Three days after the massacre in Charleston, Colbert returned to his hometown to lay flowers at the steps of Emanuel AME and join the peace march across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. He described it as the most moving and affirming gathering he’d ever witnessed.
“We would have done it, if we had to,” he said when I asked if any part of him had felt a desire to talk about it on the air. “But no,” he said. “It’s such an old form of a particular evil. Such a pure form, that it feels very old. It was like a dragon showed up. Like, yeah, there used to be dragons. I didn’t know there still were dragons…”