We’re in the middle of Prom season right now, which means that basically, if you need a corsage for everyday use, you’re probably out of luck at the moment. It also means the rise of the trend piece-bait that is the “promposal.” The promposal, for the uninitiated, is the process of using elaborate and possibly expensive measures to ask a prospective date to the most overhyped social event of your formative years. Someone will probably point out that this is a “Millennial” thing to do, because that’s how you get people to read your stuff now, I guess?
Anyway, promposals can be pretty intense and elaborate and occasionally uncomfortably ostentatious, and range from arrangement of tealights tastefully in the askee’s room to ordering a pizza for the askee, with the pepperoni arranged in a manner that spells out the word “PROM?” Some kids ask the marching band to accompany the proposal, some make YouTube videos, some even hire promposal consultants, like wedding planners, to arrange the ask. Crazy, right?
This week, on The Colbert Report, the subject came up, and the consensus around promposals was to go the more tasteful, elegant route. And who better to offer an example than three-time Poet Laureate of the United States, the great Robert Pinsky? It’s no “Impossible to Tell” or “Ginza Samba,” but Pinsky’s promposal, with its images of voluptuous waves and calls of ships returning to harbor would totally be a winning prom-night ask. Tell Pinsky he can pick me up in his dad’s Mustang around 6. I’ll bring the corsage. Watch him recite the poem below.
I thought we were done as a nation talking about "Accidental Racist," but apparently, this dead-on-arrival and racist horse needed one last flogging, and who better to do said flogging than Stephen Colbert? The introduction of Colbert’s skewering of Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s accidentally-racist trainwreck is actually pretty funny — aftert the opening verse plays, Colbert offers, "[The Confederate flag] just means you’re a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, in the same way that having a burning cross on your lawn just means you’re a Madonna fan." And yeah, now that he mentions it, it is kind of surprising that no one’s brought up the "Like A Prayer" video for comparison / discussions of loaded imagery. Alright then.
Anyway, Colbert praises the song for uniting America in hatred of this mess (and it’s a shame because the rest of Brad Paisley’s album isn’t all that bad, either), and offers the healing power of music to bridge "another deep cultural rift in America—the gay marriage divide." Hence, "Oopsie-Daisy Homophobe," which takes the situation to a Crunch gym and as expected, is far more overt in its intention to offend. The best part is, of course, Alan Cumming appearing as the LL equivalent, which reads "we just picked a random obvious gay celebrity who we thought would have something to say about this" the same way choosing LL, as Ta-Nehisi Coates helpfully pointed out, was Paisley just assuming that just because LL is black and a rapper, he’d automatically be able to offer insightful contributions on racial discourse and the Confederate flag, when there are countless other rappers who have said much more salient things about race and do this sort of thing better regularly. Anyway, now the song is safely dead, we think, and you can watch Colbert and Cumming trade verses below.
On the Colbert Report last night, Stephen Colbert held a Q&A with President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative University, which was, of course, interesting and wonderful all-around. But in speaking to the topic of social media, Colbert brought up that Clinton’s online presence isn’t as well-rounded as it could be. He admitted that he does intact "Facebook" but when comes to Twitter, he’s "insecure—what if you tweet and nobody tweets back? There’s nothing worse than a friendless tweeter." Yes, thank you Bill, glad to know you share in the collective fear of tweeting into the abyss as well.
But naturally, good ol’ Colbert took matters into his own hands to open a Twitter account for Clinton with the genius handle of @PrezBillyJeff—when, you know, anything less satisfying was unavailable. And for his first and only tweet thus far, Colbert prompted PrezBilly to think of a good 140 characters or less, resulting in: "Just spent amazing time with Colbert. Is he sane? He is cool." Sound about right.
Thus far this is the only tweet, and there’s no word on whether or not Clinton will keep up the tweets—but let’s hope he does. Oh and pics, I want pics. But in the meantime, watch the interview from last night’s show in its entirety HERE and keep an eye on your new favorite account.
Ever have one of those days where you think, "Man, I wish Amy Sedaris was a regular presence on television/in my life in general?" We have those a lot. Even though she has made a handful of TV guest appearances in the past few years, we can’t help but get excited when we see that Amy Sedaris is doing a thing. In this case, the thing is an awesome and perhaps somewhat all-too-real guest spot on F to 7th, an awesome web series about the trials and tribulations of the middle-aged lesbian from Ingrid Jungermann, who you may remember from another series, The Slope, about a certain Brooklyn neighborhood known for its co-op and corps of stroller-pushers.
In the clip, Sedaris plays Jungermann’s character’s aunt, who has come in from out of town and has one too many drinks. The conversation gets uncomfortable quickly as Sedaris tells her niece about how she would have loved the flight because of the lesbians on it, and it quickly escalates into stereotype-lampshading jokes about owning a Subaru and family-reunion awkwardness far too many of us, regardless of age or sexual orientation, know too well. And it’s pretty excellent—both Sedaris’s appearance and the series itself.
And, while we’re at it, and because it’s Valentine’s Day, and speaking of Strangers With Candy and how much we miss its existence and wish it would make an Arrested Development-style resurgence, here’s Stephen Colbert singing "The King of Glory" and getting his dance on. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!
