The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert TV Poster Image
Razor-sharp sampler of celebs, politics, and pop culture.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The Late Show pokes fun at news and pop culture with sarcasm and a bit of snark. Politics is often a theme, and derisive jokes are often made about conservatives. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

A lot of what you see is shtick, but Colbert is an affable host who puts a positive spin on interview segments and makes his guests feel welcome. His aim is to make the audience laugh and have a good time, but his jokes often target Conservatives, including President Trump, making him appear that he has an agenda. 

Violence

On occasion violent incidents are briefly mentioned. 

Sex

Sexual innuendo, ranging from references to "making love" to jokes about high profile political news stories relating to prostitutes and mistresses. 

Language

Words such as "damn" and "hell" audible.

Consumerism

Product placement is common but happens in a comedic way -- for example, by Colbert demolishing a package of Oreos on-air or sampling Sabra hummus while proclaiming it's "made from simple, fresh ingredients that bring people together, one bite at a time!" There's also a sales-y element to the show's parade of celebrity guests, who usually have a cause or project they're promoting.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jokes about drinking, drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is a late-night variety show aimed at adults that leans heavily on interviews with celebrities and other public figures who typically have something to promote, be it a movie, an album, or a political campaign. You'll hear the occasional "damn" and "hell" along with some strong sexual innuendo, some of which relates to political news stories. There are jokes about drinking, smoking pot, and sometimes violent events are mentioned.  There's also some comedic product placement with popular brands. Note that following the election of President Trump, derisive jokes about the presidency and specific conservatives are commonplace. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStacey L. September 29, 2017

Political,Racist Nonsense

We wonder what is wrong with this country? Watch 5 seconds of what he spurts out of his mouth and it will show you. You may not agree with the leadership, but... Continue reading
Adult Written byRene R. July 13, 2017

I stopped watching.

Colbert constantly puts down our President Trump in an ugly bitter way. I won't watch anymore.
Kid, 9 years old July 21, 2016

Really good show, Colbert is my 3rd favorite comedian.

There are some episodes that have too much sex, but many don`t. There are some occasional Damns and Hells but it`s usually no swearing. There might be s drink o... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byIloveponies20 March 6, 2018

Inappropriate and offending.

This man clearly shows his opinion on Donald Trump. Sometimes he's funny-- I really only like his skits. He includes a lot of sexual innuendo and talks tra... Continue reading

What's the story?

Picking up the mantle from former Late Show host David Letterman, funnyman Stephen Colbert puts his own spin on the standard late-night variety-show format for THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT, mixing comedy, music, and celebrity interview segments with some of the political humor he perfected on The Colbert Report. Juilliard-trained jazz musician and now bandleader Jon Batiste step into the shoes of Letterman's longtime sidekick, Paul Shaffer.

Is it any good?

The show's sarcastic and razor-sharp satire features Stephen Colbert's humble, polished, and occasional kooky style of humor that was a trademark of The Colbert ReportThe show's time slot puts it in direct competition with Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, whose hosts' epic pranks and star-studded lip-sync battles make them hits among teens and 20-somethings. However, Colbert's late-night shenanigans, while fun, feel a lot more traditional by comparison, courting a slightly older audience.  

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, like many other comedic talks shows, features its share of humor about real-life political events. However, over time this humor has become much more derisive, targeting specific political figures and policies so directly that it has made Colbert the subject of tweets posted by President Donald Trump. Nonetheless, The Late Show remains a smart and funny addition to late-night network t.v. entertainment.  

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the purpose of late-night talk shows such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. What does the audience get out of it? And, more importantly, what do the guests get out of it? Is it all about entertainment, or is it also all about promotion?

  • With which other variety shows is The Late Show with Stephen Colbert competing? What's it doing differently to set itself apart? Who seems to be the target audience?

  • How does the Stephen Colbert you see on The Late Show compare to the character he created to host The Colbert Report? Is his late-night persona the "real" Stephen, or is it another persona he's developed for television?

TV details

For kids who love late-night comedy

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