Stephen Colbert’s transition from host of “The Colbert Report” to host of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” has been described as an entertainer’s transformation from a “pretend” version of himself into “the real” version of himself. He referenced that distinction on Friday (Oct. 1) to ruminate on mass shootings in the US, after yet another shooting occurred the day before in Roseburg, Oregon, where a student at Umpqua Community College opened fire on his classmates—killing nine and injuring at least nine more.
“In the face of the killings in Oregon yesterday I honestly don’t know what to do or say,” Colbert said, emphasizing that his job on the show was to discuss the news from the past 24 hours but that this particular news is now all too commonplace. ”I can’t pretend that it didn’t happen. I also can’t pretend to know what to do.”
But, he went on, “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.”
Before pivoting to another story and resuming his signature sarcastic tone, Colbert concluded soberly: “I do know the definition of insanity is changing nothing and then pretending that something will change.”