Before getting to his "stupid comedy show" Sunday night, comedian John Oliver addressed the massacre in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend with a moving tribute.
The slaughter at a gay club in the Central Florida city early Sunday morning left 49 people dead, including the gunman, and more than 50 more wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The shooter reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and law enforcement is treating the attack as terrorism. Oliver opened Sunday's episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight" with a touching speech trying to make sense of the tragedy and asking his audience to respond with love and hope.
"This just hurts. And the worst thing is this pain is so familiar,” Oliver said. “In Paris last November, terrorists seemed to target places symbolizing everything that is wonderful about France — culture, music, restaurants. And in Orlando earlier this morning, a gunman attacked a Latin night at a gay club in the theme park capital of the world. And for the record, I will happily embrace a Latin night at a gay club at the theme park capital of the world as the ultimate symbol about what is truly wonderful about America.”
Oliver tried to find the silver lining in all of the sadness, playing a moving video of hundreds of Orlando residents lined up around the block at a local blood bank eager to donate blood to help the victims of the shooting.
“It shows hundreds and hundreds of people this morning lining up around the block in Florida waiting to donate blood,” said Oliver. “And it kind of reminds you that that terrorist [expletive] is vastly outnumbered. And now please enjoy our stupid show.”
Watch John Oliver discuss the Orlando shooting below:
President Barack Obama addressed the nation Sunday in the wake of the tragedy, calling for Congress to enact tougher gun control laws to prevent future shooting, something Oliver has previously addressed on his show.
"Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history," Obama said. "The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well."