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Friday, July 15, 2011

Late Show with David Letterman - 7/14/11

Captain America (and Human Torch!) himself, Chris Evans, delivered last night's Top Ten List on Late Show with David Letterman, "Things Never Before Said By A Superhero." And as you can see, the Sea King got the nod at #6! (You can click here to see the whole video)

This was sent in by my pal John Trumbull, who is now a member of F.O.A.M.! Thanks John!


Jared A. McGrath said...

Seriously, Rob. I don't really think you should post stuff that makes fun of Aquaman here. People who are just finding out about him and google Aquaman will surely find the Shrine. If they're young and haven't been biased by the Aqua-hate that spawned from the Superfriends they'll love this site and see it as a haven for they're beloved hero, but if you keep posting this stuff it'll only perpetuate the hate and the bad wrap Aquaman gets everywhere therefore disencouraging new fans to support him or even like him.

Sorry, but that's how I feel. Aquaman's image needs to be changed and he needs to get respect. And if his fans celebrate mocking him in his own "shine" why should writers or readers or anybody else, for that matter, respect Aquaman?

It's one thing to have a sense of humor about things, it's another to bend over backwards, get kicked and still laugh when somebody makes fun of something you hold dear. The latter is not cool.

rob! said...


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I totally understand where you're coming from, but I can't say I agree: the Shrine is dedicated to any and all references, appearances, and influences by Aquaman in his 70+ year history.

With a character like this, there's bound to be some less-than-flattering moments, but I still feel they're worth covering because they underscore the Shrine's central thesis (if it has one): that Aquaman is a HUGE part of the culture, way beyond just the world of comics (unlike almost all other superheroes except a handful). Aquaman being mentioned on Letterman is, to me, a great example of how prevalent he still is in the culture.

Also, I really don't want the Shrine to be so humorless that we can't laugh at ourselves, and Aquaman. I'm not curing cancer here; it's a blog about Aquaman: there's laughs to be had!

And finally, I didn't even really take the Letterman joke as an insult, per se: It seemed more like a timely reference to the recent passage of gay marriage in NY than some pointed slam at Aquaman: you could have slotted in almost any other superhero name and the joke would have come out the same.

One final comment: there are lots of Aquaman-centric stuff out there that just tears the character down, stuff that I find really lame, unfunny, or crude--and I leave all that stuff alone, never bringing it into the Shrine.

I don't mind goofing on Aquaman, but its gotta be at least some attempt at cleverness. Of course, some people would say the Letterman joke isn't that at all; your mileage may vary.

Thanks for your thoughts, I do appreciate them!

Daryll V. said...

LOL! This cracked me up. I can get what Jared was tryin to say, but c'mon dude lighten up! Since when has anybody ever taken an aquatic superhero seriously before? The heroes in Marvel make jokes about Namor all the time, in cannon!

Speaking of, I have a friend who draws a Aquaman/Namor fancomic. I wonder if she's seen this yet... But if its on the shrine then I bet she has!!

Anthony said...

Just seems like a harmless joke to me, too. Sounds like they wanted to make a joke tying into NY State legalizing gay marriage, a feat IMO worth celebrating in itself---I'd like to think Arthur wouldn't be offended by being associated with such!

Speaking of which, have there been any gay or lesbian characters in any of Aquaman's stories, or Arthur shown associating with LGBT folk?

Count Drunkula said...

The real victim of this segment was Kenny Rogers.

Jared M said...

Lolz :-D I guess most aquaman fans are more used to him getting ridiculed than fans of any other characters are. U don't see batman or spiderman get this kind of "attention"... Aquaman has always been unpopular and I still think that showcasing these jokes about him doesn't help reverse that at all. But hey, apparently that's just me :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree the post should be here - no such thing as bad publicity. I thought it was cute.

Keep up the great blog!

CoryB said...

Not trying to change your opinion Jared, but at least Aquaman is on a lot of people's minds. Superman get's just as many "boy scout" references as Aquaman gets "just talks to fish". Batman and Spider-Man also get a lot of jokes. Ask someone one the street who the Flash or the Atom are. They will most likely always know of Aquaman.

Aquaman gets this reputation from the Super Friends, but every character on that show was just portrayed as badly. Of the 5 he's the easiest target. He's just popular enough so the general public knows him, but not as popular as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or Wonder Woman. You can't easily put down those characters without more potential backlash. It's more like they are making fun of comics, not just Aquaman. They use him as the target, but they really are slamming the whole genre.

The last ten years seem to have changed that public perception (sadly, though, thanks to Marvel, not DC) that the character's aren't "lame".

It's great that Aquaman is starting to regain a respect, where he's one of the handful of well known comic characters. Do you ever see Namor jokes? It's more a respect, now, that he's getting in popular culture. The meme of "Lame Aquaman" is looking like it's nearing it's end.

Yay :)

rob! said...

Great conversation guys!

@Anthony--I'm not familiar with any LGBT-specific incidents or characters involving Aquaman. Tho Aquaman himself is a big gay icon, at least compared to other superheroes. That's a subject I've wanted to tackle on the Shrine for a long time, but I'm not exactly qualified to do so.

Ryan--Poor Kenny Rogers. You gotta know when to hold 'em, also fold 'em.

CoryB--Exactly. Every time Aquaman is mentioned, its a win for the character, in the long run.

Michael Jones said...

This TopTen inspired a dream recounted just now on my blog!

I agree with Jared to some degree but I'm on the "any news is good news" side of the fence. I once saw a young Japanese kid sitting on the subway proudly wearing an Aquaman t-shirt, the only other comic-book clothing I see is Marvel or Batman. (I asked him for a photo, he complied but darned if I can find it. If requested, I'll track it down.)

Joseph Brian Scott said...

@Ryan -- that made me chuckle more than the bit itself.

Chris Evans may do a fine job portraying any number of superheroes, but he'll always be the guy in the banana sundae speedo from "Not Another Teen Movie" to me.

As far as "jabs" at Aquaman go, this was pretty mild-mannered, and I insist on believing that it stems from suppressed jealously and admiration that a lot of people have for the character; in some ways, we are all yearning to return to the seas from whence life sprang (Dick Sprang). ;)

Anthony said...

Re: Aquaman jokes: I'm a Superman fan, so I'm used to seeing inane remarks about him from fans of "grittier" characters (of the "he's too powerful!"/"he's too much of a boy scout!" variety usually... whatever). Though do enjoy parodies about him, as well...

@rob!: Yes, I couldn't think of any LGBT-associated aspects either for Aquaman in-story (though I'd like to think Arthur has a low opinion of homophobes). And yes, plenty in the gay community like him. I know AfterElton (a site dedicated to treatment of/portrayals of gay male characters in entertainment) has covered Aquaman a few times, mostly in the context of "Smallville."

Brent said...

I get that inferring Aquaman is gay is a funny (to some) joke. But to refer to it as an "insult" or "hate" directed at Aquaman is insulting and hateful to gay people. God forbid the children would think Aquaman is gay?!? I personally think it's a compliment.