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Colbert predicts the Oscars
February 22, 2009 9:14 PM   Subscribe

Once again, Stephen Colbert predicted the winners in all of major Academy Award categories ten days in advance, using an unconventional methodology. Well kinda... there was one category where he waffled.
posted by twoleftfeet (63 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Any transcript?
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:25 PM on February 22, 2009


It's proven successful many times in the past:

2006 Oscar predictions

Oscar follow-up (and celebratory balloon drop)

2008 Election prediction

I like how the example he uses (Kennedy assassination) changes with each demonstration, though.

Transcript for this year coming in a sec.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:37 PM on February 22, 2009


Unlikely means to likely answers.
posted by foodbedgospel at 9:39 PM on February 22, 2009


A gentle suggestion: if anyone wants to make a FPP based on a single video link that is only available in the U.S., can you give some other source for context, or a transcript, or something to help out those of us who are locked out? Those of us not in the States, or who haven't got the right proxies installed, can't play anything from the Comedy Central site. The same goes for NBC, Hulu and too damn many other video sites.

Canadians (and maybe a few lucky fellow travellers) can get the last 30 days of The Colbert Report by clicking the link here. You can see the segment referred to in the post by scrolling to February 12, and choosing the second of four video segments.

This page gives some context for The DaColbert Code.

There's a summary of Colbert's picks, including the waffled pick, at this blog.

(Thanks for the transcript offer, Rhaomi).
posted by maudlin at 9:40 PM on February 22, 2009 [13 favorites]


If you watch "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" backwards, there's really no story at all...
posted by Navelgazer at 9:46 PM on February 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Pfft, Jon Stewart just gave him the winners early, duh.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:46 PM on February 22, 2009


If you watch "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" backwards, there's really no story at all...

That was such an awful, awful movie.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:48 PM on February 22, 2009


[Note that each the chain for each prediction starts with last year's winner in that category]

Best Supporting Actress:
Tilda Swinton was in Michael Clayton... Adam Clayton Powell... Colin Powell... Semicolon... Question Mark... Mark Twain... Tom Sawyer... Diane Sawyer... Diana Princess of Wales... Princess Cruise Lines... Penelope Cruz will win Best Supporting Actress!

Best Lead Actress:
Marion Cotillard played Edith Piaf... Rice Pilaf... Jerry Rice... Gerrymander... Mandarin Orange... A Clockwork Orange... Malcolm McDowell... Malcolm X... X-Ray... Man Ray... Man Overboard... Titanic... Kate Winslet will win Best Lead Actress!

Best Supporting Actor:
Javier Bardem, who won for his terrible haircut... Haircut... "Cut Me, Mick"... Mick Jagger... Keith Richards... Richard Simmons... Gene Simmons... Ace Freely... Ace of Spades... Queen of Hearts... Playing with the queen of hearts! Knowing it ain't really smart! The Joker ain't the only foo-oo-ool, who was played by Heath Ledger!

Best Lead Actor:
Daniel Day-Lewis... Emmanuel Lewis... Rahm Emmanuel... CD-ROM... See-dy Hotel... Eliot Spitzer... "El-i-ot"... E.T. Phone Home... Home-o-sexual... Gay Rights... Gay Activist Harvey Milk... Sean Penn! No! No! I won't have it! Give me a minute... Penn... pen... pen that is writing words... [scribbles on his script] writing the words... writing the words... [holds it up] Mickey Rourke! Mickey Rourke will win Best Actor!

Best Picture:
No Country for Old Men... Old Spice... Spice Girls... Girls Gone Wild... Oscar Wilde... Oscar the Grouch... Trash Can... Can-Can... Cabaret... Cabernet... Merlot... J. Lo... Halo... Hay ride... Ticket to ride... Golden Ticket... Gold Record... Million Seller... Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture!
posted by Rhaomi at 9:49 PM on February 22, 2009 [19 favorites]


That's fantastic, thanks Rhaomi!
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:51 PM on February 22, 2009


So this is the Oscar thread then?

*waves to server*

I'll take two of whatever Sophia Loren was having.
posted by mediareport at 9:59 PM on February 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Plus he once insulted Bush, right to his face, in front of a crowd. That was even better.
posted by vito90 at 10:02 PM on February 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh here, I typed up the whole thing:

Ladies and gentlemens, I have been gifted with one arcane and mystical power, to find patterns where none exist. The American Psychiatric Association calls it "Schizophrenia". I call it The daColbert Code.

