Fantasy Colbert League April 4th -7th

fcl weeklyHello, Everyone! It’s Monday, Monday…

Last week was amazing, what with the creation of Stephen’s PAC (love the wickedly mischievous look when he asked whether anyone had ever been prosecuted for misusing funds) and an extra day of Colbertian hijinks with Jimmy Fallon. Wasn’t that awesome fun? And all done for the good of kids everywhere. All I can say is: More! More!

The upcoming shows look fantastic—and one person I very much wanted to see a few weeks ago, who didn’t show up, is back on the schedule. Yea!


Monday, April 4th: Andrew Chaikin

Andrew ChaikinThis guest is thrilled to be on the show—just go to his website and the first thing you’ll see is a big image from The Colbert Report opening credits, with Stephen grasping the flag. And I’m pretty happy to have Andrew Chaikin on too, because Stephen always radiates such joy when he gets the chance to discuss outer space.

Chaikin is an astronomy journalist and author whose books include A Man on the Moon, which inspired the HBO TV series From the Earth to the Moon, produced by friend of the show Tom Hanks; A Passion for Mars; and, for children, Mission Control This Is Apollo. According to Chaikin’s site, director James Cameron called him “our best historian of the space age,” and since Cameron directed Aliens, wouldn’t he know?

In the past, Chaikin has written and edited many astronomy magazines, including Sky & Telescope, Air & Space/Smithsonian, and Scientific American, and he served as an advisor to NASA. He is presently a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Watch this Spacevidcast to hear him discussing his book Voices from the Moon. You’ll have to move about 10 minutes in to get to him. Also, check out his comments in Wired on Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, and how the director got it wrong about what would have happened to the spacecraft if it hadn’t been rescued.

Fract: Out of this world musically: Chaikin is apparently an amateur singer and songwriter. Fly him to the moon and let him play among the stars!


Tuesday, April 5th: James Franco

James FrancoAnd the question is: will Stephen ask Franco about his recent ill-fated stint as Oscar host? Franco already defended his performance (and denied being under the influence) on The Late Show with Letterman. Of course, Letterman famously had his own disaster in that role…and Jon didn’t have it too easy, either, though I thought he was good. My disclaimer here: I was so annoyed at Franco’s dissing of the truly funny Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globes that I almost hoped he’d fail. But that’s just me. Anyway, Franco did a better job hosting Saturday Night Live. Here’s his monologue.

When it comes to acting, rather than awards show hosting, Franco is a very talented man, skilled in both serious drama and goofy humor. This California native started acting in UCLA, where he majored in English, and liked it enough to quit college not long after. He broke through in the critically acclaimed TV show Freaks and Geeks, and mostly stayed on the small screen—including a telemovie in which he played James Dean—until getting cast in the role of Spiderman’s friend Osborne in the eponymous film. He was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for 127 Hours, and the film version of Allen Ginsburg’s Howl, in which he starred, was released earlier this year on DVD, with Franco providing extra interviews and commentary. Although Franco came home without a statue from the Oscars, a few years ago he did win a Spirit Award for his role in Milk, opposite Sean Penn. According to IMDB, he’s either in, or rumored to be in, pre-production for several films, including the biography of porn star Linda Lovelace and Oz: The Great and Powerful, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. But before those movies there’s his soon-to-be released Your Highness, a medieval comedy with Danny McBride and Natalie Portman, directed by David Gordon Green, who also helmed Franco’s Pineapple Express. Here’s the trailer and an article.

In addition to acting, Franco returned to university to complete his undergraduate degree in creative writing; he is now going for his PhD at Yale. He also paints, and recently had an exhibition which was covered in both The New Yorker and The New York Times.

While Franco has never been on The Colbert Report, he has appeared on The Daily Show–on the very day he got his Oscar nod. Also, on that very show, there’s was a hysterical extra clip of him grabbing a Snickers bar.

Fract: Franco was actually up for the lead in Spiderman, which he lost to Tobey McGuire. He accepted the secondary role, however, and stayed for the sequels.


Wednesday, April 6th : Sir David Tang

Sir David TangHorror of horrors, just imagine some terrible, awful, horrible no-good person posting dreadful lies about Stephen on the internet. How would our fearless hero fight back? Okay, he’s got the show to say whatever he wants. But if he didn’t, tonight’s guest could help. Sir David Tang set up the icorrect website so that celebrities of all types—from movie stars to politicians–can defend themselves against libel, defamation, and slander and have an arena to state the truth as they see it. The New York Times recently wrote an article about the site, which charges people $1000 for setting the story straight. Is it only me, or can you see this as the perfect set-up for Stephen?

Tang is a Hong Kong businessman and entrepreneur who founded the Shanghai Tang department store chain, distributes Cuban cigars throughout Pacific Asia, owns restaurants, and is author of the book An Apple a Week, an anthology of articles he wrote for the Apple Daily newspaper. He serves as the chair of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund and Down’s Syndrome Association and is a trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts. Sir David was knighted by the Queen in 2008.

