Finn Wolfhard Says Duffer Brothers ‘Nailed’ ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2

There aren’t many stranger things than a person born in the 2000s being the face of the 1980s, but that’s what happened to Finn Wolfhard.

“It’s cool to think that I made a mark in 1983 even though it didn’t really happen until 2016,” the actor told HuffPost.

Wolfhard influenced the ‘80s with his breakthrough role as Mike Wheeler in “Stranger Things,” and now he’s keeping the retro theme going by hosting Sweet Relief Musicians Fund’s upcoming inaugural benefit concert “Strange ‘80s,” taking place on Sunday, May 14, at the Fonda Theater.

Through email, the actor talked about the concert and teased the upcoming season of “Stranger Things,” revealing which ‘80s movies we should watch to prepare for the new episodes. 

Could these movies hint at where the season will go? Only time will tell, but for fans reading way too into this, yes, yes they will.

What should fans expect from Season 2 of “Stranger Things”?

Season 2 will be just as good as Season 1, and maybe even better. The Duffers have nailed it, and there are some new people who have added to the trip in a way that no one will be disappointed when they see it. And what I want to see happen in Season 2 is the same as everyone else ― I JUST WANT SEASON 2 TO HAPPEN!!! But like everybody else I have to wait until October. And it’s going to be worth it.

What ‘80s movies should we watch to prepare for it?

I would say watch the films that our new cast members were in. Sean Astin was in “The Goonies,” and you gotta see that if you haven’t. And Paul Reiser was in James Cameron’s “Aliens,” which is a masterpiece. You should also see “Ghostbusters,” because it’s very funny and has a tasty villain, which the Demogorgon is not (or at least I don’t think, because I have never tasted, but I’m pretty sure the Demogorgon is not made of any marshmallow).

Knowing what you do about Season 2, what’s it like reading theories now?

I don’t read theories.

Thoughts on the theory that Jean Ralphio from “Parks and Rec” is Steve Harrington’s son? Or that Eleven grew up to be Leslie Knope?

OK, I lied about not reading theories, but I cannot speculate because I am under a legal obligation not to (which might be true (?) but, either way, I’m not giving anything up other than to say that Pawnee and Hawkins are both definitely in Indiana).

We saw you in Ghostbuster uniforms in the teaser, how much do we have to worry about the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man now? What’d you think about the teaser?

Our crew is really awesome and our amazing scriptie had a bunch of us over for the Super Bowl. It looked like a blow out for the Falcons and even though I am a Seahawks fan, I am also Canadian, and by birth I am not allowed to be rude. So I am cheering for Atlanta and we were in a good mood already, and then when the teaser came on … Well, I think Caleb [McLaughlin] and Millie [Bobby Brown] were elsewhere, but even though it was short, I just remember that it was really great to be in the room with Gaten [Matarazzo] and Noah [Schnapp] and for us to experience that moment together. It was just really cool to think that, of all the great shows on the air, ours was one that was supported by Netflix with a Super Bowl commercial. Just very, very cool. And as for the Stay Puft Man, he is the most delicious villain in movie history, but probably not much of a threat unless you are allergic to marshmallow.

How’d you get involved in “Strange ‘80s”? 

I auctioned a guitar for them last year to help raise funds and then we started talking about a show like they had in the very beginning, and it just went from there. They are an important source of funds for musicians who are injured or ill, and, as a Canadian with access to free or low cost healthcare wherever I go, I never have to worry if I get sick or hurt. It’s so hard to get covered in the U.S. and so expensive for everything that musicians can get wiped out if something bad happens. Sweet Relief provides really important support for musicians in need and I’m really proud that I can help out. We all need music, and we all need musicians to be healthy.

The concert is going to have some big celebs. Which ones are you looking forward to seeing the most? 

