We’ve had the opportunity now for a few weeks to settle in with Stephen Colbert outside of his Colbert Report character, and it has been refreshing (especially that interview with Joe Biden). However, we haven’t really gotten to see the real Stephen Colbert react to national tragedy. Given the frequency of mass shootings in American right now, this undoubtedly will not be the last time. However, it was a first on The Late Show, and Colbert even addressed the fact that he’s “no longer pretending” to be someone else every night.
“The least we can do is not pretend to know what to do or say, and in the face of the killings in Oregon yesterday, I honestly don’t know what to do or say, other than that our hearts are broken …
“I think pretending is part of the problem. These things happen over and over again and we are naturally horrified and shocked when we hear about them, but then we change nothing and we pretend that it won’t happen again. Some say the answer is stricter gun laws, some say the answer is better mental care, that we need better treatment, or just keep the guns out of the hands of the insane. Maybe it’s both. I honestly don’t know.
“I do know that one of the definitions of insanity is changing nothing and then pretending that something will change.”