Other late-night hosts have so far spoken only briefly about the terrorist attacks in and just outside Paris. NBC’s Saturday Night Live began with Cecily Strong delivering a poignant message to the people of Paris from the people of New York. HBO’s Real Time host Bill Maher opened his Friday show singing a snippet of the French national anthem, and CBS’ The Late Show host Stephen Colbert told viewers that night of his “heavy heart” after learning of the attacks after taping his broadcast.
Oliver, on the other hand, had a lot to say.
Acknowledging that much still is unknown about the situation, some things can be said for certain, he began. “And this is where it actually helps to be on HBO, where those things can be said without restraints. Because after the many necessary and appropriate moments of silence, I’d like to offer you a moment of premium cable profanity.”
“So here is where things stand: As of now we know this attack was carried out by gigantic fucking assholes…Definitely working in service of an ideology of pure ass-hole-ry,” Oliver began.
“It is important to remember, nothing about what these assholes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure and I’ll tell you why. If you are in a war of culture and lifestyle with France, good luck. Go ahead, bring your bankrupt ideology. They’ll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloise cigarettes, Camus, Camembert, madeleines, macarons, and the…croquembouche. You just brought a philosophy of rigorous self-abnegation to a pastry fight, my friend. You are fucked,” Oliver said, calling the cone of choux pastry balls strewn with caramel threads “a French freedom tower.”
“So to the people of France, our thoughts are truly with you,” Oliver concluded, promising he will have more to say on the subject as events unspool.