Last night, 16-year-old blogging sensation (and one-time BlackBook fashion stylist) Tavi Gevinson charmed the satirical socks off of political comedian Stephen Colbert on his show, The Colbert Report. Similar to her stint on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the fashion darling and Rookie editor-in-chief was quick-witted and cute, and fascinated the host with her I’ve-accomplished-way-more-than-most-kids-my-age ways. At one point she helps Colbert up his style game by advising him to carry a puppy and don boy band hair à la One Direction. It’s good stuff, which you can watch after the jump.
Why actors who play talk show hosts on TV count as appropriate guests for Meet The Press, I don’t know. But since the actor in question is Stephen Colbert and he probably does know more about what’s going on in the election than plenty of actual journalists, I’m gonna give you a pass on this one, David Gregory.
Colbert hit up Meet The Press this morning in a pre-taped interview, in which both Stephen Colbert the character and Stephen Colbert the real person appeared. It’s 99% more entertaining than anything else I’ve ever seen on MTP, so it has that going for it, too.
Even as the very monolithic and stationary Lollapalooza this weekend and Austin City Limits soon loom large, music festivals on modes of transport seem to be the new thing everyone’s all worked up about. There’s the recently-announced, indie-headliner-stacked S.S. Coachella cruise from the people who brought you two weekends in the desert, not to mention everything from the Jam Cruise to Holy Ship!! The cruise trend is battling it out for supremacy with old-school rail-riding, from Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ documentary-spawning Railroad Revival Tour to Skrillex and Diplo touring Canada by train.
Anyway, yet another entertainer (and pundit) has gotten in on the cruise-concert trend, and doin’ it all his own way. Stephen Colbert’s music festival, Pepsi Presents StePhest Colbchella, returns for a second year on Saturday, August 10th on a very special venue—World War II aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Intrepid in Manhattan.If that doesn’t make you want to throw your hat in the air and start a "U-S-A! U-S-A!" chant, the lineup might. Colbert has announced a rather-impressive-on-such-short-notice group including The Flaming Lips, fun., Grizzly Bear, Santigold and on the decks, the mighty Grandmaster Flash.
"This will be the greatest thing to ever happen on the Hudson River," Colbert promised on his show. "Suck it, Sullenberger."
Footage from the shows will air as part of The Colbert Report on Tuesday, August 13th. Festival organizers are also giving away 1,500 free tickets via ColbertNation.com, making this perhaps the most affordable music cruise ever. Check out the announcement from the show below, and be sure to remind Colbert that someone needs to dust Michael Stipe.
You’re probably reading yet another bleary-eyed, tisk-tisking trend piece about how this is the "apathetic generation" or how #Kony2012 was the worst. Well, have no fear, cynical masses, because some of the kids are all right—they’re here, they’re organizing and with some inspiration from one Stephen Colbert, are creating delightfully irreverent SuperPACs.
Not only are offshoots of Colbert’s own SuperPAC, Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, popping up on college campuses (leading to wacky engagement strategies, and more importantly, teaching everyone how campaign finance works), but Colbert also sent out 1,000 SuperPAC starter kits to viewers, which included, as he wrote, "Federal Election Commission paperwork, filing instructions, an allen wrench and a small canned ham that resembles Karl Rove." And students and other young folks around the country are starting their own Colbert-inspired groups, such as the amazingly-named Why Not ZoidPAC?, established by MIT freshman Danny Ben-David in a process the founder called "almost frustratingly easy." Other self-started SuperPACs include the bitingly named, Watergate-alluding CREEP, run by a Georgetown University law student, and the non-party-affiliated Everyone’s Favorite Group/Socially Acceptable People Who Have Happy Funtime Ideas & Team.
But the SuperPAC that has probably gotten the most attention is that of a professional baseball player and former Northwestern University student named David Jensen, who created Cats For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. On their site, Jensen gets his message out the only way to do so in this modern age: with LOLcats. About campaign finance. He’s also hoping to attract donors with some feline funtimes, including creating personalized baseball cards for his "fat cat" contributors.
Of course, there are some polls that suggest 69 percent of all Americans want SuperPACs banned. But how can you say no to the cats?
● Zac Efron and Taylor Swift are probably not an item but their "Pumped Up Kicks" cover on Ellen today was so charming that we wish they were. [Vulture]
● Khloe Kardashian reports that pregnancy has Kourtney Kardashian hyperventilating at first mention of queso dip. [Us]
● People have "never looked so ugly as they do today regarding their dress," laments Vivienne Westwood, who is, at 70-years-old, still cooler than you. "We are so conformist, nobody is thinking. We are all sucking up stuff, we have been trained to be consumers and we are all consuming far too much." [DailyMail]
● Skrillex’s fans come for the drops ("Wom-wombzphz!"), stay for his hot face ("His face [is hot], but I don’t really like his, erm… head."). [Vice]
● You might want to think twice about those skinnies you’ve been wearing because they may be causing you nerve compression, interfering with digestion, or, worst of all, giving you lipoatrophia semicircularis aka "ribbed thighs." Yuck! [WSJ]
● Stephen Colbert is writing a children’s book. "I hope the minutes you and your loved ones spend reading it are as fulfilling as the minutes I spent writing it," he says, setting a high bar for himself. [GalleyCat]