It was not only France that was rocked by the despicable shooting of the Paris shootings on Wednesday. The comedy world was also taken aback by the murder of 12 people at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.
Some notable comedic entertainers felt compelled to pay homage to the victims of the Paris massacre.
Jon Stewart departed from his usual sarcastic self for a straight-faced, heartfelt take on the horrible situation:
“I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn’t have to be that. It shouldn’t be an act of courage, it should be taken as established law. But those guys at Hebdo had it and they were killed for their cartoons. A stark reminder that for the most part the legislators and journalists and institutions that we jab and ridicule are not in any way the enemy. For however frustrating or outraged the back and forth can become it’s still back and forth, a conversation amongst those on let’s call it ‘Team Civilization.’ And this type of violence only clarifies that reality.”
Conan O’Brien also had some sorrowful and insightful words about the tragedy:
“This story really hits home for anyone who, day in and day out, mocks political, social and religious figures. In this country we just take it for granted that it’s our right to poke fun at the untouchable or the sacred. But today’s tragedy in Paris reminds us very viscerally that it’s a right some people are inexplicably forced to die for. So it is very important tonight that I express that everyone who works at our comedy show – and believe it or not, this is a comedy show, that’s what we’re trying to do here – all of us are terribly sad for the families of those victims, for the people of France, and for anyone in the world tonight who now has to think twice before making a joke. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.”
Meanwhile Louis C.K. paid homage to the magazine in a very personal way by trading in his iconic black t-shirt and wearing a red T-shirt with “Charlie Hebdo” handwritten on it in black while performing his standup at Madison Square Garden.