09/11/2012 08:58 am ET

Comedy After 9/11: David Letterman, Jon Stewart & The Onion Reclaim Normal (VIDEOS)

How do you move on after a tragedy? When do things become normal again?

For many, being able to laugh is the first giant step forward.

In the weeks that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks, late night hosts, comedy writers, and satirists of all stripes slowly returned to the business of making us laugh, while also sharing their grief, confusion and sense of loss.

From David Letterman's heartfelt opening monologue to The Onion's cathartic angry God to Marc Maron simply going to work at a comedy club, these steps, large and small, helped Americans turn the corner.

Here are some of the most important moments in comedy following September 11, 2001. How many do you remember and which one affected you the most? (Note: many of the clips are not available for embed, so we have provided links to where you can view them.)

Comedy After 9/11