Tonight a visibly shaken Jimmy Kimmel devoted his monologue to Sunday’s shooting in his hometown of Las Vegas, which is now the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. As Kimmel points out, this is less than a year and a half since the previous deadliest mass shooting in United States history, an incident that was followed up not just by inaction from Congress but by legislation that made buying guns easier. By the end of his speech he asks his viewers to call Congress about gun control and recommends donating to the Red Cross, both for Las Vegas and for continuing relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Kimmel’s monologue is a sad, stinging rebuke to the politicians who refuse to seriously tackle the gun problem raging through America. In response to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other anti-gun control politicians offering their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families, the comedian says that “They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.”
Kimmel even addresses his own reluctance to turn his program into a political soapbox. “I want this to be a comedy show,” he says. “I hate talking about like this. I just want to laugh about things every night, but it seems to be coming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.”
This comes just two weeks after Kimmel emerged as the media’s most passionate voice against the Republicans’ most recent health care bill. Kimmel, a guy who was once most famous for hosting a show where scantily clad women jumped on trampolines, has become the conscience of not just late-night television but network TV as a whole.