Here’s a video with him and author and comedian Stephen Fry discussing the Hong Kong Book Fair, at which Fry appeared. (Fry is one of icorrect’s big supporters.) Listen to that English accent on Tang: when he first came to Britain at age 13 to attend school he didn’t speak a word of the language.

Fract: Tang tangled with PETA over serving shark fin soup in some of his restaurants in China. Do they also know he’s a fan of pheasant shooting?


Thursday, 4/7: Jeff Greenfield
Jeff GreenfieldHe’s finally going to be on–I hope. So here’s my post from what back in March, when he originally was scheduled.

Let’s welcome back another Friend of the Show. Jeff Greenfield has appeared on The Colbert Report twice before, in 2007 (to discuss Stephen’s presidential race) and before that in 2006 when he and Stephen examined the midterm elections. Watch them and you’ll also see Stephen doing a sassy kick to the camera as he runs to the interview desk, complete with a very sexy smile. That has nothing to do with Greenfield, but I had to throw it in anyway. Greenfield himself is a great guest, smart and with a wry sense of humor that really works well with Stephen. He’s not one to get thrown by what he admitted were “questions he’s never been asked before” and definitely knows how to feed Stephen some good lines back. Greenfield has also appeared countless times on The Daily Show, including a two-part interview. There are just too many links to throw in, but go over to the show’s site, look him up, and enjoy.

Native New Yorker Greenfield graduated from Bronx Science, became the editor-in-chief of his college newspaper in University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then earned his law degree from Yale, where he was also one of the editors for the Yale Law Journal. The three-time Emmy® winner is now a senior political analyst for CBS after stints on CNN and various other networks. His most recent book, Then Everything Changed, delves into alternative history, speculating on what might have happened had three historic events played out differently: if President Kennedy had been killed by a suicide bomber rather than by Oswald; if JFK’s brother Bobby hadn’t died that fateful night in Los Angeles after winning the California primary; and if Gerald Ford had beaten Jimmy Carter. Speaking for myself, I’m really eager to read it, as it’s a genre I enjoy and with characters who fascinate me. Plus, Greenfield was a speechwriter for Bobby Kennedy, so he can bring a very personal perspective to the story. Here’s an interview about the book.

Fract: Jeff’s daughter Casey was in a scandal with CNN correspondent Jeffrey Toobin. She claimed that the married Toobin was the father of her child, and took him to court for support. Casey also claimed he offered to pay for her abortion.


Enjoy, everybody, and be sure to let me know which guests excite you.
Also…THIS IS THE WEEK! This coming Friday evening, I will be seeing Company with Stephen. So I’ll be back to reporT on that–as will all my fellow Zoners attending the other performances, I’m sure. So excited. Till then…

Comments

  1. lockhart43 says:

    I’m really excited for James Franco tomorrow. He’s a notoriously laid-back guy (and also very witty), so it’ll be interesting to see how he interacts with “Stephen”.

    I would ask y’all to stop talking about how excited you are to see Company later this week, out of sheer jealousy, but I am so damn excited for all of you who are going, and so excited to read your reporTs, and so excited for Stephen, that I just can’t be the downer in this situation. Excitement. So have fun everybody!

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  2. Mr. Arkadin says:

    I’m really looking forward to Jeff Greenfield. (If he shows this time.) If for no other reason then his book sounds so interesting. I’m a sucker for that kind of “what if” history anyway.

    And c’mon Karenatasha! While Letterman wasn’t great Oscar night, he wasn’t a “disaster” either. I know. I know. “Oprah, Uma, Uma, Oprah.” But his “impression” of Jack Nicholson (smashing a car with a golf club) was a ballsy forerunner of the kind of stuff Ricky Gervais did this year at the Golden Globes, & the whole bit with big name actors “screen testing” for David’s part in “Cabin Boy,” (“Do you want to buy a Monkey?”) was great!

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    • Karenatasha says:

      Well, I was referring to the critical response to both of them. From my own point of view…well, I thought Letterman’s performance as host was very inconsistent. You mentioned the most notorious of those flubs, but certainly not the only one. The thing is, Letterman at his best works in a style that doesn’t (to me, anyway) seem compatible with hosting an awards show. He’s a little too quirky. Gervais, on the other hand, was great–a little harsh on some, perhaps, but very funny.

      And then there was Franco…
      No comment there.

      And I love alternate history, too. I’m really looking forward to his appearance and to the book.

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  3. I absolutely cannot stand James Franco!! He’s always an interesting and entertaining guest, well at least on the appearances I have see,n but I cannot get over the smugness factor. Here’s hoping that Stephen – and I’m sure he will – can bring out a new side of Franco that I can enjoy.

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    • Karenatasha says:

      So Katt–what did you think? I’m interested to hear, because I thought he was both at his most pompous AND his most appealingly funny, depending on what point in the intervew you’re talking about.

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