Stephen Colbert

Here’s James Franco Talking Renaissance Manhood and ‘Child of God’ on Colbert

Last night on Colbert, James Franco was actually kind of charming: perhaps in an effort to promote his new film,… Read More

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Stephen Colbert, Lena Dunham — Yes, Even James Franco — and the Era of Celebrity as Bookseller

I wrote a post a few years ago about Jewel’s 1998 bestselling book of poetry, A Night Without Armor. The book, while undeniably terrible, has probably sold more copies in one year than the bestselling books of poetry from the last five years combined. What does that tell you? For one, it says that with all the great poetry out there, the general public has really bad taste. But it also speaks volumes about the fact that a celebrity name attached to a book — whether they wrote it or not — sells copies. And although there was probably no study as to how much extra time customers stood in the poetry aisle, browsing the other titles, and possibly buying them, lured there because of A Night Without Armor, I have to believe at least a few young minds were drawn to poetry because of that book. Because, let’s face it: we all have to start somewhere, and that somewhere usually sucks. … Read More

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Watch Stephen Colbert Explain How “Sexy Mugshot Guy” Could Help Reform the Prison System

Last night on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert offered his take on Jeremy Meeks, the felon charged with “street terrorism”… Read More

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“You Root for the Authors!” Hachette Author Stephen Colbert vs. Amazon

If you like books and reading, the Amazon vs. Hachette war of 2014 has probably caught your eye. The shortest version: the two companies (Hachette being the umbrella term for one of the “big five publishers,” which includes imprints like Little, Brown and Company and Grand Central Publishing, among others) are locked in a battle over ebook pricing. While this negotiation is going on, Amazon is throwing its weight around by making upcoming books by Hachette authors difficult to order and receive: originally it was that books would take several weeks to ship, but now Amazon has deemed upcoming releases like Megan Abbott’s very good read The Fever “Currently Unavailable.” (You can buy it here.) The LA Times has a smart and succinct, 13-point summary of the fight, and name authors like Malcolm Gladwell, James Patterson, and John Green have weighed in with their take on business and books. … Read More

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The Black Keys Discuss Stephen Colbert’s Prostate and Perform “Fever” on ‘The Colbert Report’

Last night, The Black Keys brought “Fever” to the Colbert Report in a mild-mannered set. The song, a perhaps-too-fitting addition to… Read More

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Stephen Colbert’s Super-Charming ‘Late Show’ Appearance Bodes Well for His New Gig

The funny thing about David Letterman announcing his retirement and CBS responding a week later by revealing that Stephen Colbert would take over The Late Show is this: it was sort of like they’d hired an unknown, considering America doesn’t have much of an idea who Stephen Colbert the guy is, since he’s always been performing through several layers of comedy. (The confusion wasn’t unlike what happened when the world first heard about a tall, geeky redheaded comedy writer by the name of Conan O’Brien.) Even when Colbert was starting out, he was performing in shows like Strangers With Candy with Amy Sedaris, another comedian who loves to put a good costume and several meta-layers of comedy between the audience and “herself.” … Read More

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30 Writers’ Invaluable Advice to Graduates

Graduation season is fast approaching, the time of the year when some of our favorite writers are tasked with summing up the wisdom to be accrued from the process of growing up in ten succinct minutes of witty truth. These days, a successful graduation speech has the very real chance of going viral, and then living forever as a book: from David Foster Wallace’s This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life to Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art, the best graduation speeches are finding a new life. This crop includes the brand-new Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders, a pretty-in-print encapsulation of his 2013 Syracuse Graduation speech. It’s reason enough to collect 30 of the best, wisest, and pithiest pieces of advice from the greatest writers to attempt the graduation… Read More

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