Watch Stephen Colbert wrestle with covering mass shootings like Oregon's on late-night comedy
"I want to talk about pretending," Stephen Colbert said at the beginning of Friday's Late Show. He noted that he famously pretended to play a certain person on late-night TV for a decade, then said that now he's pretending to know what he's doing as himself, he's not sure how to talk about the day's big news when the day's big news is a mass shooting like the one that happened in Roseburg, Oregon. "In the face of the killings in Oregon yesterday, I honestly don't know what to do or say, other than that our hearts are broken for those struck by this senseless tragedy," he began.
"I can't pretend that it didn't happen," Colbert explained. "I also can't pretend to know what to do to prevent what happened yesterday all the times it has happened before. But I think pretending is part of the problem. These things happen over and over again, and we are naturally horrified and shocked when we hear about them. But then we change nothing, and we pretend that it won't happen again." He doesn't know what the solution is, he added, "but I do know that one of the definitions of insanity is doing nothing and then pretending that nothing will change."
And then the show went on. "Speaking of honest insanity, Donald Trump," Colbert said, taking to heart Trump's advice to stop the pretending about politics. He started with Trump's "0 percent" chance of being elected president and went on to discuss the House Benghazi committee gaffe from would-be House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Watch below and you will never look at McCarthy challenger Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) without thinking "seductive beaver mascot" again. Peter Weber