On Thursday’s Daily Show, Trevor Noah started the show by briefly addressing the mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College that occurred on the same day.
“By now as you may have heard, a few hours ago, there was a tragic event that took place in Oregon,” said Noah, who was wrapping up his first week as host of The Daily Show. “And, you know, normally in one of these situations, I’d just speak from the heart. But honestly this is not a normal situation for me.”
He continued, “I haven’t had the time to feel, let alone think, about everything that’s happening. I’m sure that’s true for many people out there. So, right now, we can only express our grief for the people who are lost. And I guess I can do what I do best, and that’s try and make people laugh. Let’s do our show.”
On Thursday, a gunman killed nine people at an Oregon community college before he himself was killed in a shootout with police. Noah’s predecessor Jon Stewart spoke about another massacre that occurred this year in Charleston, South Carolina, when nine people were killed in a church.
“I have one job, and it’s a pretty simple job. I come in in the morning and we look at the news and I write jokes about it,” Stewart said after the racially-charged shooting. “But I didn’t do my job today, so I apologize. I got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds because of what happened in South Carolina.”
“And maybe if I wasn’t nearing the end of the run or this wasn’t such a common occurrence, maybe I could have pulled out of a spiral, but I didn’t,” said Stewart. “And so I honestly have nothing other than just sadness, once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping, racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist.”
“I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jack shit,” said Stewart.