I have been a huge Jack Black and Tenacious D fan [for] forever. “Nacho Libre” is a movie that we quote all the time, and it is one that we watched as a family ― me, my bro, parents, grandparents ― we all loved it, and we love [Jack Black]. (We left my grandparents out of the “Pick of Destiny,” but we loved that, too.) Also Ms. [Sarah] Silverman, huge fans of her comedy and the parts she’s done in film and TV. And then there are musicians who’ve been or are in some amazing bands, and I look forward to meeting everybody.

What’s a celebrity encounter that turned your world “upside down”?

Celebrity encounter-wise, we were really fortunate to be at a lot of award shows in the season and Shawn Levy introduced me to some really amazing people. One night, I met Damien Chazelle and we talked filmmaking, and then a few minutes later he won for “La La Land,” which I think I saw four times, and we hugged it out. It was so cool. A few minutes later, Shawn introduced me to J.J. Abrams. I talked music with him, and then Shawn asked me, “Do you know why I introduced you to those guys?” And I assumed because I want to direct (and just raised money to direct a music video in June) that it was because they are great directors. But Shawn said, “It’s not because they are great directors, which they are ― but I introduced you to them because they are great people.” He said, “I want you to know that you can get to the top of this industry and not be an *%$#@!! So it was really Shawn that turned it “upside down”: you can work at that level and still be a nice person. I mean, why wouldn’t you be?

In “Stranger Things,” a lot of crazy stuff happens in Hawkins, Indiana. What do neighboring towns think?

I’ve met people from Indiana and they are all really proud to say where their homes are. I think they know that Hawkins is fictional but I am pretty sure that I have also met people from Hawkins itself. Something definitely happened there, but no one from the other towns around there will talk about it.  

In the finale, you ask Eleven to go to the Snow Ball before she disappears. Did Mike Wheeler still go to the Snow Ball?

OMG LMAO XD EPIC. WHAAAAAAAAAAAT???

”Stranger Things” returns on Halloween 2017. 

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‘Star Wars’ Characters Singing Smash Mouth Is An ‘All Star’ Mashup

We needed this a long time ago in a galaxy not so far, far away.

Thankfully, in honor of May the 4th Be With You, “The Tonight Show” has gifted us with a mashup of “Star Wars” characters singing “All Star” by Smash Mouth. 

You don’t need to be the sharpest tool in the shed to see this is a perfect union. One’s called “Star Wars”; the other is called “All Star.” It practically writes itself! 

Plus, with the mashup style, it’s like everyone gets a “Solo.” (Not just you, Han.)

Even if you think this whole thing is kind of dumb, it’d never have a finger and a thumb in the shape of an L on its forehead. How can it when Yoda is singing songs from the ‘90s?

It’s like a welcome change to fuel you through the week. 

Yep. What a concept. We could use a little fuel ourselves and we could all use a little channnnggggeeeee!!!! 

Hey now, it’s “Star Wars,” get the vid on, press play.

 

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Chris Gethard’s ‘Career Suicide’ Blurs The Line That Separates Tragedy And Comedy

For its relative ubiquity — the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 16.1 million American adults experienced a major depressive episode in 2015 —writing about depression feels, at times, like dancing about architecture. For all of our words, finding the right combination to convey that particular, pervasive sense of despair is surprisingly tricky. You cycle through synonyms (sad, miserable, gloomy, despondent) and metaphors (dark clouds, dark caves, dark insides, general darkness) and yet still feel stuck on an algebraic curve that merely approaches the feeling while never quite arriving there.

Watching Chris Gethard’s one-man show titled “Career Suicide,” which arrives on HBO May 6 after an off-Broadway run late last year, comes pretty close. Over 80 minutes, the comedian details his extensive struggle with depression, suicidal thinking and alcoholism. It may not sound like light fare to the average entertainment seeker, but Gethard’s brand of humor — sprinkled with ample Smiths references, North Jersey accents and an interlude about very pitiful ejaculations — allows the tougher medicine to go down smooth.

