Stephen Colbert started Monday’s episode of The Late Show by having his house band, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, perform the French national anthem as a tribute to the lives lost during the Paris attacks last week.
“I hope you had a good weekend,” Colbert said after the performance, before acknowledging “given what’s going on in the world, that’s a tall order.” After taping Friday’s broadcast, as the terror attacks were still ongoing, Colbert offered his staff’s thoughts and prayers to the people of France, and on Monday, he reiterated that sentiment.
“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,” Colbert said, referencing the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. “But we stand with the people of France as a friend and an ally and offer the hope that there is a way through unspeakable tragedy.”
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Colbert then discussed how people were trying to show solidarity to Paris, and highlighted one Twitter user who said he watched the Pixar film Ratatouille as a way of support.
“Is that wrong? No. Is Ratatouille a French film? No. Is it a valid expression? Absolutely. Because watching a cartoon Parisian rat make soup is certainly as valid as anything I will say tonight, I promise you that,” Colbert said. He then added that “anything that’s an attempt at human connection right now is positive.”
“Did you get up this morning an not try to kill someone? Then you’re on the right side,” Colbert said.
Watch Colbert’s comments and the opening national anthem below.