Given how rarely “The Daily Show” tends to get serious, you tend to know that when they do, there is a very particular reason behind it. This happened on the show this week, as host Jon Stewart chose to discuss at the start of the show that tragedy that took place in Paris for the satirists at Charlie Hebdo. Twelve people were killed at the publication, seemingly for expressing their satirical point of view.
Stewart, like many others within the comedy world, is clearly quite cognizant of the power that comes with free speech, and the opportunities that many Americans have thanks to this. His message towards the publication is a powerful one, and at the end, he says that his goal is not to make sense of the terrible events in France, but to “keep calm and carry on, or whatever [version of this] is in your dorm room.”
Stewart is not the only late-night host to address the issue in some way. On his own TBS show, Conan O’Brien delivered a similar message at the start of the show, echoing that there are parts of the world where such mockery for the sake of laughter is simply not respected nor appreciated.
This is far from the first time that Stewart has brought up this sort of subject in the past, as he has profiled before a man in Bassem Youssef, who at one point hosted a similar show in Egypt. He had to face great danger in order to do his show much of the time, but he continued to press on for the sake of expression, and of trying to give people a laugh during a difficult time.
Our hearts are with those at Charlie Hedbo and their families during this difficult time.