Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, used his nightly television appearance to deliver a scathing assessment of American society, following the murder of nine people in Charleston.
In an introduction to his chat show which lasted over five minutes, an unusually stony-faced Stewart provided a sombre reflection on the bloodshed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in which a white man, Dylann Roof, opened fire on a Bible study session.
"I didn’t do my job today," he said. "I apologise. I’ve got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina."
He said that he despaired because the shooting was "such a common occurrence," and criticised America for failing to address the root causes.
"I honestly have nothing other than sadness that once again we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other, and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn't exist," he said.