A Brief Review of Stephen Colbert’s New Beard

The next king of late night is growing his face out. We assess the results.

Stephen Colbert won’t step in front of a live audience in the Ed Sullivan Theater until September, but he’s already made a major debut. Colbert, always a good-looking man, walked the red carpet in the company of his new beard, which is already being referred to colloquially as the “Colbeard,” for the first time this week. Though it is unclear if the beard will be a Late Show sidekick, it clearly represents a bit of course correction for a post-pomade-and-straight-razors Colbert.

But is it a good beard? Let’s break down the pros and cons:


  • The mustache and goatee area are dense and lush. There is no whisker, chinstrap separation, which is key.
  • The mustache part is very strong, giving the beard an old-fashioned look without making it look like his upper lip is getting it’s middle school portrait taken.
  • The lustrous grey is both aesthetically pleasing and a reminder of the 50-year-old comedians maturity.
  • It is on Stephen Colbert’s face and it seems like it make Stephen Colbert happy and you’ve got to respect that.
  • When Colbert smiles with the beard, he appears jolly instead of disingenuous. This will help him separate his new persona from his old one.
  • The jawline here is perfect, not overly straight and not scraggly, giving the impression that he takes care, but not too much care.


  • The cheek and jowl area coverage is weaker than it could be, diminishing the authority of Colbert’s profile.
  • The contrast between hair color and beard color is a bit jarring, which will undoubtedly lead to questions about Just For Men usage.
  • The under-nose shading makes it seem like a bit like a dark substance might be leaking from Colbert’s nostrils. He would never let that happen, but even so….
  • Makes him look less like a middle-school principal and more like a middle-school English teacher, which is technically a demotion – though not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Conan’s beard was better.
  • The beard look works considerably better on men in suits than on men in dad jackets, which appear to be Colbert’s current go-to.
  • Looks great with ruffled hair. Will look somewhat odd if he starts using product again

So, should he keep it? For a while anyway. It nicely denotes a separation from his last role and his new status as industry leader and comforting voice to listen to while falling asleep. It says funny guy instead of satirist – and that ain’t bad. He can always shave it off later and make it into a bit. That’s what the man does best.