Stephen Colbert has cancelled a surprise "Late Show" visit to New Zealand in light of last Friday's terrorist attack that killed 50 people and injured many more.
The star host has planned a surprise visit to New Zealand that was scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
The Late Show was expected to air for a week from New Zealand, but says he has cancelled the trip because it is not the time to distract from the gravity of the events that unfolded last Friday.
"I just love that country.
"If you've never been, go. The people there are unbelievably kind and welcoming. Obviously, we're not going to go down now but we hope to go down in the future and again, we want to say to everyone down there how sad and heartbroken we are for what that country is going through.
"For one of the hallmarks of New Zealand and one of the things I have always thought of, is it's this wonderful, isolated country so far away from the problems we take for granted here north of the equator.
"And now this very particular brand of evil has infected that country like a ghost, something you wouldn't imagine.
"Truly, an evil creature has arrived on that island. I pray with all my heart that they take the action down there and have the courage to take action that we seem to lack up here in the United States. Good luck to them and blessings and peace to the Muslim community there and everywhere in the world."
Colbert's plan began to unfold after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on the show last September, inviting The Late Show host to visit New Zealand.
Colbert normally tapes his Friday episode a day early, which meant Monday's "Late Show" was the host's first opportunity to comment on the tragedy.
"The world is still reeling from Friday's terror attack in New Zealand," Colbert said while opening the show.
"All of our hearts go out to those at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques and to the great people of New Zealand. I have been down there and it is the most beautiful country I have ever seen and the Kiwis are the kindest people I've ever met."
Colbert says he may bring The Late Show to New Zealand at some stage but there are no further plans in place right now.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.