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'Keep loving each other': Late-night hosts powerfully address Orlando tragedy

Monday night's late shows are usually a combination of wackiness and interviews; this week, Orlando took center stage in the monologues.
/ Source: TODAY

"The Late Late Show's" James Corden may have been the first of the late-night hosts to weigh in on Sunday morning's tragedy in Orlando, since he hosted the Tony Awards that evening. But on Monday night, the rest of the late night hosts all had something to say — and they did not hold back.

"The Tonight Show's" Jimmy Fallon spoke to his audience and avoided even running main titles. He despaired that as a father, he doesn't know how to explain the killing of 49 innocent people in a gay nightclub in Florida to his children.

"Maybe there's a lesson from all this," he said. "A lesson in tolerance. We need to support each other's differences and worry less about our own opinions. Get back to debate and away from believing or supporting the idea that if someone doesn't live the way you want them to live, you just buy a gun and kill them."

MORE: 'Love is love is love': Stars turn Tony Awards into moving Orlando tribute

"We need to get back to being brave enough to accept that we have different opinions and that's OK," he added. "Because that's what America is built on."

Fallon concluded his remarks with words of advice to his audience: “When I think of Orlando, I think of nothing but fun and joy and families,” Fallon said. “If anyone can do it, you can. Keep loving each other, keep respecting each other, and keep on dancing.”

"Late Night with Seth Meyers" also replaced its monologue with Meyers speaking; he also showed footage of a long line of people standing in line to give blood in Florida after the tragedy. He also went more directly political, targeting Congress and Donald Trump.

"[W]e're likely about to enter yet another contentious national debate about gun control," he said, and noted later, "When given a chance, Congress consistently chooses nothing as a course of action."

He attacked Trump's post-Orlando tweet, in which Trump congratulated himself for predicting such a tragedy. "Appreciate the congrats?" Meyers said. "I don’t know who’s been congratulating Donald Trump, but you may want to redirect your congratulations to first responders or those waiting in line to give blood. They're the ones who deserve congrats and they're not asking for it."

Meanwhile, "Full Frontal's" Samantha Bee was furious, but trying to keep a lid on it.

"Well, here we are. Now, after a massacre, the standard operating procedure is that you stand on stage and deliver some well-meaning words about how we will get through this together, how love wins, how love conquers hate," she said. "And that is great. That is beautiful. But you know what? F--- it. I am too angry for that! Love does not win, unless we start loving each other enough to fix our f------ problems."

On "Conan," Conan O'Brien also called for change, and set up a Go Fund Me account for the victims and their families; it has already raised nearly $3 million with an aim to raise $5M.

"I simply do not understand why anybody in this country is allowed to purchase and own a semi-automatic assault rifle," he said. "I have tried to understand this issue from every side, and it all comes down to this: nobody I know, or have ever met in my entire life, should have access to a weapon that can kill so many people so quickly ... I wanted to take just a moment here tonight to agree with the rapidly growing sentiment in America that it's time to grow up and figure this out."

Over at "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah spent over eight minutes discussing what happened, what it means and showing segments of President Obama's address on Sunday.

"I wonder if President Obama ever thought to himself that mass shooting speeches would be such a big part of his job," wondered Noah. "Because, you know, at this point he’s hosted 12 state dinners, but he’s had to give 16 mass shooting addresses."

MORE: 'Heartbroken': Support for Orlando shooting victims pours in on social media

He also insisted that the shooting was not about terrorism, but guns. "I understand that America loves guns, but this love comes at a cost," he said. "America needs to ask itself the question: Do you want to be a country that takes reasonable measures to protect its citizens, or should we tell the president to prepare speech number 17?"

Stephen Colbert at "The Late Show" was clearly worn down by the number of times he's had to address this sadly-repeating sort of situation.

"We each ask ourselves what can you possibly say in the face of this horror? But then sadly you realize, you know what to say, because it has been said too many times before," he said. "It's as if there’s a national script that we’ve learned, and I think by accepting the script, we tacitly accept that the script will end the same way every time, with nothing changing except for the loved ones and the families of the victims, for whom nothing will ever be the same."

Colbert suggested we look at the love that has emerged post-shooting. "There have been outpourings of love throughout the country and around the world … love allows us to change the script. So love your country, love your family, love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando."

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