Gethard isn’t the first comedian to tackle serious mental health issues amid laughter. One can also point to peers like Maria Bamford or Aparna Nancherla, who incorporate living with bipolar disorder and anxiety, respectively, into their acts. The existence of sadness and mirth on two sides of the same coin is a staple of the profession; the old saying, after all, goes that comedy is simply tragedy plus time. 

“Before I tell you anything else, I want you to know: I see a shrink, we’re good,” Gethard begins the show. For the comedian, an easy entry-point into the often absurd world of depression is through his therapist, Barb, who Skypes Gethard for his sessions from her house in Mexico and seems to lack any notion of professional boundaries. (A fun fact: In a Saturday panel during the Tribeca Film Festival, Gethard revealed that he tried to sub in “Deb” for Barb’s name in his act, but the name simply lacked the same comedic heft. Barb told him that there were enough therapists in the tri-state area with her name that he could safely use it and protect her privacy.)

Simply by giving voice to some of his less rational thoughts, Gethard can transform them into punchlines. After introducing the audience to Barb, he mentions his wife’s “one flaw” — she neglects to close cabinet doors after opening them.

“In my head, I’m going, who cares, let it go, there are no negative repercussions to a cabinet door being open right now,” he says. “And then I think to myself, You can’t make that promise.”

Along with the jokes, there are poignant moments throughout, appearing via Gethard’s small, carefully wrought revelations. In one scene, he tells the story of being somewhat strong-armed by an ex into telling his mother he’s suicidal. He explains how he goes up to her room in the middle of the night in order to wake her up, extending one hand waist-high out in front of him, as if to rouse an invisible body. Gethard pauses there, hand outstretched, telling the audience what was running through his mind: that it would be the final moments of his mother’s life when she had a perfectly OK son, and that he was about to shatter that maternal image, simply by virtue of his faulty brain. It’s gut-wrenchingly specific, and still relatable, regardless of one’s mental health history. Anyone can understand wanting to protect their loved ones from difficult truths.

Fortunately, Gethard never lets his sentiments edge on saccharine; for every damp-eyed moment, the comedian offers up several rapid-fire jokes in counter. The effect is uplifting but levelheaded. In telling his experiences, Gethard acknowledges that things get better, that help can be found, but never pretends that his troubles are entirely behind him. Depression, like so much of adult life, rarely feels like a problem that is solved once and forgotten. Instead, it is more of a process, a give and take, a managing of feelings and reactions that one can only anticipate so far ahead. It’s clear, from Gethard’s show, that he understands the untidiness inherent in mental health issues, embracing the chaos in order to arrive at something like understanding.

Through comedy, Gethard humanizes depression, reducing stigma by the minute precisely because he holds nothing back. By the end, he’s dispelled the myth that seeking help for feeling sad is weak or that taking medication will kill your creativity — “I’m significantly fucking funnier on medication,” he tells us.

Perhaps it’s corny to conclude that having this special on a widely available platform like HBO feels like hope. Here’s one thing that tells us you can be depressed and not have it end your life, metaphorically or otherwise; here’s something that makes it feel like we can talk — and laugh — about our most devastating feelings instead of shrouding them in shame or only deigning to consider them in the aftermath of national tragedy. But even if nothing changes on a larger scale, there is some comfort in knowing Chris Gethard, and his growing contingent of fans, can understand what you’re going through.

”Career Suicide” arrives on HBO and its streaming platforms May 6.

You can be highbrow. You can be lowbrow. But can you ever just be brow? Welcome to Middlebrow, a weekly examination of pop culture. Read more here.

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College Students Clamor To Get Into A Weekly 7-Hour Class On Despair

Grab a book, settle into your seat, and try not to check your phone or get up until you’ve read the work cover to cover.

That’s the invitation University of Pennsylvania professor Justin McDaniel will be offering his students in a seven-hour class entitled “Existential Despair” next semester that will run from 5 p.m. to midnight every Tuesday.

