Tag Archives: Stephen Colbert

Random Things Round-up: It’s Been A Week in London

Did you know that apparently the men’s basketball uniforms for Team USA are made out of recycled plastics water bottles somehow? Apolo Ohno was also surprised, in this video documenting his first trip into an Olympic gift shop. Spoiler: he puts on a biking unitard, but he can’t quite bring himself to try the tiny speedo situation.

By the way—be jealous—I have pins from the Barcelona and Albertville games. I have duplicates of a few, in case you want to make an offer.

Never mind, they’re priceless.

In regards to other winter Olympians, NBC is really cashing in on any cult of personality they can snag, including Shaun White who apparently does not excel at fencing, but just wanted to clarify, “I’m obviously not competing, I’m just enjoying everything.”  He does, however, think that Gabby Douglas is super inspiring, as established in a really clumsy non sequitur towards the end of Friday’s primetime coverage. He also vaguely remembers training on a trampoline as a child. So, there’s that.

Have you ever noticed how the news crew are always talking to the Dutch? It’s totally because a) they all speak perfect English and excel at life, and b) they’re easy to pick out, wearing all the orange. Also, in case you are planning a trip to future Olympics, know that Holland House has been the hit of every games since those last same-year Olympiads in 1992 (Barcelona and Albertville); this year, guests hoping to party Dutch-style apparently have to book tickets in advance online.

And, in case you were wondering what the Olympics are about, Stephen Colbert has the definitive answer: “Making little foreign girls cry.”

I mean, one thing at which the Russian lady gymnasts really dominate is expressing a sense of utter, devastating tragedy impending around every corner.

Viktoria Komova, I’m sorry Gabby Douglas made you cry.

Aliya Mustafina, your name makes me want to hiss “Mufasa,” all the time. I’m also sorry about that. Sort of.

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Filed under Commenting, Obscure Summer Sports

Stephen Colbert Learns Dressage: “Who’s Winning? Me, or the Horse?”

Ok, so I know I am incredibly late to this party (it happened earlier this week), but for those of you who are also late to the party: Stephen Colbert did a two segment special bit his “adventure in the workaday world of horse ballet,” as part of his personal celebration of the Olympics, otherwise known as “fighting our enemies in a sports-themed proxy war.”

In addition to dubbing Dressage “horse ballet” or “horse prom,” Colbert provided further clarification to the American public by describing dressage as “the sport of the summer—for those who use ‘summer’ as a verb.”

Touché.

Other definitions include:

Passage: Horsey walking sideways.

Piaffing: Fancy prancing.

You’re going to want to see that video here and then here.

 

 

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Filed under Commenting, Obscure Summer Sports, Television

Ben & Jerry’s: Things to Know, Not Just Schweddy Balls

On an unsuccessful quest for the new limited edition Schweddy Balls Ben & Jerry’s pint, I discovered this magic.

Yes, this exists and it is delicious.

Also, this exists, and I am a little afraid of it.

I cannot imagine it cannot be better than the Stephen Colbert themed AmeriCone Dream, but that’s just me and my opinion. Have you seen that tragic new Jimmy Fallon Capital One commercial?

Sidebar: all the people who apparently take moral issue with ‘Schweddy Balls’ are just going to have to accept the fact that 1990s Saturday Night Live skits have officially become classics.

And who doesn’t love Alec Baldwin? And who doesn’t love rum, ice cream and malt balls?

As Baldwin said in his sixteenth host monologue for Saturday Night Live on this weekend’s season premiere: If you have a problem with ‘Schweddy Balls,’ then “Ben and Jerry’s has a new ice cream flavor just for you. It’s called ‘Go Fudge Yourself.'”

NBC.com / Mary Ellen Matthews

Onwards with my hunt for the elusive pint.

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Filed under Cuisining, Informative

The Scrabble Meltdown

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Boston.com

People are up in arms about the Scrabble rule change announced recently wherein the use of proper nouns (“names, places, companies and brands”- CBS) is now within regulation. Purists across the globe have descended into the dark waters of a conniption fit en masse, ever since the BBC made this shocking discovery.

Yesterday morning on The View, Whoopi Goldberg broke up discussion regarding Dancing With the Stars in order to launch a rant against the new developments, exclaiming, “Shame on y’all Mattel!”

“That’s right! It’s just like the Scrabble you grew up with, minus what made it Scrabble!”

