In Monday's (Nov. 16) episode of "The Late Show," Stephen Colbert decided against his signature upbeat entrance fans have quickly gotten used to seeing on the program and instead, delivered a poignant monologue thanking France for their contributions on American culture.
These statements follow Friday's (Nov. 13) episode where Colbert learned about the attacks on Paris towards the end of taping his late night show. Briefly commenting on the news and struggling with tears, the host was able to deliver a more-thought provoking statement on the new episode.
“I wanted to start my show tonight by once again offering our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris. New York is a city that sadly knows too well the horror the French experienced on Friday. And we also know there are no words that can reach the depth of their grief and their shock, but we stand with the people of France as a friend, and an ally, and offer a hope that there is a way through the unspeakable tragedy,” Colbert said.
He continued, “And also let’s take the opportunity to thank France for what they’ve done for us. They’ve given the United States so much over the years: aid to General Washington in our fight for independence, key intelligence on how to put potatoes in boiling oil, my favorite way of kissing, half the continent at a bargain price (no take-backs, guys!), and most of all, France gave America our enduring symbol of freedom.”
With an image of the Statue of Liberty on the screen, Colbert went on, "Because we have used that freedom to make foam versions of it for drunk people to wear on New Year’s Eve. And today, in a tribute to its mother country, Lady Liberty offered ISIS a fitting gesture.”
On cue, the Statue of Liberty flipped up her middle finger for all to see and Colbert smiled, “Long may it wave.”
Colbert then turned his attention to how those around the world showed their support with France, “In fact, all over the world this weekend, there were displays of support of the French. The Sydney Opera House. Rio’s Christ the Redeemer. And the Paris Las Vegas hotel dimmed their Eiffel Tower lights.”
However big or small, the host pointed out the many ways people stood in solidarity with Paris ... including watching Disney's "Ratatouille."
“Now, some might say these gestures don’t actually do anything, but I disagree. People are trying to find any way they can to show support, however small, to the people of France," Colbert said. "For instance, Twitter was deluged with statements of support, from the hashtag #PrayForParis to messages like, ‘In support of what is happening in Paris, my wife and I are watching 'Ratatouille.'’ And ‘Watching 'Ratatouille' to honor all the citizens of Paris.’ Is that wrong? No. Is 'Ratatouille' a French film? No. Is it a valid expression? Absolutely.”