Stephen Colbert defends “thoughts and prayers,” but also calls for action

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The Late Show returned from hiatus Monday night, so Stephen commented on the events of the last ten days. As he has had to do a few times before in his short tenure hosting the show, Stephen once again offered his thoughts and prayers to the victims mass shootings, this time to the families of those lost in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino. The term “thoughts and prayers” has become a controversial topic, perhaps spurred recently by Anthony Jeselnik’s comedy special on Netflix. The New York Daily News ran a front page headline that said “God Isn’t Fixing This,” and, as Stephen says, “for once they’re not referring to the newspaper industry.” They are referring to what they call “meaningless platitudes.” But Stephen says, “I just want to defend thoughts and prayers as someone who occasionally thinks and prays.” He suggests they are not necessarily used to fix the problem, but to find some way to share the burden of grief.

Stephen goes on to say, however, that we do need action, though he isn’t sure what that should look like. After listing a few of the arguments for and against gun control, and while he’s baffled at how easy it is to get thousands of rounds of ammunition, he is also quickly assures the audience, “I should have mentioned this before. I don’t know what I’m talking about.” But as he transitions into his next segment, Stephen says, “I’ll tell you where there are a lot of guns right now and it doesn’t seem to help, and that is Syria.” With that observation, he launches into a discussion of drug-fueled ISIS and how to stop them, returning to the comedic satire he’s more comfortable asserting. Watch below for more.

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