Brow Beat

Stephen Colbert Is Very Sharp on the Oregon Shooting and Honesty in Politics

In his first weeks hosting The Late Show, Stephen Colbert has stayed in a mostly comic register, but on Friday he slipped into more somber waters, delivering a tight, thoughtful monologue about the mass shooting in Oregon and the weird hypocrisies in American politics.

In many ways, the bit was reminiscent of recurring Colbert Report segment “The Word,” with the host using a choice term or two—in this case, “honesty” and “pretending”—to contextualize and critique the topics of the day. Here he picks apart subjects ranging from gun violence to Donald Trump to Congress’ Benghazi committee, ending with a dark punch line that strikes just the right note between humor and dread.