Las Vegas Shooting: Late Night Talk Shows Respond to the Horrific Shooting

Tonight Show Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler
Singer/Songwriter Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler perform “No Freedom” on ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ (Photo by Andrew Lipovsky / NBC)

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon began with Fallon acknowledging the murder of innocent concertgoers followed by a performance of Dido’s “No Freedom” by Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler. Miley Cyrus explained the reason she choose “No Freedom” was because she truly believes there isn’t any love without freedom. “I think about that when these tragic events happen. What is music if we can’t go see our favorite artists perform because we’re scared of violence or we’re scared of losing someone that we love to go to a concert or to go see a film? And I think that right now we’re supposed to be the land of the free but we can’t have freedom if we’re constantly living in fear,” said Cyrus.

On The Late Late Show with James Corden, Corden began his October 2, 2017 episode discussing the mass shooting, the deadliest in the modern history of the United States. “A crowd gathered together in unity enjoying a music concert unaware that moments later their lives would change forever. Their families hearing the news that their son, daughter, mother, father or friend isn’t ever coming home is something I can’t begin to imagine. To them and to the hundreds who survived but now face battles with their injuries and memories, we’re thinking of you tonight.

We’re also hearing stories of bravery and heroism by the resilient fans at the concert and the first responders and medical professionals in Las Vegas. People lining up to give blood, lines that started just hours after the shooting, because that’s what people do. It’s what they did in Manchester. It’s what they did at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last summer. It’s what they do in every city where a horrific attack takes place. Those will be far greater examples of true human nature than that shooter on the 32nd floor,” said James Corden.

Like James Corden, Seth Meyers also addressed gun violence in America during his opening monologue on Late Night with Seth Meyers. “I would like to send my thoughts to the families of the victims and my thanks and appreciation to the first responders as well as those in Las Vegas who lined up to give blood,” said Meyers. “It always seems like the worst displays of humanity in this country are immediately followed by the best. And then sadly that is followed by no action at all, and then it repeats itself. We’ve talked about gun violence on this show before, and I’m not sure what else I can say. I also know nothing I say will make any difference at all. But, to Congress I would just like to say, are there no steps we can take as a nation to prevent gun violence or is this just how it is and how it’s going to continue to be? Because when you say, ‘Now is not the time to talk about it,’ which you always say – ‘Now is not the time to talk about it’ – what you really mean is, ‘There is never a time to talk about it.’ And it would be so much more honest if you would just admit that your plan is to never talk about it and never take any action.”

However, the most emotional, most gut-wrenching response came from Jimmy Kimmel during the opening of Jimmy Kimmel Live on October 2nd. Kimmel, fresh off helping Americans keep their health insurance, struggled to speak, his voice breaking and emotions barely kept in check during his monologue on the Las Vegas shooting. Vegas is Kimmel’s hometown and this despicable act of violence struck home.

After describing the events and acknowledging the victims and their families, Kimmel said, “It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up. It’s too much to even process, all these devastated families who have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and used them to shoot people.”

“I’ve been reading comments from people saying this is terrible but there’s nothing we can do about it, but I disagree with that intensely because of course there’s something we can do about it. There are a lot of things we can do about it, but we don’t which is interesting because when someone with a beard attacks us we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls… We take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that. 2nd Amendment, I guess our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume.

Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino – every one of these shootings the murderer used automatic or semi-automatic rifles which are not weapons you use for self-defense. They’re weapons designed to kill large numbers of people in the shortest possible time,” said Kimmel.

Jimmy Kimmel went on to call out politicians who’ve taken money from the NRA and to ask for real action on behalf of the country. It was a powerful 10 minute opening segment and one delivered straight from his heart.