Watch Buddy Cole Cover the Sochi Olympics for The Colbert Report

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
Feb. 12 2014 3:04 PM

Buddy Cole Butches Up the Sochi Olympics for The Colbert Report

buddy
No gay propoganda here!

Still from Colbert Report.

On Monday, The Colbert Report welcomed a special guest correspondent: The Kids in the Hall’s Buddy Cole. Played by Scott Thompson, Cole will be covering the Olympics in Sochi in a rather more flamboyant way than NBC. Cole’s dispatches have been dubbed, “From Russia with Love (But No Gay Stuff).”

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

For those unfortunate souls not familiar with the Canadian sketch show on which he frequently appeared in the 1980s and ’90s, Charles Budderick “Buddy” Cole is a character created by Thompson, who is openly gay. Cole is known for his extended monologues on the show, in which he would hold forth on love at first sight, racism, and his good friend, the Queen of England (also played by Thompson).

Advertisement

A self-described “actor, singer, dancer—Canadian,” Thompson-as-Cole is loudly and proudly effeminate. So it’s a gutsy move for The Colbert Report to send him to a country whose anti-gay laws basically make it a crime to be gay in public. Never one to back down in the face of controversy, Thompson waltzes into Sochi with his head high and his hair coiffed. In the first segment that aired on Monday, Colbert asks Cole to go to Russia “to investigate the gay threat to the games.” Cole obliges—“You say gay and athletes and I’m there!”—and sits down with a U.S. ambassador for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who is gay himself. (“Do your parents know?” “My parents do know.” “And how did they take it when they found out you work for the government?”) In the second clip, which appeared on Tuesday’s program, Cole interviews the U.S. men’s speedskating team—and takes to the ice in a royal blue leotard complete with a bushy fur tail in order to help the hapless boys butch up.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

The Buddy Cole series is a fantastically subversive way for The Colbert Report to undermine Putin’s dream of a heterosexual winter Olympics. (Which, fat chance.) As Cole writes in his autobiography, "My goal is not to shock and horrify, but to tell the truth. And if that truth shocks and horrifies, well … maybe you should get out more." 

Lara Zarum is a graduate student in the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at NYU. She writes a regular TV column for the Toronto magazine the Grid.

TODAY IN SLATE

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?

The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off

This Was the First Object Ever Designed

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

Moneybox

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.

Music

A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …

The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.

Is Everyone Going to Declare Independence if Scotland Does It? 

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Trending News Channel
Sept. 12 2014 11:26 AM Identical Twins Aren’t Really Identical
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
  Arts
Music
Sept. 14 2014 11:44 PM A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now … The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?