A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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 light sexual innuendo that will go over most kids' heads and some jokes about drinking and smoking pot. There's also some comedic product placement with popular brands.
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 a touch 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?
If you loved Stephen Colbert as the overblown host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, you’re bound to like his fun-but-familiar take on hosting a late-night network TV talk show. The trademark sarcasm and razor-sharp satire is still very much there. But in place of the self-absorbed conservative pundit who peddled patriotism and touted "truthiness," The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gives us an equally polished but humble -- and occasionally kooky -- showman who seems unapologetically giddy about his new gig. And why shouldn't he be? It's pretty darn great.
The Late 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 often go viral, fueled by social-networking shares among teens and 20-somethings. But Colbert's late-night shenanigans, while fun, feel a lot more traditional by comparison, courting a slightly older audience with the wisdom to keep watching.
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?
For kids who love late-night comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.