McDaniel, the chair of UPenn’s religious studies department and a former Buddhist monk, said the primary goal of the unconventional class is to return to students a love of learning for learning’s sake.

“There’s an affective, an emotional and a physical side to learning, which religious traditions have taught us, whether it’s scholars of the Torah or monks reading in a monastery,” McDaniel told HuffPost. “For a moment once a week we will be in an almost monastic learning setting.”

Students will enter the classroom, place their cell phones in a box and receive a copy of the week’s reading to sink their teeth into. The first four and a half hours of class will be spent reading in silence, the professor said. Students may get up to go to the bathroom, but they won’t be able to chat, check their phones or even take notes.

“Most people don’t know how to just sit and read a book for five hours,” McDaniel said. “We could do it at 8, 9, 10 years old, but you start to lose it when reading becomes an assignment or a competition.”

After hours of reading in silence, the class will launch into a discussion about the work, followed by writing exercises and small group activities. Class will end at midnight, and campus escorts will be on hand to walk students safely home.

McDaniel won’t assign any homework, but he assures that the class will be “intensive.”

The physical experience of reading a book, sticking with your emotions and sitting with boredom is worth the struggle.”

This might sound like torture to some, but McDaniel is no tyrant. Thoughtful and friendly in conversation, the professor is known for teaching unorthodox courses that are so popular they require interviews for admittance.

For his high-demand class “Living Deliberately: Monks, Saints, and the Contemplative Life,” students spend a month of the semester in silence, refraining from any electronic communications and limiting their spending to $50 a week.

As one former student of McDaniel’s described the class: “It was a good way to take a step back from life and just view it from the outside and get a clarity that you don’t get when you’re actively involved with everything all the time.”

McDaniel’s intensions for “Existential Despair” are similar to those operating in the monk class. Like the challenge of maintaining silence or celibacy, McDaniel said “the physical experience of reading a book, sticking with your emotions and sitting with boredom is worth the struggle.” 

What’s more, the professor says, students are hungry for this kind of engagement. The idea for the class came to McDaniel through conversations with students who lamented that they had so little time to just read and learn for the sake of it.

On top of that, their knowledge of classic works of literature was ― by McDaniel’s standards ― pitiful.

“I would mention things in lectures, like of course we’ve all read this or that classic ― really well-known, common books ― and I was shocked,” he said. “It would just be blank faces. And these are bright, Ivy League students, and they had not even heard of many books I just assumed were common.”

McDaniel started recommending books to students outside of class, encouraging them to try the exercise of sitting and reading a book without distractions until they finished it.

“I found students loved it,” he said. “They loved just being told to read something for pleasure.”

When McDaniel decided to pursue teaching a one-unit, elective course with this model, he took stock of the books he’d been recommending to students within his field of religious and Buddhist studies. “The books students were responding well to were generally on the subject of existential despair, trauma or the dark night of the soul,” he said.

The books assigned in his class will deal issues like religious struggle, the nature of faith, moral crises, illness, the end of life, the end of relationships, and struggles with identity. They’ll represent authors from a wide range of religious and spiritual traditions.

These books help show people that if they’re feeling lost or isolated, they’re not alone.”

“Part of the pedagogical project is that they don’t know what they’re reading until they get there,” McDaniel explained. The professor doesn’t want students reading ahead, perusing SparkNotes or otherwise seeking out an advantage over their peers.

“I don’t think reading should be a competition or an endurance test,” he said. Everyone should feel that “they have a ground to participate on.”

Like his monk class, the seven-hour, reading-intensive course garnered such high demand that students had to apply to sign up. More than 200 students inquired about taking the course, McDaniel said. One hundred and fifty students requested interviews, and 26 made the final cut.

“I’ve clearly hit a nerve with students on campus,” he said.

The professor said he was looking for a number of things in the small group interviews, including strong concentration and reading comprehension skills. One of his main goals was to bring together students from disparate backgrounds and disciplines. The resulting group includes students studying things like nursing, engineering and biology, as well as those majoring in the humanities.