Here's how it works, let's say I wanted to find out who killed John F. Kennedy. Okay.
Kennedy. Kennedy Airport. O'Hare Airport. Chief O'Hara. Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City Royals. King Arthur. Camelot. John F. Kennedy. Oh my God, it was suicide! It's always the simplest answer we overlook.

Alright let's move on to something really important: Oscar night. The last time I used The daColbert Code to predict the Oscars I predicted 5 out of 5 winners. Not bad, considering I never see any of the movies - I just look at the posters when I'm outside the theater protesting [cutaway to Colbert holding a "KUNG FU PANDA WILL BURN IN HELL" sign in front of a movie theater]

Alright. Let's start with Best Supporting Actress. Last year the winner was Tilda Swinson, who was in Michael Clayton. Adam Clayton Powell. Colin Powell. Semi colon. Question mark. Mark Twain. Tom Sawyer. Diane Sawyer. Diana, Princess of Wales. Princess Cruise Lines. Penelope Cruz will win Best Supporting Actress!

She'll be good with that statue, because she has a lot of experience lugging around tiny men. [photo of her with Tom Cruise]

Alright, let's move on to Best Actress. Last year's winner was Marion Cotillard who played Edith Piaf. Rice Pilaf. Jerry Rice. Gerrymander. Mandarin orange. Clockwork Orange. Malcom MacDonald. Malcom X. X ray. Man Ray. Man overboard. Titanic starring Kate Winslet who will win for the Reader in a truly truly villainous role, not only is she a Nazi prison guard, but she also reads.

Next up is Best Supporting Actor. Last year, Javier Bardem, who won for his terrible haircut. Haircut. Cut me Mick. Mick Jagger. Keith Richards. Richard Simmons. Gene Simmons. Ace Frehley. Ace of Spades. Queen of Hearts. Playing with the Queen of Hearts, no one in it really smart, The Joker is the only fool, who is played by Heath Ledger. Warning, if Christian Bale accepts for him nobody walk through his eye line.

Okay, Best Actor. Last year, Daniel Day Lewis. Emmanuel Lewis. Ron Emmanuel. CD-ROM. Seedy hotel. Elliot Spitzer. ELLIOT. ET Phone Home. Homosexual. Gay Rights. Gay rights activist Harvey Milk played by Sean Penn-- NO! NO! No I won't have it! Hold on gimme a minute. Sean Penn. Pen. Pen.. writing words. Writing the words... writing the words... Mickey Rourke will win for The Wrestler. Jimmy, Jimmy do we have a more recent picture than that? [puts up shot of this lady]

Finally, the big one: Best Picture. Last year, it was taken by No Country for Old Men. Old Spice. Spice Girls. Girls Gone Wild. Oscar Wilde. Oscar the Grouch. Trash can. Can-Can. Cabaret. Cabernet. Merlot. J-Lo. Halo. Hay ride. Ticket to Ride. Golden ticket. Gold record. Million Seller. Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture. Though, they could give it to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - it did seem pretty important. Those are the winners folks. So President Obama, take all the bailout money and bet it on the White House Oscar pool - 'cause it's sure as shit safer than a bank.
posted by krazykity16 at 10:06 PM on February 22, 2009 [15 favorites]


I'll take two of whatever Sophia Loren was having.

*gives mediareport two horrifyingly overdone facelifts.*
posted by Bookhouse at 10:06 PM on February 22, 2009 [10 favorites]


D'oh. Knowing it ain't really smart.
posted by krazykity16 at 10:08 PM on February 22, 2009


I can't wait to see his response tomorrow.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 10:15 PM on February 22, 2009


Am I the only person who thought Adrian Brody was sort of a dick to Richard Jensen? It was sort of like, "I had to Google you to find out who you were and I didn't see the movie. Why'd I get stuck with you?"
posted by Bookhouse at 10:19 PM on February 22, 2009


No Country for Old Men... Old Spice... Spice Girls... Girls Gone Wild... Oscar Wilde... Oscar the Grouch... Trash Can... Can-Can... Cabaret... Cabernet... Merlot... J. Lo... Halo... Hay ride... Ticket to ride... Golden Ticket... Gold Record... Million Seller... Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture!

