Stephen Colbert's "Gathering Storm"

America's satirist laureate lampoons the notorious anti-gay marriage ad.

Published April 17, 2009 5:58PM (EDT)

We same-sex marriage advocates owe the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) a hearty thanks. Not only does their now-notorious "Gathering Storm" ad succeed in making the entire anti-gay marriage movement look hysterical, but it is also spawning a slew of laugh-out-loud funny parodies. Yesterday, America's unofficial satirist laureate Stephen Colbert responded to New York Governor David Paterson's introduction of same-sex marriage legislation with his very own riff on the misguided PSA.

The parody ad begins three and a half minutes into the segment (posted below), but Colbert's introduction is well worth watching. "I love that ad," he says of "Gathering Storm." "It's like watching 'The 700 Club' and The Weather Channel at the same time." Then he lands a nice Eliot Spitzer zinger:

Governor Paterson's obsession with same-sex marriage just proves that he's a perv! Why can't we go back to the good old days when our governor upheld the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man, a woman, and an Emperor's Club hooker?

Colbert's parody perfectly recreates the look and feel of "Gathering Storm," down to the angry-sky background and somber actors. It begins with two such sad sacks announcing that rough winds are blowing from the east and west. "Before long," a third actor deadpans, "the winds will be blowing each other." With that, the video veers off into delightful absurdity, as one man asks us, "Did you know that if all 50 states approve gay marriage, straight marriage becomes illegal?" In a wink at the leaked "Gathering Storm" auditions tapes that went viral before NOM forced YouTube to take them down, a woman says, "I'm a hired actor who's willing to take any job. You may recognize me from that Phillip Morris commercial or that herpes ad where I'm walking on the beach." I won't ruin Colbert's big punchline, but suffice it to say it involves a "happily married" couple and muscular gentleman who finds himself caught in a rainstorm. 

Happy Friday, Broadsheet readers! Enjoy the video, and don't let the "Gathering Storm" get you down.


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By Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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