colbert smile

I know that in the end I’ll probably just be a page, or maybe even a chapter in your book. Even if that’s the case, I hope I’ll be one you go back and read often. And as you run your fingers over our words,
I hope you smile.
—  Daren ColbertOur Story
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Martin Freeman + Urban Dictionary Definitions

colbert showtime trump

Colbert’s Election Special Was Amazing and Awful Stephen Colbert’s election special on Showtime was supposed to be a big, profane, raucous celebration of the end of a crazy, awful Presidential election. It was supposed to be Colbert’s own burst of freedom—doing a show on pay-cable, unshackled from the restrictions of network television, he could delightedly introduce himself as “your host Stephen F***ing Colbert.”

But as the returns continued to roll in, Colbert’s smile began to freeze on his face. By the time he brought on the pundits John Heilemann and Mark Halperin—two guys who have proven themselves to be as good a symbol as any of the sucking-up-to-power smugness of the media—Florida had gone to Trump, and Halperin was suddenly trying out his new role as the voice of doom: “Outside of the Civil War, World War II and including 9/11, this may be the most cataclysmic event this country’s ever seen.”

Because this was live television, and because the election had not yet been called officially for Trump, Colbert was obliged to follow through with some pre-arranged humor. Poor Laura Benanti had to reprise her terrific Melania Trump impersonation, reciting scripted lines that came across as a blur: All anyone–including, it seemed, Benanti–could think of was the prospect of the Trump Presidency.

Jeff Goldblum came out for an interview that turned into a therapy session. “What positive message can we get from tonight?” asked Colbert. Goldblum improvised like the jazz musician he sometimes is, but it ultimately came down to him trying to muster a bit of positivism and saying things like, “I won’t be uninspired by this!”

What happened to previously-announced guests like Patton Oswalt and Katy Perry? Colbert brought out Charlemagne Tha God and comic Jenna Friedman; they looked miserable. Charlemagne Tha God said “We’re f***ed” over and over. Asked by Colbert how she felt, Friedman said, among other things, “Get your abortions now”—assuming, by implication, that a reconfigured Supreme Court, with the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned, is an inevitability.

Colbert had no choice but to become serious. He said, “This is a moment for people to understand that political involvement is a responsibility.” He said that in retrospect, “We overdosed on the poison” of party divisiveness, and that we should be ashamed to have felt that “there’s a gentle high to the condemnation.” Of taking political sides and doing political humor, Colbert said, “Whether your side won or lost, we don’t have to do this s**t for a while.” That was as close as he could come to comfort, “in the face of something that might strike you as horrible.”

He concluded with an improvised speech about the greatness of this country, and signed off with, “Good night, and may God bless America.” The band played “America The Beautiful.” Colbert sang the lyrics. It was an amazing show, and it was an awful show, because to be anything less than awful in the face of what was befalling him would have been dishonest, and Colbert is an honest man.

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Alexander Skarsgård as Sgt. Brad Colbert in GENERATION KILL (Part 7 - Bomb in the Garden) #83 of GK Tuesday

sources: HBO’s Generation Kill Blu-ray, my screen caps

THE SMILING LIEUTENANT

The Smiling Lieutenant is mostly about Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins being in love with Maurice Chevalier, which is very straight, but they share one very charged scene with each other, which is very gay.  In it, they go from enemies to friends over the course of a song, mainly through Colbert teaching Hopkins how to be a bad girl.  A slap fights leads to weeping and then comforting each other and then showing each other their underwear and then singing about lingerie and then kissing.  It’s basically the gayest makeover montage ever.