Speed Reads

last night on late night

Late Night playfully skewers atheist parents with ad for 'Elf on the Shelf' alternative

What if your child is enamored with the Elf on the Shelf tradition (or Mensch on a Bench), but you don't believe in Christmas, Hanukkah, or a higher power? Late Night has found a logical solution — or created a secular alternative, as explained in a hilariously unvarnished new ad. "It's not easy being an atheist parent during the holidays," explains the first atheist mom. "God knows we don't care — you know what I mean," the dad says, chuckling, "but it's hard on the kids." The answer is "Skeptic on a Stick," the "holiday toy for atheists," which offers kids "secular facts, not religious fables."

"The Skeptic won't 'come alive at night,' or 'talk to religious figures,' or even 'make your kids happy,'" says another mother, whose child illustrates her point. The three sets of parents in the ad are thrilled with their gift of knowledge. The kids? Well, watch below — and yes, there are, you know, "spoilers." Peter Weber