Tonight on The Colbert Report … TA-NEHISI COATES!
At the center of it all is the master of Downton, Robert, Earl of Grantham, played by Hugh Bonneville. Imagine Tony Blair stripped of that wolfish gleam of self-interest, inflated with 20 or 30 brisk strokes of a bicycle pump, squeezed into a tweed hunting jacket, and then sent out into the world with a fixed frown of genteel incomprehension.
Read more. [Image: Miles Donovan/AP]
Currently cracking us up: “20 or 30 brisk strokes of a bicycle pump”.
Sesame Street kicked off its 43rd season yesterday. We’re big fans of the Street, and to prove it, here are some of our favorite Sesame facts.
- Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson decided to make him green before season two.
- In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit “Rubber Duckie.”
- During a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.
- Mr. Snuffleupagus has a first name—Aloysius.
- How big is Big Bird? 8’2″.
Read the other 38 ‘Sesame Street’ facts. [via mental_floss]
The amazing Tumblr Lucille and Mitt has been around for some time, but it’s only now coming to our attention. The idea is simple: Superimpose actual quotes from Mitt Romney, the teetotaling Republican candidate often accused of being out of touch with ordinary people, over pictures of Lucille Bluth, the vodka-swilling, laughably out-of-touch Arrested Development character. The results are surprisingly convincing.
[Images: Lucille and Mitt]
Breaking Amish is the latest addition to The Learning Channel’s (commonly known as The Leering Channel) provocative reality TV programming. Once a boring educational channel where you could watch a documentary on the spotted owl or get tips for cooking the perfect soufflé, TLC is now the go-to place for gawking. […] Breaking Amish is a hybrid of the ethnic minstrel show—along the lines of Jersey Shore or Shahs of Sunset, where a culture is reduced to its caricature parts—and The Real World, where good looking twentysomethings live together in a new city, full of possibilities. (All of the Amish stars of the show are remarkably good-looking. One imagines plucky TLC producers hiding behind barns with binoculars to do their casting). But what sets Breaking Amish apart from the other shows is how much is at stake for the stars: their religion, their families, their identities—the very world they’ve known up until now.
Read more. [Image: TLC]
Most people know The Wire as the HBO police drama set in Baltimore—an intricate five-season exploration of the brokenness of the inner-city’s war on drugs, education system, politics, and policing, and one of the most lauded television shows of all time. Fewer people know that it was originally a Victorian serial by the almost forgotten writer H.B. Ogden. Such, at least, was the claim of Sean Michael Robinson and Joy DeLyria, who wrote Down in the Hole: the unWired World of H.B. Ogden. They accompanied their text with drawings (by Robinson) from the original Wire, including a striking depiction of Omar Little walking down a London street as urchins scatter around him.
Read more. [Image: powerHouse Books]
An incredible breakdown of Walter White’s finances.
[Image: cobradave, TV.com]
Encyclopedia Brown belongs to a special category of children’s books: books—the kind starring characters like Harry Potter and Nancy Drew—that treat curiosity as one of the best assets a kid can have. Books that make it seem not just acceptable, but actually kind of wonderful, to be a nerd. Donald J. Sobol’s “boy detective”—enjoyer of puzzles, observer of oddities, lover of facts—derives much of his charm from his earnest appreciation of the world’s details. He finds his fun in the mundane: in the revealing little banalities that make life interesting and weird and, if you’re lucky, mysterious.
Sobol, whose death at 87 was announced this week, leaves a rich legacy. It includes not only the Encyclopedia Brown book series, and not only the comic strip of the same name, but also multiple generations of people—girls and boys—who were inspired by Encyclopedia to go off and solve their own mysteries. In an age that increasingly needs and values its engineers and its makers and its problem-solvers, that is something to be celebrated.
But Sobol’s legacy includes something else, too: a TV show. An incredibly cheesy, ridiculous, wondrous TV show.