Gold Record = 500,000 sold
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:32 PM on February 22, 2009


It felt really awkward watching past Best Actor/Actress recipients address each nominee personally. It was like watching an intervention.
posted by cazoo at 10:39 PM on February 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'll take two of whatever Sophia Loren was having.

Oh good, it wasn't just me. The poor woman looked like a fucking stoned trainwreck.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:53 PM on February 22, 2009


Did any of you run out and go watch Religulous after Bill Maher so ungracefully told us it was the best documentary ever and probably should have somehow won Best Picture?



No....me either....
posted by Defenestrator at 11:31 PM on February 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Those of us not in the States, or who haven't got the right proxies installed, can't play anything from the Comedy Central site.

I'm in New Zealand -- far, far away from the US, a down-sized Australia if you will -- and I can watch content on thecolbertnation.com and thedailyshow.com just fine, including this clip.
posted by John Shaft at 11:37 PM on February 22, 2009


Defenestrator, funny. It's strange: often I agree with his views, but he sure is a smug prick about them, and I have no interest in watching his movie. He's like a less funny and less entertaining version of Penn Jillette.
posted by wastelands at 12:27 AM on February 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


Gold Record = 500,000 sold
In less inflationary times, a gold record was awarded after a disc had achieved $1 million in sales.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:35 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's like a less funny and less entertaining version of Penn Jillette.

Ouch. They're both insufferable, but given the choice I'd probably go with Maher, if only because I know he won't be punctuating his ideas by yelling and swearing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:24 AM on February 23, 2009


I'm in Denmark and i can also watch the shows just fine. On an unrelated note I am however unable to access thepiratebay.org. Its been blocked by my isp following a nationwide court order.
posted by FidelDonson at 1:58 AM on February 23, 2009


Its been blocked by my isp following a nationwide court order.

Try this instead.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:45 AM on February 23, 2009


Those of us not in the States, or who haven't got the right proxies installed, can't play anything from the Comedy Central site.

Huh, I watch TDS and TCR on the CC site all the time from Holland.

This may be stating the absolutely obvious, but these were widely recognized to be the front runners in advance of the ceremony, with a purported "leak" -- apparently fake -- being circulated with these same names. I think many people will agree that Ledger was a shoe-in, and that Slumdog was the most likely candidate by far for Best Picture. (Although personally I was interested to see whether they would pull the Picture + Director two-fecta, which they did.) The others were also the most likely, though less decidedly so -- Rourke not winning Male Lead was at least a bit of a surprise to me. So aside from comedy value, there isn't really anything going on here.

And yeah, Maher was a dick. He started out kind of considerate even, seemed genuine in his acknowledgement that his film was a controversial one, the topic a sensitive one, etc. But then he went with the whole "you should see more documentaries they rock but START WITH MINE LOL" and I was like, "omigod you have just motivated ZERO people to watch more documentaries and at least ONE to never watch yours". Then I fell asleep.

THE END
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:46 AM on February 23, 2009


--I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE TODD LOKKENY
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:47 AM on February 23, 2009


wow, amazing!

i really thought robert downey jr should have won it for tropic thunder tho :P
posted by kliuless at 4:31 AM on February 23, 2009


a down-sized Australia if you will

I prefer to think of us as an up-sized Britain, but sure.
posted by The Monkey at 4:51 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Slumdog won in every category it was nominated apart from Best Sound Editing...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:53 AM on February 23, 2009


If you watch "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" backwards, there's really no story at all...

Oddly enough, it''s the same movie either way. Except, he keeps meeting up with a girl who is getting younger. The movie wasn't that bad, nothing special though.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:02 AM on February 23, 2009


a down-sized Australia if you will
I prefer to think of us as an up-sized Britain, but sure.


According to Colbert, it's "Diet Australia."
posted by mothershock at 5:27 AM on February 23, 2009


According to Colbert, it's "Diet Australia."

All the taste with none of the calories? Sounds good to me. We don't give you cancer though.
posted by The Monkey at 5:34 AM on February 23, 2009


The Comedy Central streams work fine in Iceland.

They're the only major legal outlet for free, full tv episodes that works internationally, I think.
posted by svenni at 5:34 AM on February 23, 2009


Colbert is terrible.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:33 AM on February 23, 2009


> Am I the only person who thought Adrian Brody was sort of a dick to Richard Jensen?