McDaniel will pair the students up at the beginning of the semester, and each person will buy or prepare a meal for their partner to eat during the long evening class. In the true monastic fashion, the professor explained, “monks read together, and they eat together.” 

Their partner will also be someone they can talk to about the difficult and at times “depressing” themes discussed in the books. Given the nature of the course, McDaniel added, counseling services will be available throughout the semester to, understandably, help the students manage any existential crises that might arise.

But the professor said he hopes the works will ultimately be “uplifting” and help the students navigate their lives in the years to come.

He affirmed: “These books help show people that if they’re feeling lost or isolated, they’re not alone.”

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‘Chuck’ Gives Liev Schreiber A Head Start In The Oscar Race

Fame can be a fickle thing ― the highs are high and the lows are low. No one knows that more than ‘70s prizefighter Chuck Wepner, whose career is long rumored to be the inspiration behind Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky.”

Wepner’s personal story is now featured in Philippe Falardeau’s new biopic “Chuck,” starring Liev Schreiber as “The Bayonne Bleeder,” who went almost 15 rounds with world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali  in 1975. The movie follows Wepner through his ups ― his success after the Ali fight ― and downs ― getting thrown in jail for drug possession ― while telling the tale of his doomed marriage to first wife, Phyllis (played by Elisabeth Moss), and eventual romance with his current wife, Linda (Naomi Watts). 

The film, which hits theaters Friday, does a fine job entertaining the audience while presenting Wepner’s various tribulations, but it’s Schreiber who stands out amid the madness. The actor is pretty darn convincing as the New Jersey-bred boxer, even impressing the source himself. 

“We turned down four scripts and four different actors before [we landed on this version,] and when they told me that Liev Schreiber was going to play the part, I was thrilled,” Wepner told HuffPost in a sit-down interview. “I mean, this guy is a legitimate superstar. I love him in the part for a nomination because he played it great, and Elisabeth [Moss], too. She was drop-dead great as my other wife.”

“That’s a really nice thing to say. There are a lot worse things he could’ve said!” Schreiber joked of Wepner’s comment to HuffPost, adding of award murmurs, “I get excited, but self-consciously excited. But then, I do everything pretty self-consciously.” 

For Schreiber, the goal is never really to win awards, although it’s always nice to be considered among his esteemed colleagues. He credits his co-stars with helping him reach a level of success with this project, specifically calling his on-screen partners Moss and Watts “extraordinary.” 

“Both of them were so good in this movie. That was huge [working with them],” he said of his female co-stars, one of whom is his real-life ex. “Also, Michael Rapaport does a really gorgeous performance as Chuck’s brother. Jim Gaffigan, as well. All the actors in this. It’s something too about independent films. When you’re pressed for time and money, there’s a certain kind of resourcefulness that tends to pop up, and we had that going on this film.”

With “Chuck,” the 49-year-old actor really wants viewers to walk away feeling more aware about the effects of fame rather than boxing history in general.

“I never really thought of this as a sports movie. The best I could describe it is sort of a cautionary tale about fame and celebrity that is surprisingly enjoyable, which fame and celebrity often is,” Schreiber told us. 

The actor himself has dealt with the Hollywood spotlight, being in a high-profile relationship with Watts, with whom he separated in September 2016 after 11 years together. They have two sons, Sasha, 9, and Samuel, 8. 

“My kids don’t have any context for being swarmed in the streets and photographed, and people wanting to stop us and take pictures all the time. And it made me a little concerned about their expectations about fame and celebrity,” Schreiber said. “As I hear young people today talking about their aspirations to ‘blow up’ or become famous, it just felt important to me to add a counterpoint to that argument, which is to say, ‘It’s not everything you think it is.’ In fact, it’s a lot more precarious and dangerous existence than I think most people are aware of.” 

That’s not to say Schreiber doesn’t enjoy positive reviews or people coming up to tell him they love “X-Men” or “Ray Donovan.”  

