“Please get him off the air.” The Colbert Report FCC complaints

“My son was noticably [sic] confused and I felt like I’d allowed his innocence to be comprimised[sic].”

Written by Inkoo Kang
Edited by JPat Brown

The Colbert Report may have begun as a showcase for comedian Stephen Colbert and a spiteful spoof of Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly, but complaints filed with the Federal Communications Commission against the parody show suggest that the program has also become the nation’s top purveyor of castration anxiety and teabagging gags.

In fact, more than half of the 19 complaints to the FCC focused on sex-related jokes, many testicular in nature, during the program or in between segments.

One viewer from Ballston Lake, New York, wrote, “Colbert had a very realistic set of testicles on a table saw, which he prepared to cut in half. I found it obscene and tastless [sic]. It should not have been on puplic [sic] TV. Please get him off the air.”

Another complaint reads, “My 7 year old was watching TV when he thought he was watching news and the host said ‘Let me dip my balls in your mouth’ when directing a comment to Donald Turmp [sic]. My son was noticably [sic] confused and I felt like I’d allowed his innocence to be comprimised[sic].”

Dan Savage’s creative crusade against former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum led one audience member to complain about Colbert’s “intolerable” recounting of the smear job on behalf of “innocent, unsuspecting viewers like myself [who] should not be exposed to such indecent material.”

Another such viewer objected to Colbert making “insulting comments/jokes about the bible [by] misquoting its scriptures for joking purposes.”

The most serious allegation against the Report accused the program of flouting indecency laws, stating “Steven [sic] Colbert did a segment on prayer using cheerleaders. During their routine one of the cheerleaders does a couple of high kicks, and she is not wearing panties. My 16 year old son saw this and recorded it to show me later. … Although this was a fast view of her vagina, she was also wearing a large cross on her uniform. I find this type of behavior to be unacceptable, and I hope you feel the same. I believe this was an intention [sic] act.”

The most rabid complaint FCC was not concerned with the Report’s content, but an ad that ran during the show. A promo called “Clean Your Balls” led one viewer to protest, “The material I found offensive (sexually suggestive and racially stereotyped (black men and attractive white women)) was contained in the AXE commercial segments that are injected into the internet feed of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Repeated references to cleaning one’s ‘balls,’ ‘ball sacks,’ and images of a woman fondling a pair of golf balls are thinly veiled references to men’s genitalia. Further, the use of attractive Caucasian women and African American males is a demeaning racial stereotype.”

Despite the Report’s liberal leanings, only a fifth of the FCC complaints voiced displeasure with the show’s political bias.

Read all the FCC complaints against The Colbert Report here, or embedded below:


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