Stephen Colbert dedicated a segment to the descent of a highbrow classic into popular muck, declaring that the new version “will open up the game to a new generation of quasi-literate US Weekly readers.” He forecasted the rise of celebrity couple names such as– of course– “Brangelina,” along with “Filliam H. Muffman” and “Steyoncé” (Colbert has a crush). These wordplays would naturally garner a double score bonus.

Colbert went on to congratulation Mattel on their ballsy choice “to abandon the outdated notion that rules are what make a game a game.” The international word game élite no doubt simultaneously raised a glass to commiserate over the fall of an old friend.

Meanwhile, Slate Magazine’s Stefan Fatsis urged the public to stop hyperventilating in an exposé debunking this sign of the apocalypse.

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It turns out that while Hasbro owns the rights to Scrabble in North America, Mattel– let’s go ahead and call them arch-rivals– owns the rights outside of North American (remember that the story broke in Great Britain). Mattel is releasing a new novelty version of the beloved game this summer called Scrabble Trickster, which “will include cards that allow players to spell words backward, use proper nouns, and steal letters from opponents.” It will not in any way A) effect the North American Hasbro original or B) eliminate the classic version distributed by Mattel outside of North America. It’s just a new, silly, novelty game devised by marketeers to sell some games– after all, who doesn’t already own a Scrabble set? I think I have at least two, my parents probably have a closet full, so here I am in my mid-twenties set with Scrabble boards for life without having ever actually purchased one myself.

Plus if my roommate actually goes ahead and buys an iPad… Well, I’m sure you already know about the magical Scrabble app that allows one to use an iPhone as a letter holder from which a player can flick their word onto the board/iPad. Too bad I do not own an iPhone.

Ahem.

So how did this debacle happen? As far as I can tell, British Mattel spokespersons took advantage of a striking storyline and through negligence allowed the tale of Scrabbletastrophe to spread like wildfire because– hey guess what– now we’re all talking about it! This basically means that what Whoopi said still holds true: “Shame on y’all Mattel” for misleading board-gamers across the gamersphere. Someone could have died.

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Whew. Crisis averted.

Sort of.

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Filed under Ponderings

Favorite Ridiculous Olympic Moments: Random Things

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  • Mary Carillo hugging, nuzzling and wiping the tears of stuffed moose Colbert after Canada’s hockey loss.
  • Props to Bode Miller on being less of an ass-hat and tearing up for his gold. Emotional growth–win.
  • “Looking ridiculous, does it affect the judges?” “Yes, Tom, it does come into play, it is a subjective sport.” Regarding the Russian ice dancers.

    brisbanetimes.com/ Reuters

  • Hearing Steve Holcomb’s name and immediately making an Arrested Development connection when he stood up, both arms raised: “Steve Holt!”
  • Short track cameraman, what is wrong with you. Why do you always zoom in on Apolo’s crotch. By always, we mean specifically that one out of control time during the 1500 meter race on the first Olympic Saturday.
  • Mary Carillo attending the RCMP Academy and attempting to rise through the ranks to the sound of American Beauty music. She was wearing knee socks.
  • The Orange Crush Dutch folk, especially the very to-the-point blazing orange bobsled. Having seen the speed skating fans, I should have known it was coming, but I have to admit that I was not quite prepared.

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  • Stephen Colbert climbing into the faux fire-place at the NBC interview set.
  • Billy Bush called Julia Mancuso in winners circle after her first silver medal race… and she ran off to grab her phone and proceeded to engage in conversation.
  • Words of wisdom from Shani Davis, who always sounds like he kind of hates the world. “I’ve learned a little trick. It’s called skate with your heart.” On the other hand, he has also had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game where he “almost skipped the plate:” but you know, “White Sox forever!” Thanks Shani.
  • Apolo Ohno jumping over fallen foes in the 500 meter and then magical moments afterwards when they showed a montage of Apolo that allowed us to see for the last time that footage of him running up a cliff. Plus that time there was that other endlessly entertaining Ohno segment regarding being recognized for Dancing with the Stars. Chris Collinsworth named Apolo Ohno’s short track performances his second top moment of the games: “He’s jumping over people, he’s doing all these outrageous thing! … It was nothing but fun out there on the short track.”

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  • Everything Scott Hamilton did or said, as per the wide range of entries on the topic.
  • “The lane change heard ’round the world,” AKA Dan Jansen’s take on the Sven Kramer catastrophe.
  • Women’s Giant Slalom commentator regarding Julia Mancuso’s raw deal: “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts.” Really? Yes, that was said.
  • Mirai Nagasu spinning so fast in her short program that she got a bloody nose. Plus, she came in fourth solidifying her claim that “I’m the future.”
  • Stephen Colbert: “I’ve got Olympic fever. Either that or I ate some really bad poutine.” Me too Stephen, me too.

Glad it has somewhat passed. On to Oscar night mayhem next, but don’t worry there is Julia Mancuso update/ recap in the works. I know you are holding your breath, do not lie to me.



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One Last Sartorial Glance: Spandex, Spandex & Vera Wang Too

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Let’s do this thing.

We covered many a sartorial spandex moment, from sequins on figure skaters to swizzles on skiers, but we have a few things left to say, including some comments on tighties from the athletes themselves.

nbcolympics.com

First of all, take a moment to conjure the image of the US bobsled team, including the gold medal winning ‘Night Train’ team. Those uniforms look dead awful on everyone. Every single person who had to wear one. Also, they looked like some old thing that someone had dug out of their attic. Ew. I’m sorry that you had so many pictures taken of you wearing that disaster-basket of a spandex suit.

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To make is worse, the bobsled team was also sporting those terrible spangled parka situations that we’ve seen across the games on various American teams. They are despicable. Combine them with the bobsled uniforms and the result is tragic.

Now if you want to see some sleek bobsled uniforms, the people you want to catch up with are the German team. Plus, they know where the camera goes (if you are not aware, much of bobsled coverage at the gate consists of an upwards view of the athletes’… ah… glutes). So the Germans invested in snazzy posterior designs.

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We have also seen and discussed the super-engineered own-the-podium-esque Canadian speed skating suits. And what does an American athlete have to say about their skin-suits?

@Jesslb16 @apoloohno does the design of your suit help performance?

@ApoloOhno RE: http://bit.ly/bDG3rO Jesse- performance? Besides making us look silly? Haha! Just better aerodynamics.

Ohno also tweeted in pondering whether or not to wear his spandex to the Oscars.

Another lighthearted look at spandex from Aksel Lund Svindal’s Twitter profile: “Most of the time I travel the world in a spandex race suit trying to be fast…”

So that is all very official, isn’t it?

And on the fussier side of Olympic fashion, we have a brief reflection on Evan Lysacek and Vera Wang.

Did you know that Wang trained as a figure skater? She skated as a pair with James Stuart in the 1960s and when they did not make the Olympic team she went into fashion. She now designs figure skating costumes for people like Johnny Weir, Evan Lysacek, Michelle Kwan and Nancy Kerrigan, including Lysacek’s costumes from these recent Vancouver games. In 2009 she was inducted into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame for her contributions to the sport as a designer, so Ms. Wang is an expert on sparkly spandex. In a recent interview she spoke about the importance of having that physical knowledge of figure skating when designing a costume so that it will not impeded the athlete’s performance or succumb to wear and tear throughout the season.

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And yes, she was responsible for what Stephen Colbert referred to as “the world’s most glamorous snake attack!”

And that is the end of our spandex et cetera report.

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Everybody Loves Scott Hamilton: the Gala & the Best

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It is a fact: Scott Hamilton is the ultimate commentator. If you are not a fan, there is something wrong with you, you might even be dead inside. According to an extremely scientific Access Hollywood viewers poll, 66% of the nation think that Hamilton is the greatest male figure skater ever, the runner-up being Brian Boitano with 22%. Ponder that.

And just why do we love Scott Hamilton? Well he’s an amazing figure skater of the ages, his commentary is the stuff of legends and he is always willing to have fun with it. When Stephen Colbert had him on the show via-fireplace and asked whether there was a new Cold War in the making vis-à-vis men’s figure skating, Scott laughed, “Why not?” And regarding that trademark backflip? Colbert pointed out that none of the competitors had bothered with that feat and wondered, “Shouldn’t you get the gold medal?” I know I wish backflipping was still involved. Scott settled with a snarky, “Well– I did.” Which circles back to why we love the man.

I’ve been planning this post since the first night of figure skating. Last night we got our last taste of Olympian comments from Scott during the gala skate exhibition, one of the happiest events of the winter games. The first Olympics of which I have memory were the 1992 Albertville games and I still clearly remember Kristi Yamaguchi’s gala skate, which only made my child-self love her more.

Sigh.