“That feels terrific,” he admitted. “The problem, and I think ‘Chuck’ does a really good job articulating this, is that that feels so good that you could actually start to live your life for it. I think it’s important to have people close to you who know you and have always known you and will always know you so that you remember who you were before that film happened.”

He continued, “There are very few jobs that are deeply connected to personality and character ― I guess prizefighter is one of them, too. There’s some projection of the audience’s own aspirational stuff that is such a huge responsibility ― for professional athletes, musicians and actors, especially ― that you have to be careful to keep yourself separate from it, to some extent.”

“Fame can corrupt you and knock you down,” Wepner, who was arrested in 1985 on a drug charge, added. “There I was, on the top of the world, everything going good, and I got into [the wrong stuff]. I was a party animal and I was stupid and I got myself involved in something I shouldn’t have been in. But I fought my way out and I got Linda — she didn’t drink or do anything like that ― and I felt she was the right girl for me. She’s so terrific, I’m lucky and I’m here now.”

In order to make the film, producers had to reach out to another man who knows a thing or two about being famous: Sylvester Stallone. In “Chuck,” the filmmaker and actor is portrayed by Morgan Spector, in scenes where Stallone and Wepner meet to discuss the success of “Rocky” and creation of “Rocky II.”  

“We did very well by him in the movie,” Wepner told HuffPost. “I thought we were very good to him, and deservedly so. He took us to Bulgaria to his studios and let us use his boxing ring for the filming of the Ali fight, because they wanted a great deal of money to shoot the fight in America — you had to pay the foundation a lot of money. Stallone took us over there — we did it for $350,000 instead of $2 million, five days, in and out ― and we got all the shots done. He was great to us.”

Wepner did sue Stallone in 2003 for frequently referencing him as the living counterpart of the fictional Rocky Balboa, saying Stallone usurped his “right of publicity.” But they settled the suit for undisclosed terms in 2006. 

“I’ve been a fan of Sylvester Stallone for years,” Wepner continued. “Even though we went to court and I sued him, that was just business. And big deal — he’s got insurance companies and everything else. I think he’s still got a few bucks!” 

“If you’re Chuck, it’s hard to not see ‘Rocky 2’ [and think it’s about you],” Schreiber said. “Rocky’s sparring partner is ‘Ching Weber’ and his name is Chuck Wepner. And then Rocky fights a professional wrestler, Hulk Hogan, and Chuck fought Andre the Giant. If you’re Chuck, it’s hard to not go, ‘Wait a minute?’” 

If you’re interested to know more about Wepner’s side of the story, “Chuck” hits theaters in limited release Friday.  

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Stephen King Finally Found Something Scarier Than ‘The Shining’

Author Stephen King has been delivering chills for more than four decades with horror masterpieces such as “It,” “The Shining” and “’Salem’s Lot.” 

But King now believes there’s something more terrifying than anything he’s ever cooked up, and it’s living in the White House.

On Wednesday, King fired off a pair of tweets about President Donald Trump

One of the best-selling novelists of all time, King has been a frequent critic of the president’s antics. Last month, King told Trump voters that if they think the president has done a good job, they haven’t been paying attention

And last year, before the election, King tweeted: 

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Carrie Fisher Remembered As Fans Celebrate ‘Star Wars Day’

The world marked “Star Wars Day” on Thursday by paying tribute to the late actress who portrayed Princess Leia.

Carrie Fisher died on Dec. 27, 2016. She was 60.

Dozens of Twitter users posted poignant messages in Fisher’s honor, lamenting the fact that this was the first “Star Wars Day” since her death. 

Here’s a sampling:

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These Incredible Glass Bongs Prove Smoking Weed Can Be High Art

Think bongs are just an apparatus for smoking marijuana?

They can also be works of art, as a new exhibit in New York demonstrates.

It’s called “Outlaw Glass” and runs through May 27 at the ApexArt gallery in lower Manhattan.

