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Several late-night hosts took a moment during their Monday night episodes to comment on the tragic Paris attacks.
“I wish I could say words in French about this — my mother was a middle-school French teacher, she was my middle-school French teacher. I was a terrible student, that about all I can do now is list vegetables, colors and maybe a few days of the week,” said Seth Meyers, trying to liven up the somber mood on Late Night. “Better if I use English to say.”
“I think one of the most jarring things about what happened is that Paris is a city that so many people associate with love, and what happened there was so the opposite of that,” he continued. “I love Paris, I’ve been there many times. I almost proposed to my wife in Paris — I should have, it would have made for a far less awkward, intense flight home. I got around to it [eventually]!”
“I realized there are other places where things like this happen all the time — Beirut also had a terrible bombing by ISIS as well, and I certainly was guilty of not paying the same level of attention to that atrocity,” he explained further. “And when you think about the place where these terrible things are happening the most right now, it would be Syria. The people who live there and are trying to live normal lives are so desperate to leave. For those refugees whose lives are so difficult right now, … how much harder that life is going to be because of [Paris].”
Stephen Colbert said on Monday’s Late Show, “New York is a city that sadly knows too well the horror the French experienced on Friday, and we also know that there are no words that can reach the depth of their grief and their shock. We stand with the people for France as a friend and an ally and offer the hope that there is a way through the unspeakable tragedy.”
While humorously thanking France for all the country has given the United States throughout history — including kissing, French fries and the Statue of Liberty — Colbert highlighted international landmarks that displayed solidarity with France over the weekend. “Some might say these gestures don’t actually do anything, but I disagree. People are trying to find any way they can to show their support, however small, to the people of France,” Colbert explained, even if that means tweeting or watching the film Ratatouille (as some did and noted as such on social media).
“Watching a cartoon Parisian rat cook soup is certainly as valid as anything I will say tonight, I promise you that. If it makes you feel a connection to the people of France, go drink a bottle of Bordeaux, eat a croissant at Au Bon Pain, slap on a beret and smoke a cigarette,” he smiled. “Anything that is an attempt at human connection is positive.”
Colbert then noted that a group of acrobatic cats were part of tonight’s episode, and remained as previously booked while discussing the attacks with Medal Of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs because “the only thing they have in common with ISIS is that they’re a bunch of pussies.”
On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah reflected, “I think our lives are defined by moments: dinner with family, taking a nice drive together, friends gathering at somebody’s house to watch Ronda [Rousey] get kicked in the neck. And I think the reason it’s painful is because, often, terrorism seeks to replace these moments with death and fear. We are all afraid. We replace that fear with anger a lot of the time, but I think what we should try to choose to do is not focus on the perpetrators, because every attack — whether it’s Paris, Beirut or Kenya — seems less about a specific group of people and more about on humanity itself.”
“One thing that made me smile was people of Paris showed us that the only way to overcome inhumanity is humanity,” he continued. “There are taxis that turned off their meters to get people home for free. Lines and lines of people waiting to donate blood. And the thing that sums it up the most for me was the spontaneous hashtag ‘#PorteOuverte,’ which means ‘open the door,’ and anyone who was stranded in the streets of Paris, anyone who needed a safe place to sleep, was welcomed into the homes. This is the most terrifying night of people’s lives and they’re opening their doors to random strangers to let them come in and be their refuge. It was amazing to see.
“To the people of France, we commend you. I will say you are ruining our cultural stereotypes because the French are supposed to be cold and unwelcoming, and then you go and do these beautiful things and who do we make jokes about now? Finland? Because we will. We will make jokes about Finland if we have to,” Noah concluded. “Our prayers will be with Paris, our prayers are with the people. But let’s not forget, before we fight, to love.”
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