“Speaking of sexual harassers who should resign tomorrow…Donald Trump”: A feminist rhetorical analysis of Stephen Colbert’s Late Show monologues
AuthorVan Hoozer, Samantha
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As host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert was an influential presence in the arena of late-night political comedy, playing a parody of a conservative pundit, the character of “Stephen Colbert.” Now, as host of CBS’s Late Show, Colbert continues to be an influential presence, but he is no longer playing that character. Colbert delivers his opinions and commentary to his audience unfiltered. Women’s issues are often overlooked in scholarship of late-night comedy, due to the male-centered orientation of the format. In the current political climate, sexual harassment and assault have taken center-stage in worldwide discourse. Public figures such as Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, and Matt Lauer have faced consequences for allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Using a feminist rhetorical analysis, this paper analyzes Stephen Colbert’s late-night comedy monologues on the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Donald Trump. It argues that Stephen Colbert acts as an advocate for women’s rights in relation to sexual harassment and assault.