ABOVE: Watch Jon Stewart talk about the tragedy on The Daily Show.
TORONTO — Wednesday’s attack on French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo resonated with late night comedians, who took a break from cracking wise to reflect on the tragic event.
On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart struck a serious tone and shared the “shock and grief” of his entire staff.
Stewart described the shooting of 12 people in Paris as a “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.”
He told viewers: “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.”
Stewart acknowledged “there is no sense to be made of this” and vowed to “keep going.”
On his eponymous late night talk show, Conan O’Brien also vowed to move forward and make people laugh.
“In this country we just take it for granted that it’s our right to poke fun at the untouchable or the sacred,” he told the audience.
But, O’Brien added, “today’s tragedy in Paris reminds us very viscerally that it’s a right some people are inexplicably forced to die for.”
The host said the attack on Charlie Hebdo “really hits home” for those who mock political, social and religious figures.
“It is very important tonight that I express that everybody who works at our comedy show are 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,” he said.
“It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.”
BELOW: Watch Conan O’Brien address the tragedy on Conan.
Comedian Bill Maher, whose Real Time show returns Friday night with outspoken author Salman Rushdie as a guest, tweeted that condemning the attack is not enough.
“Unless U strongly endorse the right of anyone to make fun of any religion/prophet, U r not a moderate Muslim,” he wrote.