Jon Stewart paid a touching homage on last night's Daily Show to the victims of yesterday's Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, saying, "I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn't have to be … an act of courage. But those guys at Hebdo had it, and they were killed for their cartoons," he said during his opening monologue. He also pointed out the tragedy's "stark reminder that, for the most part, the legislators and journalists and institutions that we jab and ridicule are not in any way the enemy. For however frustrating or outraged the back and forth can become, it's still back and forth, a conversation amongst those on, let's call it, Team Civilization. And this type of violence only clarifies that reality."
Conan O'Brien showed similar somberness on his show, acknowledging that "this story really hits home for anyone who day in and day out mocks political, social, and religious figures." He reminded the audience that we "just take it for granted that 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 inexplicably forced to die for." He added that he and his staff were "terribly sad for the families of those victims, for the people of France, and for anyone in the world tonight who now has to think twice before making a joke." (Keep posted on updates from Paris.)