Four Horsemen of the Apopcalypse – Pop culture references in The Colbert Report: August 23-26, 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!  Cross your fingers for an Emmy win tomorrow!  Apart from all the great segments this week, I enjoyed Monday’s Aquatic Threatdown – the column bubbles were quite soothing, just like being at the aquarium.  Plus, you can’t go wrong when a form of aquatic life gets herpes, right? (**Who’s been f***ing our coral reefs??).  What were your favorite segments this week? Post them in the comments! (** = TCR/TDS link)

Monday: The Wørd: Losing His Religion & Aqua Threatdown – Israeli Regulators

“Like Jesus says in Matthew 5:47 – pray big or go home.”

Stephen’s… shall we say flexible? renderings of bible passages are always a hoot.  The Gospel of Matthew describes Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in which he exhorts his disciples to love even their enemies – the more traditional reading of 5:47 is “And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?”

“[The Jordan River is] a site holy to all Christians because it’s where Saint John baptized Jesus, as immortalized in Mel Gibson’s movie The Splashin’ of the Christ”

The Splashin’ of the Christ looks a lot more fun than Gibson’s brutal, graphically violent depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion, 2004’s The Passion of the Christ.  I’d be more inclined to watch The Splashin’, anyway.

Tuesday: Mahmoody Blues & Jeffrey Goldberg

“Russia will keep a close tab on the plant, and recover any radioactive material, which they will safely dispose of in the sushi of their journalists.”

Russia is most definitely not a safe place to be if you’re inclined to criticize Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.  The journalist in question here was Alexander Litvenenko, a former KGB agent investigating previous journalist murders, who was fatally poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 at a London sushi restaurant.  For full, gruesome coverage, see the 8/11/2009 Apopcalypse.

“John Bolton, former UN Ambassador and present walrus…”

Just look at his picture, is all I’m saying.  Bolton is also a former **Alpha Dog of the Week (no one better suited for the job than a bulldozer) and subject of **The Wørd (bringing the world together by tearing it apart).

Wednesday:  Stephen Colbert University & Mysteries of the Ancient Unknown – King Tut’s Penis Pt 2

“Who better than economics professor Blankfein to teach our kids about financial ruin?”

Lloyd Blankfein is CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of several investment banks implicated in the creation of junk CDOs, the ensuing mortgage crisis, and the national financial meltdown (**OhMyGodSocietyIsCollapsing! – one of the sharpest Wørds ever). The company is currently being sued by the SEC for fraud, but don’t forget, **they’re doing God’s work.

“Uri Geller, who some may remember as the paranormalist with the powers to bend spoons using only the power of his mind… and trick spoons.”

Loved this segment on Uri Geller; though Geller was famous during the 1970s for his “paranormal” parlor tricks, I more fondly remember skeptic James Randi‘s thorough debunking of him.  The Wall Street Journal has a summary of Geller’s most recent fancies, including some amusing quotes from his baffled Scots neighbors (visual approximation: The Simpson’s Groundskeeper Willie).

Thursday: Glenn-Livid & You Mosque Be Kidding

[Glen Beck:]“My critics are right, I do have something in common with Howard Beale”

I love the image of Glen Beck as the Mighty Morphin’ Power Martyr, but I can’t decide whether it’s more disturbing to think that Beck actually believes his grandiose garbage, or that he doesn’t but he’s propagating it anyway.  In the 1976 film Network, the main character Howard Beale is a mentally unstable news anchor whose on-air rants (“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”) inspire new audiences, bringing a spike in ratings, as well as less desirable outcomes.  If you’ve never seen the film, put it in your queue today.

“I will drink the Kool-Aid. My Nikes are all laced up. I’m ready to follow you on to your silver freedom spaceship that runs on human tears.”

References to both the Jonestown (over 900 dead of suicide by cyanide laced Kool-Aid), and the Heaven’s Gate cults (39 dead, clad in new Nikes and matching track suits, awaiting the arrival of a spaceship hidden behind comet Hale Bopp).  Human tears is right.

“This guy attacking a Muslim is like the former leader of the RNC coming out as gay.”

Former RNC chair and Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman publicly announced this week that he is gay, and intends to lobby for gay marriage.  Better late than never, I say.


  1. Awesome roundup, as usual! Thanks for doing this, and for all of the work that you do on the site!

  2. Karenatasha says:

    The Uri Geller reference cracked me up. I remember years and years ago–and this will date me for sure–Johnny Carson once talked about how carefully he had Geller watched when he was a guest on The Tonight Show. Because Carson was a skilled amateur magician himself, he was very alert to the types of trickery a so-called “psychic” could do. He made sure Geller could not touch any of the props in advance…and when Geller went on, nothing worked and no spoons bent.

  3. Mr. Arkadin says:

    Wren, thanks again for another great job! I really appreciate all the hard work you must do to get this done. This is one of my favorite NFZ features. Thanks again. :)
    I remember when the Terminator was participating in the Enron-backed coup to throw out Gov.Gray Davis in California, he kept saying at rallies “…We’re mad as Hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” I’d roll my eyes and bitch to my co-workers about what a bunch of nonsense this was & how I hated him stealing lines from “Network.” And the response I’d get back would be: “What do you mean? I agree with Arnold! He’s right!” I’d say, “But there no substance there. He’s just stealing lines from the movie “Network!” *Blank stares* “You know the movie “Network! With Peter Finch! “I’m as mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” He won an Oscar for his role in it after he died. Remember?!” *Blank stares* Then: “Well I don’t know. I think Arnold’s right…” *Shudders and shakes my head*
    And that is one of the reasons California is circling the toilet right now.

  4. friedthing says:

    Didn’t Stephen say sometime that Network was his favorite movie?

  5. Caoilfhiann says:

    No one’s mentioned how Glenn-Livid is a reference to my favorite brand of Scotch whisky, the Glenlivit. I’ll see you all later. I need a drink.

    • I nearly visited the Glenlivit distillery when I was in Scotland back in 2000, but I think it had just closed for the day *sob*. Glenfiddich was quite interesting, though, and just down the road.

      • Caoilfhiann says:

        The 12 yr old Glenfiddich is too smoky tasting for me, but a friend of mine let me have a taste of a 15 yr old one and it was amazing. There aren’t enough “oo’s” in smooooooth to describe it.

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