The point of the exhibition, as the press release states, is to show “how the most exciting movement in art glass today comes from those creating innovative, high-end artifacts that just happen to double as tools for getting high.”

The curators have weeded out some outstanding examples as proof. Some are so beautiful, you might think twice about smoking out of them.

Nahhh. 

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Salma Hayek: Hollywood Underestimated The Power Of Latinos

Salma Hayek’s latest film “How to Be a Latin Lover” raked in $12 million in its first weekend. The comedy played in only 1,118 theaters nationwide and still managed to land in the No. 2 spot at the box office.

But many Latinos, including Hayek, aren’t surprised about the film’s success.  

“Incredible but true, for many years (film studios) failed to realize what the Latino community means to the movie industry,” Hayek told the Spanish international news agency EFE. “Latinos didn’t show that power because they only went to see American movies, and producers were like, why make movies for Latinos if they’ll never go see them?’”

Pantelion-Lionsgate, the studio behind “Latin Lover,” told The New York Times on Sunday that the film drew an audience that was 89 percent Hispanic. For celebrities like Mexican-American comedian Cristela Alonzo, the figure should send a clear message to Hollywood that Latino moviegoers need to be taken seriously. 

“We know that we need to provide something in these films that the Latino viewer wouldn’t be able to get from the big Hollywood films,” Edward Allen, chief operating officer of Pantelion, told HuffPost in 2015. “And a big part of that is the story, the setting and the cast.”

“Look, there’s a demographic shift,” he added. “Either you plan for it or somebody else will.”

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#FireColbert Demonstrates The Problem With The Internet

The issue with the internet is that there’s just too much of it. For instance, look at the #FireColbert movement that got started on Twitter recently. 

This all happened after Donald Trump insulted Stephen Colbert’s fellow CBS host John Dickerson of “Face the Nation.” During the “Late Show” on Monday, Colbert let loose. 

“When you insult one member of the CBS family, you insult us all. BAZINGA!” said Colbert, before firing off a barrage of insults at the president, one of those being, “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”

Insulting Trump is nothing new for Colbert. He does it nightly, and his ratings have improved “bigly” because of it. The problem is he insulted the queer community with that particular comment.

This is 2017. You don’t need to watch Hilary Duff’s old “don’t call stuff gay” PSA to know how wrong and hurtful that is.

(Solid PSA though.)

The joke is seen by many as an offensive misstep by Colbert, and it reportedly inspired the #FireColbert hashtag to start trending on Tuesday. 

We say “reportedly” because now the conversation has become so muddled that even #FireColbert tweeters don’t seem to know what they’re tweeting about. The sad thing is this could’ve been a learning moment for “The Late Show,” but it’s hard to learn anything when people aren’t sure why they’re enraged.

Yes, there are tweets that mention the homophobic connotations of Colbert’s joke: 

But many more don’t seem to be aware of that argument. In fact, scrolling through a search for the hashtag reveals that much of the debate has turned into liberals who are Colbert fans vs. conservatives who aren’t.

Some are tweeting #FireColbert simply for his attack on the president:

Others are tweeting out #FireColbert in support of the host:

Even George Takei, a former “Star Trek” star and a prominent figure in the LGBTQ community, tweeted out #FireColbert, thinking it was from “right wing mushrooms” who want Colbert gone because he made fun of the president, aka the “Troll King.”

He doesn’t mention the homophobic joke at all. 

Like Takei’s ship in many “Star Trek” episodes, it seems the hashtag has lost its way.

Even if the movement was more on topic, as HuffPost Queer Voices Deputy Editor James Michael Nichols points out, Colbert wasn’t the first to make a tasteless joke about Trump and Vladimir Putin having a romantic relationship. This has been going on for a while now.

Tweeting #FireColbert isn’t going to change anything. If you do want to make a difference, take to heart Nichols’ words when he writes, “Our lives are not a punchline.”

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