Search Results for: Shared Text

Shared Text: SNL, JKR, and Harry Potter

Where do you start? That the two actors cannot pronounce Rowling’s name correctly? That the Gingrott’s Goblins are not cartoon Jews? That the transphobic controversy, #RIPJKRowling, is a hate-driven Cancel Culture social-media production?

Oh, well. At least Robby Coltrane had the courage to speak in defense of Rowling. And Davidson’s Dobby Look Alike joke was pretty funny…

Why this post? The Shared Text point is that there is no other written work by any author that Pete Davidson, confessed non-reader, could have referred to and been so sure that his audience would get the jokes. Maybe someday she’ll be so famous that everyone will know how to pronounce her pen and maiden name?

Salazar’s Pit Viper: Another species named after our shared text.

The trend of naming new species after Harry Potter characters continues.  The latest addition to the Slug Club (which, to my knowledge, has no actual slugs in it yet….  hey, slug researchers, why don’t you find a horned one and name it “Horace?”) is Trimeresurus salazar, a new, bright green pit viper recently discovered in India. Zeeshan Mirza led a team of five self-described Potter fans on an expedition that discovered the magical creature in the Pakke Tiger Reserve in July 2019.  According to the report in The Indian Express:

They almost named the species ‘Nagini’, after Lord Voldemort’s snake but then later decided to “save it for when, and if, they discover a new cobra species since Nagini was a cobra.”

“Childhood experiences largely stay with you,” said Mirza, “When I was growing up, JK Rowling was a big part of my childhood, and perhaps everyone else who has read the book. Now what better way to honour and thank her than naming the species after one of her characters?”

Eriovixia gryffindori

Interestingly, the discoverer’s hat tip to Mr. Slytherin extends to the fantastic beast’s common name, which they hope will be Salazar’s pit viper, not to be confused with the Basilisk, Salazar’s pet viper. This also brings some balance to the Hogwarts’ founders, since Godric Gryffindor had a Sorting Hat-shaped spider named for him in 2016.  I’m waiting for Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw to get their turn.

The snake joins a dinosaur, an extinct lizard, two wasps, two stink bugs, four spiders–the three others are named after Aragog–and an elusive crab in species with Wizarding World-inspired names.  You can read about five of these in my earlier posts: here and here.  If you want to know about the six others I’ve added to my list since 2017, follow the jump.  

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Shared Text: Ragtime Hedwig, Smart Guy

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Shared Text: SNL Impeachment Trial Skit

Last night, Saturday Night Live troupe in its ‘cold open’ skit a wish-fulfillment fantasy for everyone who wanted witnesses called in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump: The Trial You Wish Had Happened. The actress playing John Bolton refuses to answer questions but tells the judge “There’ll be no more free spoilers!” from the book about to be released, which tome s/he holds up to promote sales on Amazon.

The book’s title? Harry Potter and the Room Where It Happened.

It got a good laugh which meant I think the audience understood that Bolton was being accused simultaneously of being childish, of profiteering in the midst of an impeachment trial, and of writing opportunistic fiction.  I suspect they may have missed the slash at those in Generation Hex, now all grown up, who were waiting for Bolton and his book to appear ex machina to defeat the Dark Lord.

Once again, though, the chief take-away is that Harry Potter almost ten years after the last film release is still the global shared text. No one said, “Who is Harry Potter? Why is this funny?” As a cipher for best-seller, fiction, and good defeating evil, nothing beats the Hogwarts Saga.

Shared Text: The Games Fandom Plays

The game these two Potter enthusiasts play is choosing a Wizarding World spell from one hat, a Potter character’s name from another, and then doing an impression of that character saying the spell. The object of the game is not deceiving the other player but doing such a great impersonation that she ‘gets’ it immediately (I suppose to make this competitive, the game requires two or more pairs of players).

Perhaps there are other fandoms in which devoted fans could play this game with variations on the spells feature. But could they podcast such an amateur-hour production and expect more than three quarters of a million viewers to watch (881,000 at the time of this posting)? FYI, that’s a rhetorical question.