Wednesday’s terrorist attack at the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo really “hit home” for TBS late night host Conan O’Brien, who was once a writer for the Harvard Lampoon humour magazine.
“All of us are accustomed to bad news, but this story really hits home for anyone who, day in and day out, mocks political, social, and religious leaders,” O’Brien opened his Wednesday show by stating.
He continued by saying that no one should have to “think twice before making a joke”:
In this country, we take it for granted 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 forced to die for. So it is very important that I express tonight that everyone who works at our comedy show, all of us are terribly sad for the families of those victims and for anyone who now has to think twice before making a joke — that is not the way it is supposed to be.
Watch Conan’s full intro below:
Tina Fey, the first female head writer on “Saturday Night Live,” echoed Conan’s sentiments following the attack, saying:
Obviously, that news is terrible and tragic and upsetting. You look at that and you look at the controversy surrounding ‘The Interview,’ it makes you think about how important free speech is and how it absolutely must be defended. [We] can not back down on free speech in any way. We all have to stand firm on the issue of free speech.
As did Jon Stewart:
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 terrorist attack at the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday left 12 people dead, including the weekly’s chief editor and three cartoonists. Police are still searching for two men they suspect as being the gunmen, while another man believed to be involved with the deadly assault turned himself over to authorities late Wednesday.
Media outlets denounced the massacre as an attack on freedom and democracies. A few even decided to republish cartoons from Charlie Hebdo that have triggered controversy in the past.
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