Stephen Colbert on "Sausagefest" of Late Night: "I'm Going to Make a Show that Truly Respects Women"
"I'm going to do my best to create a 'Late Show' that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices."
Everyone wants the women's vote these days, and in a recent essay for Glamour, Stephen Colbert made a strong case for how he'll win it in the land of late night.
Combining laugh-out-loud observations about the portrayal of women on TV, the "sausagefest" of late night and his own "womanly hips," with a sincere promise to "create a show that truly respects women," the essay suggests that even if there's still no female host in late night, Colbert still wants them to be a big part of his show.
"It has been pointed out to me that I, like other late-night TV hosts, am a man," he writes. "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. Check your local listings."
But he points out out that beyond TV, there are some good role models out there, writing, "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."
Colbert then muses that maybe women should run, well, everything: "To be honest, sometimes I wonder whether the world would be a better place if women were in charge. It would be pretty easy to make that happen. Simply tell the men of the world that you're trying to start a campfire. While we're all arguing with one another about proper kindling placement and whether using lighter fluid is cheating,* women can just quietly start getting stuff done."
As for his fellow sausages in late night, Colbert concedes they do have some advantages when it comes to women. "Sure, the other hosts bring the eye candy. Jimmy Fallon has a boyish charm, and for the ladies who are into ladies, if you squint, Jimmy Kimmel kind of looks like a rugged Mila Kunis," he writes. "But female viewers need more than a pretty face. They need someone who will represent their voice. And I think this essay has proved that I have an authentic female perspective, because most of it was written by two female writers on my staff."
And in closing, Colbert turns the balance from jokes to a brief moment of sincerity: "Point is, 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."