A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show discusses the news of the day and inspires curiosity about current events. Viewers will learn about what's going on in the world and how it will affect them, even filtered through comedy. It should not be lost on viewers that Ruffin's viewpoint as a Black woman in comedy is unique.
Positive Role Models
Ruffin and her co-host Tarik Davis are both people of color, who are rarely represented in comedy, in journalism, or on late-night talk shows. Ruffin is, in fact, the first Black woman to have her own late-night talk show. Some of the comedy on this show is connected to Ruffin's experience as a Black woman; some is just related to being a thinking person in a sometimes strange world.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is occasionally a subject for jokes, like when Ruffin threatens to "whoop" the "ass" of older women who cut in line. Expect Ruffin to mention violent events in the news such as the 2020 murder of Breonna Taylor.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Humor can be informed by sex, like a joke about the Cardi B song "WAP" and a moment in which an older woman says her "Playboy money" (presumably money she got posing for the magazine) "ran out in the '90s."
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Language includes "s--t," "balls," "fart," and "f--k" is bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Jokes occasionally refer to drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Amber Ruffin Show is a comedic news show in which the issues of the day are dissected and mocked by a host who's the first Black woman to head a late-night talk show. The tone is light, but certain news stories may disturb viewers, particularly younger ones. Jokes can circle around touchy topics, such as race, religion, politics, war, sex, drinking, and violent news of the day. Figures in the news and celebrities are name-checked, and sometimes made the subject of jokes. Expect cursing, including unbleeped ("s--t") and bleeped words("f--k"). Viewers may be inspired to learn more about current events, and may even better understand how the news might affect them. As a woman of color, Ruffin's viewpoint is under-represented both in the media and in the late-night talk show genre.
Is It Any Good?
Amber Ruffin is adorable, but don't let the whimsical demeanor fool you: She's whip-smart, well aware of the realities of being an American Black woman, and expert at wrapping sly commentary in humor. Her groundbreaking talk show has all the trappings of a traditional late-night gabfest (a monologue, a cityscape background, a focus on the news of the day) but it has one thing the other shows don't: Amber Ruffin. And that's worth something. The realities of launching the type of show that's usually filmed in front of a live, appreciative audience mean that Ruffin is alone in the studio, save for the presence of her second banana, Tarik Davis, and that makes Ruffin's show seem a little strange and airless at first. Without the sound of a guffawing audience, how are we supposed to know when to laugh?
But The Amber Ruffin Show coasts easily on the charm of Ruffin's skits: Fun Auntie (in which Ruffin rifles through a giant purse, dispensing tart advice and loving support in turns), the White Forgiveness Clock (Ruffin sets a countdown clock for when White people need no longer focus on racism, yet it keeps getting reset as another atrocity is committed against a Black person). And best of all, The Cool Down, which Ruffin says should ease the anxiety viewers might feel after watching a news-oriented show. Her head floats in front of calming footage of beautiful water, a cooling fruit pie, and a man pushing a woman on a swing as she recites a list of beautiful things: "A sneezing puppy... a perfectly cooked lasagna... headphones coming out of your pocket perfectly untangled." The news looks better through Amber Ruffin's point of view -- aren't we lucky we can borrow it for a half hour every week?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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