Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, James Corden and Jimmy Fallon were more serious than usual on Monday night while responding for the first time to events that unfolded in Charlottesville over the weekend.
The majority of the late-night comedians traded humor for heartfelt messages denouncing the gathering of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK in the Virginia town, in which one woman was killed and over a dozen others injured when a man plowed his car through counter-protesters.
But the biggest issue the stars of late-night TV had was with Donald Trump's response to the attack. POTUS initially made a vague statement saying, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence—on many sides."
It took Trump two more days to respond with a second statement properly condemning the hate groups. "Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."
Here's what late night had to say:
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"
"Boy, what a terrible weekend," Colbert opened his Monday monologue.
"The rally was a clear attempt to spark violence, and it did," Colbert said. "Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. And it is difficult to express how heartbreaking it is to see something like this happening in our country."
He went on to call out Trump for saying that there was violence happening "on many sides."
"Mr. President, this is terrorism, not your order at KFC," Colbert said.
"How can you possibly say you condemn this in the 'strongest possible terms' when you don’t even name the groups responsible? Or say what they did?" Colbert asked before mocking Trump. "I strongly condemn you-know-who about you-know-what. And, you know what, aren’t we all Nazis when you think about it?"
"Here’s the problem," Colbert concluded. "This is the nut of what’s most disturbing about this, is that the president came out after a tragedy, and after he made his statement, reasonable people could not tell if he was condemning Nazis."
"Late Night with Seth Meyers"
The NBC host went in on Trump for not mentioning white supremacist James Field, the man in custody for weaponizing his vehicle to attack protesters, and barely acknowledging the victim, Heather Hayer, who died after being struck by the car.
"On Saturday, you didn't hear her name, or the terrorist's name, or even the word 'terrorist' from our president," Meyers said.
"Some ignored it or played it down when Donald Trump claimed our first black president wasn’t born in this country. It was racist and insane, but he was written off as a clown, a bitter little man who didn’t know an American could have a name like 'Barack Obama.' Then he called Mexicans rapists during the speech announcing his candidacy. He called Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas.' Then he brought Steve Bannon to the White House with him, worked to take away voting rights from black people and hammered away at the idea that Chicago was a wasteland because of the black people living there. And now white supremacists and American Nazis are visible and energetic in a way we’ve not seen in our lifetimes. Donald Trump did not immediately denounce the white supremacist movement when given the chance, and now, whether he knows it or not, many of those people see him as leading that movement."
"The leader of our country is called the president because he’s supposed to preside over society. His job is to lead, to cajole, to scold, to correct our path, to lift up what is good about us and to absolutely and unequivocally and immediately condemn what is evil in us. And if he does not do that, if he does not preside over our society, then he is not a president. You can stand for a nation or you can stand for a hateful movement. You can’t do both."
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Kimmel highlighted details from Trumps first and second response to the attack, noting that our very vocal President "decided to be quiet about is this."
"Protesters were shouting Nazi slogans, they were carrying Nazi flags. One of them killed a young woman and injured dozens of other people with his car -- there were two sides, not many sides. And one of those sides had Nazis on it. All he had to do was condemn the Nazis. It shouldn’t have been a difficult thing. It’s not exactly a controversial stance. It’s not like we asked him to come out against puppies or something. They’re Nazis and Klan members and people who put pineapple on pizza, they’re terrible people."
Kimmel then turned his attention to Trump's follow-up response, which did condemn the hate groups involved in the incident.
"What a difference a teleprompter makes, you know? It's night and day. He sounds like a kid whose parents made him apologize for egging their neighbor’s house," Kimmel joked. "It's unbelievable. If there's any silver lining to this -- and there isn't, by the way -- it's that whatever summer vacation he was hoping to have is now ruined. It has been a terrible vacation."
"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"
Fallon addressed the attacks on a more personal level, saying watching the news with his daughters in the next room made him realize this was something he wouldn't know how to explain to them.
"What happened over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, was just disgusting. I was watching the news like everyone else, and you’re seeing, like, Nazi flags and torches and white supremacists, and I was sick to my stomach. My daughters were in the next room playing, and I’m thinking, 'How can I explain to them that there's so much hatred in this world?' They're two years old and four years old. They don’t know what hate is. They go to the playground and they have friends of all races and backgrounds, they just play, and they laugh, and they have fun."
He then called out Trump for his lack of leadership addressing his delayed reponse.
"But as kids grow up, they need people to look up to, to show them what’s right and good. They need parents and teachers, and they need leaders who appeal to the best in us. The fact that it took the President two days to come out and clearly denounce racists and white supremacists is shameful. And I think he finally spoke out because people everywhere stood up and said something. It’s important for everyone, especially white people in this country, to speak out against this. Ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it."
"The Late Late Show with James Corden"
Corden, on the other hand, did take a more humorous approach: "Trump condemns Nazis today the way my four-year-old son does when I ask him to put dishes in the dishwasher."
"Before denouncing the groups, Trump took time to brag about how well the economy is doing. And he's right, we've had huge gains in the economy especially in sales of pitchforks, torches, and white sheets," Corden joked.
The CBS star went on to highlight a list of things that Trump has condemned faster than he did the Nazis.
"Meryl Streep, James Comey, Harry Styles, a disabled reporter, Nordstrom, Chipotle, bald eagles, Hamilton, Snoop Dogg, Fidgit Spinners, Kristen Stewart, Mexico, Mark Cuban, Despacito, Samuel L. Jackson, Major League Baseball, 'The View,'" Corden said. "And five of those we completely made up, and I guarantee you can't figure out which five."
We're going with Major League Baseball, Fidgit Spinners, bald eagles, Harry Styles and Chipotle. But we wouldn't surprised if Trump has, in fact, picked Twitter fights with any of those five options.