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So Scott came back to us for a few magical moments of the 2010 gala skate which featured Joannie Rochette in a great little purple velvet sequined number skating to the French version of Celine Dion’s “Fly,” which incidentally also reminded me of my child-self, albeit sometime post-Kristi. Rochette chose the piece because it was one of her mother’s favorites. She received the Terry Fox Award (along with Petra Madjic, the fierce cross-country skier who took home a bronze despite multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung) as an Olympian who best embodied the best of the human spirit, who brought the Olympics beyond sport. Raise your hand if you cried? Chris Collinsworth judges you if you didn’t: “I know men don’t like to cry, but if you didn’t cry watching this young lady then what kind of man are you?” He named it is his number one moment of the 2010 games.

Back to Scott. Evgeny Plushenko came out on the ice being his usual fabulous/awful self, skating to “Je Suis Malade.” What are you trying to say Evgeny? Scott announced the song and provided the translation, “I Am Sick,” and proceeded with, “He’s sick? He’s sick with talent. He’s sick with ability.

Plushenko, “the one and only”  goes on to toss out handfuls of triple axels like Halloween candy, which Scott simply cannot get over, “Oh why not just keep throwing triple axels, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhaahaha, oh man– this guy is great!” Wait, does Scott voice Tony the Tiger?!?!

The wonderful thing about Scott Hamilton is his never-ending positivity, he loves to watch great athletes skate and he’s not afraid to let us know his feelings. Davis & White came out to a slow swooning cover of “Billie Jean,” and all Scott had to say was, “I love everything they do!.. GAH! I love them.”

Kim Yu-Na came on and there was more love fest in the air. According to Sandra, Kim has said that “the purpose of this program is to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive so far in my career.” Scott remained enamored throughout the program as Kim glided over the ice in a surprising long-sleeved and fairly long-skirted princess waist costume. It was different. I liked it. Scott summed up her skating with the succinct statement that “it’s truly a gift.”

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Another favorite pair of Scott’s, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir came out with a hugely entertaining performance. They started out to music from The Nutcracker Suite, Virtue wearing a full-on crinoline tutu; however, as the music suddenly transitioned into, yes, a jock jam situation Moir’s chosen Canadian hockey jersey-wth-jeans look began to make sense. It was just fun, total fun and the crowd loved it. Somehow, Scott still managed to wax poetic about how graceful they are: “Hard to believe they’re so good so young!” Sandra called theirs “a fairy tale story.” I just giggled.

For the crescendo of Scott’s praise, tuxedoed Evan Lysacek performed a competitive program choreographed to “Rhapsody in Blue.” According to Scott, they had run into each other a few days earlier– what I wouldn’t give to just run into my friend Scott Hamilton at the breakfast bar– and that Lysacek had been unable to pick his gala program. Scott said, “well, what do you want to say?” and Lysacek came up with  “I want to do ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ because I feel like it’s the date that brought me to the dance.'” Someday, Mr. Lysacek is going to make a great commentator.

At any rate, Scott could not effuse enough praise, gushing “Every time he had a setback, he worked through it and he earned it! He earned it the best way possible. He worked harder than anybody else”… Evgeny Plushenko. Yeah.

In a previous interview with Bob Costas, Scott has made it clear that although Plushenko is a great, Lysacek was without a doubt better and more deserving and that the Russian skater needs to get over himself and deal with his silver medal, quad or no quad: “It’s figure skating. It’s about the whole performance,” not just whether or not an athlete can successfully throw a quad on the ice.

Scott Hamilton blends the emotional, the entertaining and the technical seamlessly into his figure skating commentary– and that is why we love him.

A few favorite bites from these games, linked to the original posts:

“[Rachael Flatt] didn’t get any slack from the collar tonight!

“My heard just started beating a little faster.” As Kim Yu-Na comes onto the ice.

“[Kim Yu-Na’s] nemesis, the triple flip!

“You’re never a former gold medalist… You’re always an Olympic medalist!” Regarding his own esteemed status.

“When you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk ,and he just skated that skate!” Regarding Johnny Weir’s free skate.

“A little scary! This guy’s a cat, I don’t know how he landed that!” Regarding Plushenki’s free skate.

“I’m here to selllll myself!” Regarding Weir’s short program.

“A nightmare covered in molasses.” Regarding the year that Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy have had.

So what are you favorite Scott Hamilton moments?

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Filed under Ponderings, [Obscure] Winter Sports