Four Horsemen of the Apopcalypse – Pop culture references in The Colbert Report: September 13-16, 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!  For my money, nothing this week can top Tuesday’s epic Dr. Strangelove moment, with Stephen expertly channeling the great Peter Sellers.  Absolutely one of my favorite films, spoofed by one of my favorite performers!  There were tons of other fantastic moments this week, though, including some hilarious character breaks.  What were your favorites? Post them in the comments!

Monday: Bears & Balls

“Chocolate Finger!  He is the man with the caramel crunch. … I can only assume that his assistant’s name is Pussy S’more.”

Stephen singing a modified Goldfinger theme?  Truly bizarre, yet chocolatey good.  In the 1964 film, villain Goldfinger’s assistant is named Pussy Galore.  Really.

Tuesday: PETA Criticizes Joe Biden & Luther Campbell Opposes Ground Zero Mosque

“We should call you the People for the Un-American Treatment of Animals, or PUTA. I think our Hispanic soldiers would agree with me.”

For Zoners not fluent in Spanish, or whose high school language classes did not cover such colorful phrases, here’s the English translation for “puta”.

“I’m sure Luther would be fine with mosque developer Imam Rauf being as nasty as he want to be –  if he did it in a tolerant way, by releasing his sermons as a double album, filled with references to coochie-popping. “

Way to call out some prime hypocrisy.  As Stephen explained, 2 Live Crew fought obscenity charges over their 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be, both for the album itself and for a live performance of it, with the album’s challenge making it to the Eleventh Circuit US Court of Appeals (the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case).  The group prevailed in both cases,  on free speech and artistic merit grounds. 

Fun fracts: Friend of the show Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. testified as an expert witness on behalf of the band, and current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan cites her work on an amicus brief for the RIAA in the case as one of her most significant legal works.

Wednesday: The Toss – Anaerobic Announcement

Jon: “You’re going to go to Washington to hug a girl named Jenny?”

Stephen: “Not only that, we’re going to have sex, I’m gonna get her pregnant, then not know about it for years, then finally meet my son and find out that he’s smarter than me.  America is my Jenny!”

Quite apart from the fact that we’ve all been jonesing for a Toss for what seems like ages, I really loved all the film references in here – from Mark Wahlberg in the 2001 Planet of the Apes remake, to the 1979 cult NYC gang flick The Warriors (“Can you dig it? Caaaan yoooou diiiig iiiit?”), to 1994’s Forrest Gump.

Thursday: Threatdown – Bedbugs

“Tiny vampires – can tiny attractive werewolves be far behind?”

That’s actually a pretty cute mental image, for such an omnipresent, mildly annoying pop culture trend.  “What?”, you say? “Bedbugs are in with the teenybopper set now?”  No, but alas, the Twilight Saga, with its teen vampire/mortal/werewolf love triangle, still is.


  1. Stephen’s Peter Sellers impression finally prompted me to watch Dr. Strangelove and, just as I knew I would, I absolutely loved it! Wickedly smart and hilarious, and Peter Sellers is a revelation. So, rallies aside, that was probably the best moment of the week for me. Oh yeah, that and all of the adorable character breaks that went along with Monday’s show! :)

  2. Scott Marks says:

    Another one…
    On the Thursday September 16 show when Jon comes on during the rally announcement when Jon says that he “won’t Back Down” his hand motions make an unmistakable reference to Disney’s “Camp Rock 2” choreography from the musical number “Can’t Back Down.” It is rather subtle, but I know it is there because Jon made another Camp Rock 2 reference on his show during the week.
    I guess you may need to have kids the right age who obsessed with the Jonas Brothers to pick up on it.

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