10 Times Comedians Got Real

Trevor Noah shared his heartbreak after the acquittal of the cop that killed Philando Castile. Jimmy Kimmel pleaded for equal access to healthcare in an emotional monologue after his son was born with a heart defect. Samantha Bee delivered a scathing critique of the regulation of assault weapons after the Orlando shooting last June.

If you’re looking for someone to tell you how it is, how it really is, go to your nearest comedy club or tune in to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver or The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Yes, the hot takes are deliciously funny, but sometimes late night show hosts and other comedians pack a powerful punch by dropping serious, straight-faced truth-bombs in between the laughs.

1. Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional plea to Republicans not to cut off thousands of children’s access to healthcare

In May the late-night host shared the harrowing nightmare his family had gone through after their son, Billy, was born with a life-threatening congenital heart defect only days before. Kimmel’s monologue was impassioned and raw and described every parent’s worst fear: To lose their child. And that could very well become the reality for many parents whose children are born with pre-existing conditions like congenital heart disease if the new healthcare bill, the American Healthcare Act, is passed in the Senate this week.

These children will become part of the thousands of people whose access to healthcare will be cut, because many pre-existing conditions will no longer be covered by their health insurance. And yes, Kimmel’s message packed a punch and led to the “Kimmel Test” (In Kimmel’s own words: “No family should be denied medical care, emerg or otherwise, because they can’t afford it.”) that any proposed healthcare bill should pass.

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2. James Corden sends nearly 300 copies of ‘Philadelphia’ to POTUS, because he “simply does not care” about HIV and Aids

The first time he learned about HIV and Aids it was from the movie Philadelphia. The Late Late Show host James Corden veered away from jokes about the Trump/Putin/Russia trifecta this week and steered the conversation to the devastating effects the proposed new healthcare bill will have on “marginalized Americans living with HIV/AIDS.”

Though Corden did throw in some humorous tidbits about Mar-A-Lago, the segment as a whole pulled a depressing cloak over any and all jokes.

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3. “How does a black person not get shot in America?

Trevor Noah started the week with this all too real question on The Daily Show’s “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That” segment after police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on the charge of manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile.

“Every time I watch that video, the question I ask myself is, ‘How?’ Just … how? How does a black person not get shot in America?”

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Later in the week, after new footage of the shooting was released, Noah’s heartache was clearly visible.

4.  “I won’t lie to you … it broke me. It just — it broke me.”…And then he shared how he tries not to get shot

During a break in between taping different segments of the show, Noah demonstrated how he throws his hands out of the window immediately after after he is stopped by the police.

This part was funny (only just) – but the “eight to 10” times he has been stopped by police are not.

5. 102 Days into the presidency, Stephen Colbert goes on funny/not funny rant

Colbert started this lengthy monologue with a whole lot of funny, keeping only a little more than a minute to go on a full-on insult-rant for which he was later dragged in front of the FCC.


The audience were clapping, cheering and laughing, but in all seriousness, Colbert was hardly joking.

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6. “Love does not win unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems.”

After the mass shooting in Orlando last year, Samantha Bee launched into seven minutes of fury in her opening monologue.

Bee was visibly livid and did not pull any punches or hesitate to name and shame politicians like Marco Rubio who referred to the mass shooting as a normal part of life and that “unfortunately, today was Orlando’s turn.”

“Stop thinking and DO something to improve our society!”

“Mass shootings is now so normalized we’re taking turns?”

“We’re making it far too easy for their derangement to kill us.”

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7. Jimmy Fallon: What am I going to tell my children?

Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon rarely gets serious and since the episode “The One Where Jimmy Fallon Ruffles Trump’s Hair” he’s gotten a lot of flack for not getting his hands dirty and digging into political satire like the rest of the cohort of late-night hosts.

But when Fallon does dig, he digs deep, as seen in his monologue following the mass shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub.

Fallon seemed shell-shocked during his delivery, as if he himself was still trying to make sense of the events, saying that he doesn’t know what he will tell his children.

In stark contrast to Samantha Bee’s furious reaction, Fallon spoke with soft eloquence about the need for tolerance and love, and the celebration of our differences.

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8. “He was like the Muhammed Ali of comedy.”

In a rare show of emotion, Jimmy Fallon fought through the tears during his tribute to Robin Williams after the actor committed suicide in 2014.

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9. Colbert condemns shooting of GOP members of Congress, thanks Trump

“Whatever our differences, we will always be The United States of America.”

Following the shooting of GOP members of Congress at a baseball practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, Colbert praised leaders on both sides of the aisle for uniting in the aftermath of the attack.

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10. Jimmy Kimmel pays homage to legendary Don Rickles

Kimmel’s admiration and love for Don Rickles makes his tribute to the comedian all the more moving.

Quite frankly, it’s hard not to also get emotional as Kimmel recounts the close relationship they shared, their many dinners together, Rickles disdain for the stairs in Kimmel’s house and the personal notes that Rickles sent via overnight mail.

Kimmel wears his heart on his sleeve, but in so doing, invites his viewers to share these little snippets and memories of a legendary American funnyman.

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