The cowardly massacre of 12 people, including cartoonists at Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a police officer and bystanders, made all of us in the comedy community pause to reflect on the nature of free expression and the importance of civility amid chaos.

Some joined massive demonstrations in Paris, New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere to show we are united as a global community against terror and fear.

Louis CK, performing for his first time in the arena of Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, chose to forgo his usual black T-shirt for a red one, in which he’d had the words “CHARLIE HEBDO” written in black Sharpie marker. (photo via coldmtn)

And on late-night TV, both Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart opened their shows with a few comments in support not only of comedy and satire, but also of civil discourse and humanity.

Here’s Conan on Conan.

And here’s Stewart kicking off Wednesday night’s The Daily Show.

Oh, and here are responses from current and past administrations of The Onion.

And this essay, from former editor of The Onion, Joe Randazzo, who has a new book about comedy that you can buy and read this spring. Randazzo wrote on Wednesday for MSNBC.com:

When I was editor there, The Onion was located in the heart of Manhattan and the one person manning our front entrance was our petite, tattooed office manager, Jessie. She was the definition of unthreatening, and we used to joke that she was the only thing standing between us and some heavily armed radicals, should any ever become enraged by something we put in print. Right now, that joke makes me sick to my stomach.

Read all of Randazzo’s essay.