Speed Reads

Colbert Nationalism

Stephen Colbert offers a shockingly raw takedown of America's justice system

American incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation, Stephen Colbert noted on Wednesday night's Colbert Report, in a mock "We're No. 1" sort of way. "But confining so many Americans comes at a terrible price, which it turns out is money." That's the setup for his "The Word" segment, on "Debt or Prison" — a surprisingly raw look at the terrible, shoddy ways that America's criminal justice system treats many convicts. As always, the jokes hinge on the words to Colbert's right — listen for the gasps and groans from the audience. --Peter Weber