Last night on The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert tackled the topic of art censorship in the most Colbert fashion ever. He begins by discussing that Bloomberg media recently censored the lady parts of Amedeo Modigliani’s painting of a nude woman that sold for an astounding $170.4 million at Christie’s New York on Monday night.
After discussing the removal of the reclining nude’s “Hootie and the Blowfish,” Colbert continues to site the previous censorship of an abstract Picasso painting by Fox News this past May.
He then goes on a fantastic five minute tangent chronicling the media’s ridiculous censorship policies. Among these FCC rules are a clause that he can show a penis on air, but only from a distance, and only for two seconds. Colbert joyously counts “One Penis-ippi, Two Penis-ippi” while an image of Michelangelo’s “The David” exposes himself to viewers, before Colbert can once again declare our eyes safe.
“What is Art? Where do we draw the line between art and pornography, and what if that line looks like a butt crack?”
In a final display of how absurd the policies are, Colbert draws two circles on a page that are censored when he proclaims they are a woman’s breasts, but uncensored when he declares they are actually the eyes of a happy man. If these policies are for real, the FCC is more ridiculous than previously expected.
Colbert closes by bringing to our attention that it is acceptable my broadcasting standards to blast extreme violence, drugs, and treatment of women on TV, yet the art world’s greatest masterpieces must be censored. Colbert, you are my hero.
All images are stills from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS.