What Is a Wrist Strong Bracelet?

Jessica Ellis

A Wrist Strong bracelet is a silicone wrist accessory created by comedian Stephen Colbert in order to raise awareness about wrist violence. After a tragic accident in which Colbert broke his wrist, he invented the bracelet to fight against Hollywood portrayals of violence done to hands and wrists. The tongue-and-cheek invention actually does serve a higher purpose, with some of the proceeds from the bracelets being donated to the Yellow Ribbon Fund.

Comedian Stephen Colbert created the Wrist Strong bracelet as a comic prop for his show after he broke his wrist.
Comedian Stephen Colbert created the Wrist Strong bracelet as a comic prop for his show after he broke his wrist.

In June 2007, Colbert was warming up the audience before taping his show, Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. While running around the stage and waving his arms, he tripped and fell into the audience, breaking his left wrist in the process. Colbert continued to tape his show and then sought medical attention, ending up with a cast on his left arm.

As part of his show, Colbert began to complain vehemently against violence toward wrists in film and television, frequently showing clips of people breaking their arms or losing their hands in films. He also developed a fake pain killer addiction and would pretend to swallow entire bottles of medicine during the show. As part of his plan to raise wrist violence awareness, he began giving his audience members a free Wrist Strong bracelet, and on 20 August 2007, he made them available for purchase at his website, www.colbertnation.com.

The bracelets are a gentle mockery of the Hollywood fad of wearing colored silicone bracelets for various good causes. Particularly, this bracelet seems aimed at biker Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong bracelet, which benefited cancer research. Colbert quickly began haranguing celebrities to wear a Wrist Strong bracelet, with some success. Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Matt Perry, Al Gore and even Salman Rushdie have been photographed sporting their support for the fight against wrist violence.

You can support wrist awareness buy purchasing your very own Wrist Strong bracelet at Stephen Colbert’s website. The bright red bracelets are attractively priced at $7.50 US dollars (USD,) $5 USD of which will be donated to the Yellow Ribbon Fund. This charity supports and aids wounded US veterans from all branches of the United States Military. As of 23 January 2008, more than 30,000 bracelets have been sold. That day, Colbert presented a check for the proceeds of the bracelets and the money made from auctioning his cast to the Yellow Ribbon Fund’s director of communications totaling $171,525 USD.

Purchasing a Wrist Strong bracelet not only supports a good cause, it is an insider password to other Colbert fans. If you wish to get into debates regarding the best Word of the day, whether bears really are godless killing machines, and what truthiness really means, proudly displaying your bracelet is a great ice-breaker. Colbert has requested that you agree to immediately surrender your bracelet to any famous person you meet, in the hopes of raising wrist violence awareness in higher circles.

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Discussion Comments


Great stuff. And, you just know Colbert frowns on "The Empire Strikes Back" when a major plot point involved Luke losing his hand.

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