Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Stephen Colbert beats Gwyneth Patrow's new show out of the chute with his own pricey nonsense

Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show

Stephen Colbert’s been taking the shower whizz out of Oscar-winning actress, absent-minded Marvel superhero, and now lucrative lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow for some time. Mocking the celebrity pitch-person with his own over-priced (if fictional) brand, Covetton House, has been something of a gentle exercise in probing the questionable efficacy of expensive jade vagina eggs and terrifying anti-aging masks that look like something Hannibal Lecter got in his latest plea deal. Hell, even Paltrow herself once joined in on the ribbing to prove that that the ultra-rich and famous can take what we humans call a “humor-joke.” So in a week when Paltrow’s company for the credulous spendthrift, Goop, announced the release of a candle called “This Smells Like My Vagina,” one might reasonably expect that Colbert would rise to the Goop-y bait with another Covetton House segment.

And you’d be right, although Gwyneth herself was nowhere to be seen on Monday’s show. Which is probably for the best, as Colbert not only made merry sport of Goop’s vagina candle (put down your credit cards—it’s predictably sold out already), but also Paltrow’s upcoming Netflix series, The Goop Lab. Because, as much as that sounds like a really fun new Nickelodeon kids’ game show, it’s actually, as Colbert put it, a clearinghouse for “scientif-ish wellness techniques” where “Goopeth” can sell some stuff while encouraging people to eschew proven medical and scientific cures in favor of stuff she can wet her beak in. Introducing Covetton House’s dueling series, The Covetton Yurt, Colbert guaranteed similarly miraculous results* from, say $7,000 bottles of unpasteurized giraffe milk as Gwyneth seems to be doing for vanity exorcisms, energy channeling, pricey mind-readings, and making yourself really, really cold to ward off time’s futile ravages. Defending his competitor’s newest venture, Colbert challenged his audience, “Now, if you cynics out there think that this Goop Lab is some cash-grab that exploits people’s fear of aging, and sacrifices their safety to peddle pseudo-scientific, New Age-y garbage . . . well spotted.” But, as Gwyneth says in the trailer for her show (although in reference to life, and not cash, to be fair), “milk the shit out of it.” The Goop Lab premieres January 24 on Netflix.


*Not a guarantee.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.