That's Richard Jenkins, of course, who was my pick for winner. (I had three good reasons to root for the guy: I hadn't seen any of the other nominees' movies, Jenkins was excellent in The Visitor, and he was clearly the underdog.)
posted by booth at 7:21 AM on February 23, 2009


Well, okay. So he waffled on Best Picture and chucked out the weird possibility that Benjamin Button could take it. (?). His METHOD correctly picked Best Actor. HE didn't - he changed it to Rourke.
posted by kingbenny at 7:36 AM on February 23, 2009


I would guess that Comedy Central is streaming online in countries where it has a branch on TV, like here in germany where you can watch it online just fine.

Anyway, there's a program called Hotspot Shield.
Hotspot Shield is a free program which creates a virtual private network between your computer and a wireless router. While its focus is mainly on protecting your private information from hackers, in this case, it keeps Hulu from recognizing that you are outside the US. Therefore, because Hulu doesn't know where you are from, it assumes the best and gives you full, unadulterated access to all content.
The annoying thing is that it installs a banner on top of all pages that won't disappear even when the program is disabled. Maybe it was just incompatible with the Noscript plugin, but I got rid of it and went back to bittorrent again.
posted by kolophon at 7:46 AM on February 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


This may be stating the absolutely obvious, but these were widely recognized to be the front runners in advance of the ceremony, with a purported "leak" -- apparently fake -- being circulated with these same names. I think many people will agree that Ledger was a shoe-in, and that Slumdog was the most likely candidate by far for Best Picture. (Although personally I was interested to see whether they would pull the Picture + Director two-fecta, which they did.) The others were also the most likely, though less decidedly so -- Rourke not winning Male Lead was at least a bit of a surprise to me. So aside from comedy value, there isn't really anything going on here.

I agree with that. They picked likely winners first, and made the comedy free associations. It's not a method just because he says it is...it in no way qualifies as a method, as the factors in the series change every time.

Oh, and it's shoo-in. /pedant.
posted by oneironaut at 8:09 AM on February 23, 2009


Meta (concerning nationality)
posted by jeffburdges at 8:14 AM on February 23, 2009


I'm pretty sure I saw both Colbert and Tina Fey at Second City in Chicago in the early 90's. In any case, the troupe used to have a long running improv gag where they'd do this exact thing with the JFK assassination/conspiracy, only beginning with a suggestion from the audience.

Really fun if the opening was something particularly insane and unrelated, cause it forced the performers to really work.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 8:36 AM on February 23, 2009


kingbenny: "chucked out the weird possibility that Benjamin Button could take it. (?)"

I thought it was weird on first blush too, but given what he's said about the movie in the past, it sorta fits. I think the joke was that the movie was not really that great, and yet the marketing and hype around it had lent it an air of "Oscar-ness" to the point that some people were expecting it to win based on that alone.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:39 AM on February 23, 2009


I would guess that Comedy Central is streaming online in countries where it has a branch on TV

That would make sense, kolophon.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:47 AM on February 23, 2009


Forget what I just said, I'm clueless. The real joke is that Comedy Central, the network that broadcasts Stewart and Colbert's shows, is owned by Viacom... which also owns Paramount, the distributor for Benjamin Button. Apparently in a pre-Oscar episode Stewart had made several jokes at Button's expense during an interview with Slumdog star Dev Patel. This displeased the corporate masters, so Colbert threw in a halfhearted "endorsement" of the movie during his show in acknowledgment of the tiff.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:47 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why all the hatred for Bill Maher? Jack Black did the same thing. Comedians bitch about not being recognized as serious entertainers, they always have and always will. Bill Maher has been fighting the good fight for many years and dirtied himself and his career by going after Bush early and often so in my mind he can say whatever the fuck he wants at the Oscars or anywhere else.
posted by any major dude at 9:00 AM on February 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't know if a comment or two really warrants "all the hatred", both in the "all the" and "hatred" categories... but I have to agree that as much as I agree with Maher on many many issues, I too find him a bit of a sanctimonious prick and don't think I would actually enjoy hanging out with him. Had that thought too when he did a little spot on the recent Mark Twain ceremony for the late Carlin.. when he walked out the band struck up "when the saints go marching in" and I thought it was pretty funny (and no I'm not a religious person), but Maher was pretty cranky about it.
posted by edgeways at 9:18 AM on February 23, 2009


obviously "the method" isn't really coming up with the answers. But it's hilariously random.

