Tim Washer. Keynote Speaker + Event Emcee

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The Colbert Bump

I spent two months’ of Saturdays in a class taught by the head writer for The Colbert Report, Tom Purcell. After the class ended, Tom decided to spend an additional three weeks with us, which says a lot about his generosity, or maybe the dimwittedness of our class.

It focused on developing a packet to submit to the show, but the lessons Tom shared have been a huge help in writing a few recent corporate viral videos. Here’s a sample I wrote for the “Threat Down,” a segment where Colbert convinces his audience that some innocuous issue will kill us all.


Threat #1: Speedos

It’s the biggest scandal to rock Olympic swimming since 1932, when an IOC investigation revealed that 400 meter backstroke gold medalist Babe Didrikson Zaharias was a mermaid.

[OTS: (Over The Shoulder graphic) Speedo LZR suit]

The New York Times reports that since Speedo introduced its LZR Racer swimsuit designed with input from NASA, swimmers wearing it have broken 22 world records. The Italian national team coach Alberto Castagnetti said using Speedo’s LZR suit was “technological doping.”

Nation, when does a swimsuit have too much technology? When the athlete wearing it can out-swim a tiger shark.  [Full Frame mock-up of three medal winners on Olympic podium, two guys in Speedos, and on the lowest tier wearing the bronze medal is a sulking Jabber Jaws. ]

These souped-up swim trunks are just a couple of gadgets away from transforming our athletes into full on aqua-robots. And as this integration of artificial and natural systems continues, by the time the games return to Helsinki, these NASA/Speedo swimming Symbiotes will have enough power to accomplish superhuman feats, such as winning eight gold medals, or devouring Cleveland.

[OTS: mock-up of Venom, symbiote from Spiderman II wearing Speedo and USA swim cap.]


  • Greg VA on Nov 17, 2008 Reply

    If you play back the footage from this year’s olympic swim competition you can clearly see the Chinese team’s flagrant use of propeller beanies for swim caps.

    Didn’t work though.

    Great site Tim!

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