Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah and Seth Meyers each took several minutes to address Friday’s devastating terrorist attacks in Paris at the beginning of their shows Monday, mixing heartfelt words of support and grief, with a few sweet, necessary jokes.
Colbert — who closed his show Friday with a touching monolog after learning about the attacks — moved deftly between the two saying, “We stand with the people of France as a friend and an ally, and offer the hope that there is a way through the unspeakable tragedy.” After which he lauded France’s many contributions to America, including “key intelligence on how to put potatoes in boiling oil, my favorite way of kissing, [and] half the continent at a bargain price — no take-backs, guys.”
Later, Colbert lauded the ways people have expressed their support for Paris, even if it’s a small, ostensibly erroneous gesture like watching Ratatouille. “Is that wrong? No. Is Ratatouille a French film? No. Is it a valid expression — absolutely! Because watching a cartoon Parisian rat make soup is certainly as valid as anything I will say tonight.”
On The Tonight Show, according to The New York Times, Fallon took a moment at his desk to say, “What happened last Friday night changed us, and we are different people than we were at 4:00 last Friday. Those shootings and bombings were set out to destroy us and destroy humanity, but guess what? It backfired. Because instead those events brought us all even closer together.”
Noah and Meyers’ messages were similarly straightforward. The Daily Show host homed in on the myriad ways Parisian’s came together in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, like cab drivers turning off their meters to get people home safely and the “Porte Ouverte” hashtag, an offer to house anyone in need of a safe place to sleep.
“This is the most terrifying night in peoples’ lives and they are opening their doors to random strangers to let them come in,” Noah said, before slyly adding: “To the people of Paris 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. Who do we make jokes about now? Finland?”
And on Late Night, Meyers expressed his condolences through his own connections to Paris, as well as his regret for being a terrible French student in high school (especially since his mom was his teacher). But Meyers also took a moment to shed light on the thousands of Syrian refugees, who are fleeing terror like the world saw in Paris on a near daily basis.
“For those refugees whose life is so difficult right now, I think one of the many — and there are so many sad things about what happened in Paris — but certainly one of them is how much harder life is going to be for those refugees because of this,” Meyers said. “So I would just spare a thought for all the people who were effected by these tragic events, and hopefully things will be just a little bit better tomorrow — being, Mardi, French for Tuesday,” he added. “Nailed it.”