My favorite movie this year (Synecdoche) was never mentioned, and I was momentarily stunned that Waltz with Bashir was passed over, though I should remember I never agree with Oscar... Though they gave Man on Wire something, and I enjoyed that, I feel like it was only because the towers were in it...

I had been vaguely curious to see Slumdog Millionaire, but the more I see of it, the less good it looks to me - none of the clips they showed last night made me think it was anything special and some of them made me think it looked pretty awful. I know clips can be unfair to movies, but you'd think with that many nominations there'd be a moment here or there that could stand alone.

Slate's XX blog said the other day, "A similar logic applies to Slumdog Millionaire, which should win because the field is weak, people dig it, and, as the unheralded, multi-ethnic crowd pleaser, it is the Barack Obama of the best picture category." I wouldn't put it quite like this (I voted for Obama, not expecting miracles or anything, but still), but I wonder if it had to win because it was the year to elect a 'multi-ethnic crowd pleaser', whatever real quality of movie...

In a different year, Milk might have won, for its message. But Sean Penn won in his category and we'd already done Philadelphia, Boys Don't Cry and Brokeback Mountain - though none ever did win best pic, did they? Perhaps it's not that we've done it, but that we're not there yet, that that message would seem too "hollywood messagey" since it's about gay people, despite how an equivalent movie about racial civil rights would be seen... And of course, there's always the marketing campaign aspect of things. It certainly feels like Brokeback Mountain outlasted Crash, in terms of its long term "oscarness"...

Still, in the end, Slumdog seemed to have the right feel for the year - from what I can tell, in a somewhat Colbertian way, as I have not seen the movie.
posted by mdn at 10:51 AM on February 23, 2009


[Maher] sure is a smug prick about them, and I have no interest in watching his movie. He's like a less funny and less entertaining version of Penn Jillette.

You're religious, aren't you...
posted by iconjack at 2:22 PM on February 23, 2009


I guess he sorta said Sean Penn, but didn't his homophobia compel him to say Mickey Rourke, who didn't win?
posted by jckll at 2:52 PM on February 23, 2009


i cant believe mickey rourke didnt win.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:11 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bill Maher has been fighting the good fight for many years and dirtied himself and his career by going after Bush

He really dirtied himself after 9/11 when he called the hijackers brave.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:23 PM on February 23, 2009


P.o.B., that was the best comment anybody ever made about 9/11. Of course the hijackers were brave, being willing to give your life for a cause you believe in is practically the definition of bravery and anyone who is not willing to see that is deluding themselves. The axis of bravery/cowardice is orthogonal to all possible axes of good/evil, however you might define those. There were brave soldiers who died for Germany and Japan in WWII, brave soldiers who died for the South in the Civil War, and brave soldiers who died for Britain in the US Revolutionary War. That they lost their causes, and that in some cases their causes later came to be seen as less virtuous, does not make their sacrifice or their courage any less.
posted by localroger at 4:10 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess he sorta said Sean Penn, but didn't his homophobia compel him to say Mickey Rourke, who didn't win?

He covered his bases quite well, but he can now easily say that his method was right for two straight years, even in contests he 'personally' can't stand people in.
posted by graventy at 7:07 PM on February 23, 2009


localroger wrote:

There were brave soldiers who died for Germany and Japan in WWII, brave soldiers who died for the South in the Civil War, and brave soldiers who died for Britain in the US Revolutionary War. That they lost their causes, and that in some cases their causes later came to be seen as less virtuous, does not make their sacrifice or their courage any less.

It's interesting that you compare the hijackers to other soldiers in history that lost their wars. It seems to me that the goal of the 9/11 attacks was to begin the dismantling of the American financial empire. Who would you say is winning that war right now? I don't think Bin Laden himself could have done a better job achieving his goals if he himself was the President the last 8 years.
posted by any major dude at 10:29 PM on February 23, 2009


being willing to give your life for a cause you believe in is practically the definition of bravery

Killing civilians is never brave. It is ridiculously easy.
posted by eye of newt at 10:51 PM on February 23, 2009


