit fun and to be easy before you go to sleep.”

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“If you are in any way connected to this awful business, I’m sorry,” he said, wrapping up. “I’m sorry that happened. It’s just awful. And my thought and my sympathies to the families of those who were there, and I just remember we are all diminished when something like this happens.”

Watch the video below for Ferguson’s full statement.