Late night TV usually works like a pressure valve, channeling the troubling through the ridiculous, but last night’s roundup was different. Just hours after two bombs tore through crowds of spectators at the Boston Marathon, killing at least 3 and injuring more than 100, late-night hosts opened their shows with sober reflections on the tragedy.
Take CBS’s Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, known for his occasionally emotional, incisive monologues, who began Monday night’s show with this:
“Hey everybody, good evening. Tonight’s show is a little bit different. Obviously the news of today is so horrendous that it would seem insensitive at best to say ‘It’s a great day for America’, so I won’t be starting the show with that tonight. Is anyone else sick of this s***? I seem to have to say that too often.”
Conan O’Brien commenced his TBS show Conan with several somber lines dedicated to the bombings: “First I did want to start by mentioning what an upsetting and sad day it has been,” he said. “I’m talking of course about what happened in Boston earlier today. Boston’s my hometown, it’s where I grew up, it’s where my family lives.”
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel reacted in similar fashion, unsmiling as the show’s band played and the audience applauded, opening with: “I don’t want to bring everyone down but it was a terrible day, bad things happened today for no good reason, and our thoughts are with the people of Boston and everyone who is suffering as a result of the bombings at the marathon. It’s a disgusting thing. I don’t understand it, but my job is to make you laugh and so I will try to do that. And I will probably fail.”
He added, “I’m failing already.”