I don't know localroger. I've heard the statement before, and not that I not that I necessarily disagree with what your saying but I think there is surely a subjectivity that changes the idea from differing viewpoints.
They are soldiers? Ok. They were fighting a war? Alright. But the clincher is they the took a large object and smacked it into another stationary object that was filled with uninformedd non-combatant citizens. Not other soldiers. They could have found a flight that was after hours and done the same thing, and reduced the death toll quite a bit.
Would it be alright if anybody else did the same? They searched and found someone suicidal, or highly religious, or maybe even someone with a specific set of moral standards that they determine the world should go by and their willing to give their life for them? I'm positive these people are out there.
I don't think it necessarily takes a lot of courage to commit suicide either. People do it all the time.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:11 PM on February 23, 2009


Mickey Rourke at Spirit Awards (parody), Golden Globes (interview), BAFTA.
posted by metaplectic at 6:14 AM on February 24, 2009


P.o.B. and others -- the US invented the atomic bomb, enlisting in order to do so the services of many people who thought (having read H.G. Wells a bit too much) that they were creating something awful enough to end the possibility of war forever because nobody in their right mind would ever use it, and then we took that weapon and dropped it on two cities. So for me to pick on al Qaeda for killing civilians would be just a teensy bit hypocritical.

Bottom line was, the pilots at least (there is some doubt about some of the "helper" hijackers) knew they were going off to die on 9/11. You either respect them for that or you have to wonder why anybody on our side ever risks anything for the causes we hold dear.
posted by localroger at 1:28 PM on February 24, 2009


the US invented the atomic bomb, enlisting in order to do so the services of many people who thought

And we don't call those people brave either, so stop with the false analogies. You're lumping 9/11 terrorist in with uniformed soldiers who fight on a defined battlefield, with a codified (but not always adhered to) ruleset. No one gets to be called brave for slaughtering civilians. As for patting them on the back for making the ultimate sacrifice I say big deal; dying is easy, to live is to suffer.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:20 PM on February 24, 2009


so, uh, the oscar thread is dead, right? time to start arguing over whether a word should or shouldn't be applied to events that have already been talked into the ground?

I for one, was impressed by the method of presenting the show, with the acting winners addressing the nominees, and the grouping of non-acting awards and the way in which they were presented. On the other hand, it seemed like they were rushing through a lot of the tech (make-up, cinematography, sound and visual) so they could spend more time on the acting.

On the other hand, Jack Black and Ben Stiller should be banned from presenting. Their respective "funny" bits seemed to diminish the awards they were handing out, in order to promote themselves, much like Maher.

The opening was well done, I thought, plus Hugh Jackman ending it with belting out "I'm Woooolveeeeeerrrrriiiiiiiiine!" was excellent.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:06 PM on February 24, 2009


Colbert claims 5 out of 5. Blames Penn.

Very sorry that Comedy Central restricted access. This was topical and YouTube didn't have it yet.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:13 AM on February 25, 2009


It's been a while since that wonderful capper to ABC's TGIF lineup, but I don't recall Maher ever using the word "brave" (maybe "courage" though); his main point was pot-and-kettle re: Bush's (or a crony's) description of the 9/11 hijackers as "cowards."

He wasn't saying suicide bombing isn't cowardly, and certainly not that it's distinctly brave, but that it's less cowardly and closer to bravery than (note: this is the actual comparison in question) firing guided missiles from a safe distance. He was saying that completely divorcing oneself from the reality of one's own actions (i.e. inflicting death) is the peak of cowardice, and certain members of certain branches of the US military (and government) get far closer to that peak, and do it much more often, than any kamikaze pilot or suicide bomber ever could, regardless of their cause. Plus, blah, blah, blah, "terror" is not a uniformed army, blah, blah, blah, difficult to distinguish civilians, blah, blah, blah, Hiroshima, blah, blah, napalm, blah, blah, cluster bombs, blah, landmines, blah, blah, blah.

Of course, less cowardly does not equal less reprehensible, but neither does a worthy cause qualify button-pushers for sainthood.

All that said, Bill Maher is indeed a bit of a douche, but, like, duh. Saying Bill Maher is smug and cynical is like saying Andy Rooney has bushy eyebrows and a lot of trivial complaints. Don't let the dickitude distract from Maher's true raison d'ĂȘtre, which is to remove from political discussion the dinner table taboo, PBS stuffiness, and simple partisan cheerleading*; to give politics back to the people by inviting them to actually think about it. And I'll be gall-durned if he ain't done just that.

*Compare Maher to Jon Stewart. Which is easier to agree with? Why? Is that good?

Oh, and Hugh Jackman was great! BEST OSCARS EVER
posted by Sys Rq at 12:00 PM on February 25, 2009


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