SBD/Issue 189/Events & Attractions

World Cup Draws Laughs From Letterman, Stewart, Colbert

The start of the FIFA World Cup was a topic on several late-night talk shows last night. CBS’ David Letterman said people “started playing soccer in this country in earnest maybe in the early '70s, and the idea behind soccer was that everybody could play soccer.” Letterman: “They started planting the seeds for soccer, and they kept saying within five years it will sweep this country and be America's favorite sport the way it is around the world. … I was talking to a friend of mine and I said, ‘So it's now 50 years later, why hasn't soccer caught on at the level everybody thought soccer would catch on?’ He said it's because soccer in this country is day care, it's not a sport." Letterman then turned his attention to the vuvuzela, saying, "Oh my God, the horns. I mean seriously, do you know what Tinnitus is? Well, just tune on the World Cup soccer. … We put together a feature for you tonight all about the World Cup and what is a vuvuzela." The feature was called "What Is A Vuvuzela?" with the announcer saying, "The vuvuzela is a brightly colored plastic horn commonly blown by soccer fans at stadiums in South Africa. It emits a loud monotone sound. And is [expletive] annoying. This has been 'What Is A Vuvuzela?'" Letterman continued the soccer theme with "Top Ten Reasons Americans Don't Like Soccer" (“Late Show," CBS, 6/14).

10) "Too many foreigners."
9)"Loud horns make it hard to nap through boring parts."
8) "Bench clearing brawls not as much fun without bats or sticks."
7) "No theme song asking if we are ready for some soccer."
6) "Not enough 'roids."
5) "Lots of players with umlauts in their names."
4) "Americans too busy reading."
3) "Doesn't have the heart-pounding action of a 5-hour baseball game."
2) "No TV timeouts means fewer snack breaks to stuff our fat faces."
1) "Too much kicking, not enough rasslin'."

COMEDY CLUB: Comedy Central's Jon Stewart discussed the U.S.-England World Cup match, calling England "our special ally, our friend with diplomatic benefits." Stewart: "It was like the Revolutionary War all over again, only this time most of America doesn't give a (expletive) how it turns out." Stewart referenced the vuvuzelas, saying fans who tuned in to the game “were treated to an exciting match made even more thrilling by a swarm of angry bees that was apparently bearing down on the stadium." Stewart: "Where's my EpiPen!? I never thought 'The Daily Show' would have the same ending as 'My Girl.'" The vuvuzela horn was named for "famed South African horn great, Vuvuzela. You should check out his first album, 'Annoying High Pitched Whine'" ("The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central, 6/14). Meanwhile, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, when discussing the latest with the BP oil spill, made several video references to England G Robert Green mishandling a shot that led to the U.S. goal in Saturday's game ("The Colbert Report," Comedy Central, 6/14).

FOR MORE FROM SOUTH AFRICA: For more World Cup coverage, please see other stories in today’s issue on Hyundai pulling an ad amid criticism from Catholic groups, Dutch female fans being ejected for an ambush marketing effort, South Africa team merchandise selling quickly, viewership being up through three days on ESPN and Univision, ESPN’s on-air talent garnering positive reviews, AT&T Park drawing more than 20,000 fans for a public viewing of Saturday’s game, police taking over security at two venues and FIFA citing tradition in not banning vuvuzelas.

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