Four Horsemen of the Apopcalypse – Pop culture references in The Colbert Report: August 16-19, 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!  Savor every last show, we’ll be on break again soon.  There was so much to love about this week, including some particularly neat interviews.  However, I must curse the Emmy-award-winning writers, because now every time I hear mention of National Intelligence Director James Clapper, I have the urge to *clap clap*.  What were your favorite segments this week? Post them in the comments! (** = TCR/TDS link – and there are some good ones!)

Monday:  Invasion of the Country Snatchers & John Fetterman

“Something that will repel them back into our country. Maybe a chain of pale, hideously out of shape men. I’m not sure where we’ll find them, but maybe the Minutemen know some people.”

Self-appointed civilian “border patrol” groups, the Minutemen rail against illegal immigration at the southern US border.  Groups primarily portray themselves as citizen Neighborhood Watches, while critics decry anti-immigrant sentiment, extremist ties, and vigilante violence.  It’s not the pale, hideously out of shape men I’m worried about – it’s organizers who call for volunteers to come to the border “locked, loaded, and ready.”

“I just want to get one thing clear – you’re not the one who cheated on Sandy Bullock, right? Because you could be an extra on Monster Garage.”

Earlier this year, actress Sandra Bullock divorced husband Jesse James (motorcycle customizer and host of Discovery Channel’s Monster Garage), amid allegations that he was unfaithful to her.

Tuesday: Barry Levine

“My theory is – you print a magic blue dot in your magazine, and you can cut it out and hold it in your pocket, and it’s energized, and the blue ink gives you luck.  Were you carrying your blue dot when they were voting for the Pulitzer?”

The Blue Dot? Really??  I’m afraid Stephen’s not making this one up.  The National Enquirer really does publish a blue dot in its paper, which it claims brings good luck.  Internet sources say you must have the real dot – the online version does not possess the same magic (but rub the screen anyway, just in case).  Woo alert!

Wednesday: Don’t Shoot the Schlessinger

“You may have seen the 30 year old naked photos of us that leaked onto the internet a few years back”

Put this on my list of Things I Researched for the Apopcalypse, Which I’d Rather Just Not Know.  In 1998, Schlessinger’s ex-boyfriend Bill Balance sold 12 nude photos he’d taken of her in the 1970’s to an online porn site.  Schlessinger initially sued, but a court determined she did not own the rights to the photos, and could not prevent their publication.

“Belgians are a filthy thieving people. Drink Bud Light”

Because they’re a sponsor, Stephen has defended the taste of Bud Light – **it doesn’t taste at all like dish soap. But Belgians?  In 2008, Bud Light brewer Anheuser-Busch was acquired by Belgian company InBev, leading to the Best Drinking Segment on the Report, ever: **Belgians Buy Budweiser.

Thursday: The Wørd – What if you threw a peace and nobody came? & Jon Krakauer

“During the election, Barack Obama was known for one thing more than any other [Jeremiah Wright]”

Oh, how quickly the manufactured controversies arise and fade.  Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright was in the news during the campaign for past sermons which were **viewed as racially controversial.  See also the hilarious “Reverend?” “Right” exchange in **Stephen’s town hall meeting.

“Sweetness and honor it is to die for one’s country. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”

I love it when Stephen breaks out the Latin.  The line is originally from the Odes (III:2) by Roman poet Horace, but became commonly quoted throughout Europe in recent centuries.  The most notable modern reference was in a graphic 1917 anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est”, where it is condemned as “the old lie.”


  1. lockhart43 says:

    Another great Apopcalypse, wren! Thanks for the background on the Belgian/Bud Light line; I knew that a Belgian company bought out Bud Light, but it completely went over my head when Stephen said that. And I agree with you – I loved when Stephen broke out the Latin during the Jon Krakauer interview. :)

    Favorite segments last week had to have been the Invasion of the Country Snatchers (I still crack up at the “fluffer nutter” line!) and The WØRD – What If You Threw a Peace and Nobody Came? because it was just so well-written.

  2. I studied Latin all through high school and always loved it, and have just recently picked it up again at university. I get a little thrill whenever I see or hear it from anyone. But when Stephen speaks Latin? Well that’s just sublime.

    (And oh look, there’s a Latin word in the reCaptcha: tu. :D)

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