Laughter after 9/11: How Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and Other Comedians Responded at the Time

(Video Link)

After the terrorist attacks in the United States 13 years ago, all television programming went to news coverage and commentary 24 hours a day.

But it couldn't remain that way forever. Eventually, we all had to go back to our daily lives and resume our work.

For comedians and talk show hosts, that work was making us laugh. But how do you make people laugh after what happened? Should you make people laugh? These are questions that comedy providers had to answer thoughtfully and tastefully, sensitive to the raw feelings of their audiences.

Carol Hartsell of the Huffington Post rounded up the immediate responses of America's comedians after they went back to work. Her list includes videos from Jon Stewart and David Letterman and links to articles that appeared in The Onion.

I was especially impressed with Conan O'Brien's address to his audience. I've never met him, but O'Brien has long struck me as a decent and well-grounded person. This video demonstrates his ability and willingness to be both caring and professional.

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All TV programming did not immediately go to non-stop news coverage. In our city, the local PBS channel ran a banner periodically to explain to parents that they were running only children's programming all day, not just in the morning, and would not start news programming until 6:00pm. For those of us whose children were home-bound that day while we were frantically trying to reach family members and keep up with the news (while trying to keep from terrifying the kids), it was the most thoughtful thing they could have done.
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