Stephen Colbert On Female Comedians, Late Night TV, & Why He Is “Leaning In”


Now that Jon Stewart has left his post on ‘The Daily Show’ as the foremost ally to gender equality on late night TV (because apparently networks can’t trust women as late night TV hosts) we are hoping the existing crop of men will recognize that his popularity came not just from being funny and smart, but being inclusive.

One guy who we have no doubt where his support lies is Stephen Colbert, who starting September 8 will be hosting ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ on CBS. Yes!

Here’s why we love Stephen, because he has no problem pointing out problems with misogyny, the ridiculous standards women are supposed to live up to in advertising, and violence toward women in gaming. He has commented on issues like the recent Planned Parenthood controversy and the wage gap that still exists for women in America, proving he is relevant and understand of the issues that are at the core of our generation.

It’s fair to say he is a feminist (thanks for pointing that out to him Anita Sarkeesian!) and his hilarious yet on-point essay for Glamour Magazine where talks about women in leadership is almost enough to make us forgive networks for not just hiring a female late night host. Almost. But hey at least Stephen is on our side!

Here’s why Stephen thinks more women should be in charge. Of everything.


“Women today have so many smart, resourceful, and intuitive role models. Look no further than Marissa Mayer, Michelle Obama, Sacajawea, and the green M&M. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, women outnumber men. Fellas, technically this does make you a minority, but it’s probably best not to say so on your college financial aid application,” he writes, not missing a beat with infusing his words with his signature humor.

“It has been pointed out to me that I, like other late-night TV hosts, am a man. And while 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 said.

“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.” Us too, Stephen, us too.

He is quick to point out that is it not just the late night comedy field devoid of representatives of half the population.

“Where are all the lady blacksmiths? What about the bait-and-tackle shopkeepers, pool maintenance professionals, building superintendents, or CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? Why are all those minions shaped like tiny phalluses? Why did Mad Max get top billing in Fury Road when he was essentially just a grunting tripod for Charlize Theron’s rifle? Of course, historically, our thriving U.S. president industry definitely skews male—but that could change in 2016,” he said.


And on the topic of ‘Minions’, it’s worth mentioning that there was an uproar over the fact that none of them were female, causing audiences to cry “gender stereotyping”. So thank you Stephen for including that in your rant.

Like many of us who are keenly aware of the discrimination toward women, the late night comedian is quite familiar with certain females who have literally changed the course of history but yet somehow get erased from public discourse and even history books in some cases.

“When women do succeed, their stories often aren’t told. Did you know that the first computer, ENIAC, was programmed by six female mathematicians? If it weren’t for those pioneering women, we might not have computers at all,” he said.

“My point is this: Why does this gender inequality still persist, and how can we stop it? To be honest, sometimes I wonder whether the world would be a better place if women were in charge. But until that revolution I will continue to fight for women, because I’m a man who is deeply in touch with my femininity.”


Here’s hoping more men like Stephen will recognize the power in becoming feminist allies, and supporting the cause of gender equality in general. He For She, anyone?

While we need more female representation in many areas of society, there is at least one particular industry that someone like Stephen Colbert can have an impact in: late night TV. Other than becoming a woman so we can say there is at least one, he says his show will be one that caters to women. He finishes his essay with a popular phrase that has become synonymous with women pursuing positions of leadership in the workplace, created by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

“I’m here for you, and that means I’m going to do my best to create a Late Show that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices. I’m going to make a show that truly respects women, because I know that there’s more than one way to be one. Whoever you are, I promise: I’m going to lean in on this,” he concludes.

To read more of his essay, including how his thoughts on Joe Manganiello’s abs and which female celeb he thinks Jimmy Kimmel resembles, click here.

In the meantime, check out one of the other ways Stephen is proving his words to be true about being a champion for girls. He made this video for the Global Citizen campaign, joining their fight to help raise money for education equality by 2030. Being a champion for girls education, he wants his fans and followers to join him in this cause:



One Comment

  1. Pingback: Actress Carrie Keagan Writes Open Letter Demanding More Women In Late Night TV

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