A Serious Stephen Colbert Gives Advice on Love & Life to Teenage Girls

Rookie’s never less than worthy “Ask a Grown Man” series provides a forum for mature males like actor Jon Hamm and radio personality Ira Glass to offer thoughtful, straightforward advice and explanations, born of personal experience, to teenage girls (and other interested parties).

The most recent edition adds depth, and could just as accurately be titled “Ask a Level-Headed 50-Year-Old Father of Three, Who’s Been Happily Married to His Children’s Mother for Years.”

Lurking just beneath Stephen Colbert’s hawkish Colbert Report persona is a fair-minded, serious fellow, who’s unembarrassed to weigh in in favor of parental authority when a 19-year-old fan complains of her dad’s opposition to sleepovers at her boyfriend’s place while she’s still living at home. Perhaps she should’ve asked a grown man whom experience hadn’t equipped to see things from the other side of the fence, as Colbert foresees that his answer won’t “go over great with everyone.”

Surely, though, his late mother would approve.

Perhaps this segment should be called “Ask a Grown Man Whose Unequivocating Moral Compass Is Inconveniently Close to Your Dad’s, But Whose Position Allows Him to Offer Insights Without Losing His Temper or Going Off Message.”

Colbert’s children’s extremely low profile in the media’s line up of celebrity offspring reflects well on those charged with their upbringing. Were his 18-year-old daughter to take issue with the old man’s musings on Twitter or Snapchat, she’d have the luxury of doing so in the way of the average Rookie reader, rather than some obsessively observed nearly-grown baby bump.

As to how to tell whether a boy—or anyone—likes you, Colbert says “they want to hear your stories.”

As one viewer noted, “ask a grown-up, get grown-up answers.” Word.

Related Content:

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Gives Teenage Girls Endearing Advice About Boys (And Much More)

Student Asks Noam Chomsky for Dating Advice

Nietzsche Dispenses Dating Advice in a Short Screwball Film, My Friend Friedrich

Ayun Halliday is an author, zine publisher, and mother of a teenage Rookie reader. Follow her @AyunHalliday


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  • Randy

    Regarding which gender isn’t valued as much as it should be (at about 1:45), Colbert is missing some pretty obvious things:

    * which gender can you cut (and even celebrate the cutting, and even suck the cut parts with your mouth, and even sell the removed parts to cosmetics companies?)

    * which gender is considered expendable in the event of a draft?

    * which gender can be hit by the other gender, and the assault is automatically assumed to be deserved (often resulting even in the arrest of the victim)?

    * which gender is not being successful in education, straight from elementary through to post-secondary, and why is the OTHER gender constantly getting new funding instead?

    These are just a handful of examples that a boy would be aware of.

    The media messages we get today plainly promote the idea that boys are not only not preferred, but are positively less-than.

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