Four Horsemen of the Apopcalypse – Pop culture references in The Colbert Report: July 26-29, 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!  So good to have Stephen and the crew back from vacation – how bubbly and relaxed he seemed!  The whole interview with Kevin Kline was fantastic, but I particularly loved the Shakespeare Without Words contest.  A challenge in the tradition of the Sean Penn **Metaphor-off and Stone Phillips **Gravitas-off.  Best quote, though, has to be “Try making chlorophyll in there, mother f***er.”  I’m still laughing at that one.  What were your favorite segments this week? Post them in the comments! (** = TCR/TDS link)

Monday: Racial Pro Firing

“People who support racial discrimination have no place in government. Until Rand Paul is elected.”

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul faced criticism this May for his views on the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  A Tea Party Libertarian, Paul spoke against “institutionalized racism” in an interview with NPR, but maintained that private businesses should retain the right to refuse service to anyone.  He dodged the implications of that statement in a subsequent joust with Rachel Maddow.  Don’t forget he’s also a “Board Certified” Opthamalogist – just like **Stephen and his cat Professor Buttons (oh, poor Jay!).

“Let’s not forget this shocking radio interview with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs . Wow, I do not think they’re going to ask him back on ‘Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me’ any time soon.”

Somebody stuff a sock in Mel Gibson, ok?  Also, hooray for a mini-shout-out to NPR’s fab news quiz show.  During his 2007 presidential campaign, **Stephen was a guest on “Wait Wait”, playing “Not My Job”, largely out of character.

Tuesday: Intro & Tip/Wag – Dick Cheney

“Academy Award winner Kevin Kline is here – a giant of the American theatre.  I will ask him if Phoebe Cates ever does that thing from Fast Times.”

Early in her film career, actress Phoebe Cates appeared in the 1982 teen flick Fast Times at Ridgemont High, impressing many a highly hormonal teen with a memorable bikini-shedding fantasy pool scene (NSFW, look it up if you must).  She has been married to Kevin Kline since 1989.

“The pump also requires an energy source – either an external battery, or in Cheney’s case, demons’ ichor pumped from the subterranean lair of the pre-Euclidean god of madness, Yogg Soggoth.  They were roomies in college.”

Pictured in their college letter sweaters are turn of the (last) century sci-fi/horror author H.P. Lovecraft and one of his imaginings, the multi-dimensional god Yog-Sothoth, part of the still-growing Cthulu Mythos.  In the pictured incarnation, I’ve got to say, Yog bears some resemblance to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (praise his holy noodleness, blessings be upon his meaty balls).

Wednesday:  The Wørd – Ownership Society & Republican Gubernatorial Primary Battle Watch ‘010 – Tennessee

“The point is, trickle down is good for everyone [According to R. Kelly]”

R. Kelly has found himself in legal troubles more than once in recent years, most notably in 2002 when a videotape surfaced which allegedly showed the rapper engaging in sex and golden showers with an underage girl.  Kelly was eventually found not guilty, while another child pornography charge was dropped on technical grounds.  Ugh. I think I need a unicorn chaser.

“I believe that Islam is the one great and true cult, praise be to Allah and the Nikes he wears, all glory and honor to the comet that hides his spaceship.”

In March 1997, San Diego area authorities discovered the scene of a mass suicide: 39 victims in matching track suits and new Nike shoes.  The dead were members of the Heaven’s Gate cult, who had believed that after death, UFOs would transport them to the spaceship hiding behind comet Hale-Bopp, with a reward of physical and spiritual renewal (See the New York Times’s extensive report on the history of Heaven’s Gate).


  1. Another great round-up, wren! Thanks for the “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” clip. Crazy but I have never heard it before (or don’t remember!)

  2. friedthing says:

    Ditto, thanks for the NPR clip! “I’ll go with man-bats” is not something I get to hear every day :).

  3. karenatasha says:

    Didn’t Cates do the banana scene in the cafeteria where she uses the phallic fruit to teach a more virginal girl how to…well, you know. I thought that was what Stephen was referring to, although maybe it’s in the same scene you mentioned?

    • Hmm, truth be told I never saw the movie, I’ve just got some killer google-fu ;) It’s not the same scene as the bikini bit, but beyond that I don’t know.

      I assume Stephen was referring to the pool scene, as he mimed unfastening a bikini top when he delivered the line. I’m sure either one was memorable to the target audience, though!

      • Karenatasha says:

        Oh, you must see FAST TIMES — it’s really wonderful, particularly Sean Penn as a stoned surfer dude.He’s beyond hysterical.

        I haven’t seen it in a while, so it’s possible that Cates was actually the more virginal girl at that stage of the movie. .

If you're new to our Zoner community, please read the No Fact Zone Comment Policy before commenting. Thank you!