Both Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert opened their shows Monday night by getting serious about Saturday’s deadly terrorist attack by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Jimmy Kimmel, on the other hand, was making jokes from the jump.
“We went into the weekend worrying about Kim Jong Un starting a war,” the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host said. “We came out of it wondering if our president is cutting eye holes out of his bed sheets.”
Kimmel described the weekend’s events like this: “The worst people in the United States went to the hardware store, bought tiki torches, lit them, and marched.” After showing a clip of Trump’s initial statement following the death of a counterprotester, he singled out the president’s decision to condemn violence “on many sides.”
“Let’s not lay all the blame on the Nazis and the Klan. There were people who marched against them, you know,” Kimmel joked. “The one thing he decides to be quiet about is this!”
“There are two sides, not ‘many sides,’” he added. “And one of those sides had Nazis on it. All he had to do was condemn the Nazis.” It’s not like “we asked him to come out against puppies,” Kimmel joked.
As Kimmel pointed out, even German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “racist, far-right violence” in Charlottesville. “You understand what that means?” he asked. “That means Germany is taking a stronger stance against Nazis than we are. And they invented them.”
Kimmel said it was “big” for Trump to finally come out and denounce the white supremacists by name on Monday, “because this is the kind of thing that could alienate his base.”
“What a difference a teleprompter makes,” Kimmel said of Trump’s stilted statement. “He sounds like a kid whose parents made him apologize for egging their neighbors’ house.”