Stephen Colbert began Monday’s Late Show by extending his heartfelt support and prayers to the people of Paris. He only has words to give, but even though “there are no words that can reach the depth of their grief and their shock,” Stephen gives what support he can express, because “anything that is an attempt at human support is positive.” Stephen reminds us how much France has given America, like “aid to general Washington in our fight for independence, key intelligence in how to put potatoes in boiling oil,” and “half the continent at a bargain price—No take backs, guys!” and we can thank them by giving what little solidarity we have to offer.
People all across the world have been trying to show their support in whatever way they can. Twitter was deluged over the weekend with supportive gestures like #prayforparis, but there were also tweeters watching Ratatouille in support of Paris. Stephen asks, “Is that wrong? No. Is Ratatouille a French film? No. Is that a valid expression? Absolutely! Because watching a cartoon Parisian rat make soup is certainly as valid as anything I will say tonight.” With these words, Stephen touches on the main point of his opening: why should my opening segment be any more important than a random tweet? Most of us can’t do anything to directly help, but if we show any form of support or awareness, it’s not a bad thing, because, as Stephen points out, “Did you get up this morning and not try to kill someone? Then you’re already on the right side.”