10 Cloverfield Lane, which just hit theaters, is not the sequel to Cloverfield. Rather, JJ Abrams has patiently explained, it’s its “spiritual successor”. But just what is a spiritual successor? I must admit, after watching two different trailers, as well as Abrams’ appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week, I still wasn’t quite sure what he meant. I figured I’d wait to see the movie.
Early last year, renowned legal scholar Cass Sunstein published an essay titled How Star Wars Explains Constitutional Law. I came across it through The Washington Post, but the piece was originally posted to a website called The New Rambler, which seems more appropriate — given that Cass managed to hold forth on the topic for over 4,500 words. This post will not carry on for nearly as long.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens parody twitter accounts have seemingly spread faster than lightspeed. While the quality of these accounts can feel more uneven than a cage match between Oola and a Rancor (looking at you, Tough Love Leia), one in particular comes near and dear to my heart: Dad Joke Han Solo.
For regular readers (if such a thing still exists after my recent hiatus), the attraction may be obvious. For everyone else, I would urge you to compare the conclusion of this nearly three year-old post (“if you ever run into an Israeli soldier with [a Darth Vader-inspired mask] obstructing his visage, let him know: “I find your lack of face disturbing”) with one of Han’s most popular missives:
Last night, the Daily Show graphics team earned an eye roll from Jon Stewart, when they titled his segment on donations to the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments while Hillary was Secretary of State: “Really?” he asked. “A little old reference, but all right.”
Last night, certified blerd Larry Wilmore disclosed some previously-unreleased inside information about Star Wars. More specifically, he shared the following list of rejected Star Wars character names:
Last Thursday, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore played host to (among others) Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is set to launch a brand new nightly talk show this very evening on the National Geographic Channel. I almost wish they’d let Neil take over the 11:30 Comedy Central slot from Larry Wilmore instead.
The need for Tyson’s scientific insight to reach a wider audience was nicely illustrated on March 26, when Larry hosted a four-person roundtable that included both alleged comedian J.B. Smoove and Nightly Show showrunner (and Daily Show veteran) Rory Albanese.
When the panel’s discussion turned to ISIS, Smoove joked that Isis was actually the name of a “lady who puts ice in her mouth before she gives you a blowjob.” Get it? It’s a joke about linguistics: ISIS contains, inter alia, the lone phoneme — /’aɪs/ — in “ice”.
Yesterday was April Fools’ Day, unless you contribute to The Daily Pennsylvanian, in which case that happened sometime last week. I’ve already expressed my annoyance with the annual joke issue — and especially the paper’s self-satisfactory celebration — but that’s not actually the worst thing the DP did that day. It messed with me:
Oliver described the recent scientific discovery that gerbils may have been responsible for the spread of black plague — not rats — and then proceeded to air a brief reel on behalf of the human race, “to apologize to the rat community for centuries of demonization.” While the voiceover artist expressed his sincere regrets, images of rat persecution flashed across the screen — including this one:
Here’s a pretty terrible story out of China: