Four Horsemen of the Apopcalypse – Pop culture references in The Colbert Report: June 28 – July 1, 2010


Welcome to No Fact Zone’s weekly roundup of cultural references on The Colbert Report. From Darcy to Danger Mouse, String Theory to Shakespeare, we’ve got the keys to this week’s obscure, oddball, and occasionally obscene cultural shout-outs (hey!).

Hey Zoners!  A great week from start to finish, and weren’t the Knicks segments such fun? It’s been crazy busy around here  – I didn’t even finish watching this week’s shows until Saturday night, so my apologies for the late post.  Hope your Independence Day weekend was similarly filled with picnicing, parades, and pfireworks (those of you outside the US, that’s no excuse!).  What were your favorite segments this week? Post them in the comments! (** = TCR/TDS link)

Monday: Rolling Stone Article on McChrystal

“Well I’m sorry. Peace is not the Green Berets’ thing. That’s the Raspberry Berets.”

Yes, the Raspberry Berets – an elite unit of tiny, purple, eccentric sex fiends (no, not Barney! Shame on you!). Though neither tiny nor purple, Stephen is a confirmed Prince fan – see **his most suave “When Doves Cry” dance at the Smithsonian National Treasures exhibit, and his approval of **Prince’s kosher Super Bowl halftime performance.

Tuesday: Basketcase – Stephie’s Knicks Hoop-De-Doo & Juliàn Castro

“Cleveland is not leaving anything to chance. They have gathered some of the city’s brightest stars to woo LeBron in song.  You have got to respect a town willing to compare losing a basketball star to child famine in Africa.”

Wow, it’s hard to believe that “We Are the World” came out 25 years ago (watch the video for a trip down memory lane, or perhaps an introduction for the younger set).  Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and performed by 40-some musicians from across genres (including many a musical legend), the song was released to benefit famine relief efforts in Africa.  The song has since raised over $63 million for humanitarian efforts in Africa and the United States.  

“They say only two things come from Texas: steers and mayors”

In Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam war film Full Metal Jacket, new recruits are toughened up by an abusive drill instructor, including this memorable taunt: “Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Cowboy.  And you don’t look much like a steer to me, so that kinda narrows it down.”  Excellent film.  However, I enjoyed this joke primarily because it brought to mind the 1990 Revolting Cocks club hit “Beers, Steers, and Queers” (yeeeeehaw!).

Wednesday: Mysteries of the Ancient Unknown – King Tut’s Penis

“In 1968, King Tut’s penis was declared missing. The Egyptians had no idea who took it, so they attacked Israel. They are known for taking the tips of penises.”

A hilarious leap of logic, and one of my favorite jokes of the week.  The Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria, and Jordan followed rising conflicts between the neighbor states.  In May 1967, Egypt had ejected UN troops from the Sinai peninsula, and amassed troops on the Israeli border.  Israel launched a preemptive attack in early June, and after only six days of fighting, a ceasefire was signed, leaving Israel in control of the newly seized territories of Sinai, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. 

Thursday: Tangelo-American John Boehner & Manny Howard

“Orange people hate Mondays and love lasagna…  And if you’re bad, orange people roll you away to the juicing room.”

It’s like a traveling circus of weird fictional orange characters.  Our Monday-hater is the cartoon cat Garfield, the child-juicers are the ultra-creepy Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Tigger is the tweaker (honestly, I can see that one), and Boehner’s son is the Cheetos spokescat Chester Cheetah.

“Was this a vorpal rabbit? Was it going for your throat?”

Get me some Monty Python, stat!  I can’t even say this is one of the best scenes from Monty Python and The Holy Grail, because they’re all best scenes.  Just watch it (that’s no ordinary rabbit!).  Incidentally, though it’s colloquially become known as the Vorpal Rabbit (in reference to the vorpal blade in Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky), in the film, the beast is actually referred to as the Rabbit of Caerbannog.  </nerdling>


  1. Gratefull says:

    May I say, Wren, I find these pop culture follow ups amazing! Thorough and just fascinating! THX!

  2. DrMeowMix says:

    Too bad Stephen’s sick day slippers were just regular bunnies, and lacked nasty big pointy teeth!

    (you can find Killer Rabbit slippers at such fine internet retailers as ThinkGeek, if you’re looking)

  3. lockhart43 says:

    The Israel/Egypt joke during the King Tut’s Penis segment was my favorite joke last week, partly because of Stephen’s reaction after he said it. And when he started the stereotypes about orange people joke, I just knew he would bring up the Oompa Loompas (I love that movie, but those little orange men are still incredibly creepy).

    Thanks wren!

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