Stephen Colbert Says His New Show Will Have One Important Difference

August 13th 2015

Laura Donovan

Stephen Colbert, the incoming host of CBS' "Late Show," wrote a column for Glamour promising to prioritize women in his show, which airs next month.

"I'm here for you, and that means I'm going to do my best to create a Late Show [sic] that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices," Colbert wrote. "These days TV would have you believe that being a woman means sensually eating yogurt, looking for ways to feel confident on heavy days, and hunting for houses. But I'm going to make a show that truly respects women, because I know that there's more than one way to be one."

The comedian adds that he hopes to serve all types of women, and ended with a joke about what leaning in means for his belly fat. "Maybe you're a woman who likes women," he continued. "Maybe you like women and men. Maybe you're a woman who's recently transitioned. Maybe you're a guy who's reading this magazine because your girlfriend bought a copy and it looked interesting. Whoever you are, I promise: I'm going to lean in on this. It really accentuates my muffin top."

Colbert promises to serve women particularly because he's noticed a lack of women in his line of work as a late night host, and he doesn't like this at all.

"[W]hile I'm happy to have a job, I am surprised that the world of late-night TV lacks a female presence, unlike sitcoms, which are packed with smoking-hot wives who teach their doughy husband a valuable lesson when he slips on a pizza and falls headfirst into a porta-potty full of beer," he writes. "While there are many talented female comedians out there, right now the world of late-night is a bit of a sausagefest. Perhaps one day it will be just the opposite—which I believe is called a Georgia O'Keeffe retrospective."

Colbert also acknowledges that too often, the stories of women aren't told, and he finds this unacceptable. That said, he doesn't want to come off as a "mansplainer," which Salon defines as "a man condescendingly lectur[ing] a woman on the basics of a topic about which he knows very little, under the mistaken assumption that she knows even less."

"it's not my place to mansplain to you about the manstitutionalized manvantages built into Americman manciety," he writes. "That would make me look like a real manhole."

Colbert isn't the first to make fun of the masculine culture of late night shows. Earlier this year, Amy Schumer mocked how women are sexualized and conditioned to behave on late night shows in an "Insider Amy Schumer" skit. During the segment, Schumer portrays an actress named Amy Lake Blively who acts ditzy and also has to put up with crude comments from the male late night host and men in the audience.

Many thought Schumer was mocking former "Late Night" host David Letterman, but Schumer went on to say during a "Jimmy Kimmel Live" appearance that the skit wasn't "about anyone specifically."

“As the host of a talk show, I have to say I got a kick out of that vicious parody of what we do every night,” Kimmel told Schumer.

Many have criticized the comedy world for lacking female late-night hosts. Last year, "The Tonight Show" announced Jimmy Fallon would replace longtime host Jay Leno; this year, "The Daily Show" announced Trevor Noah would be taking over for Jon Stewart, who hosted the show for 16 years after Craig Kilborn left in the late 1990s. Colbert will be hosting the "Late Show" in replacement of David Letterman.