10 Times Arizona State University Got Dissed in Pop Culture
Despite its many esteemed accomplishments, Arizona State University still remains the butt of many jokes, especially all the quips coming from Hollywood or the comedy world.
ASU has certainly made itself an easy target for comedians and comedy writers alike 'cause of its notorious status as a party school, the ease of its admission process, and the lack of challenge involved with some of its coursework. (Plus, its administration occasionally pulls some boneheaded stunts, like when they wouldn’t give President Barack Obama an honorary degree a few years back.)
Here’s a look at the best jokes that have been made at ASU’s expense in pop culture over the years, either on television or in the movies.
10. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Last fall, comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert featured a funny piece on The Late Show criticizing online diploma mills, and included a jab at Arizona State University by listing it with other fake schools as "Prancetown University" and "Johns Hotpants University.”
9. Last Week Tonight
John Oliver has taken aim at Arizona a few times on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, including a quip in 2015 about ASU’s relatively low barrier of entry. During a long-winded rant concerning the difficulty that Syrian refugees face when emigrating to the U.S., Oliver noted acerbically that while "it is difficult to vet people coming out of a war zone, it’s not like we're just letting anyone in … we are the United States of America, not Arizona State.”
8. Saturday Night Live
Let's face it, Saturday Night Live is pretty hit or miss these days when it comes to bringing the funny. That said, Seth Meyers got in a zinger back in 2013 that riffed on the sexual proclivities of Sun Devil students after quipping that school officials were "mixing [the morning-after pill] into the drinking water."
7) American Dad
It seems as though television producer/director/voice actor Seth MacFarlane has it out for both Arizona in general and ASU in particular. He’s taken a few shots at our state on Family Guy (including portraying Tucson as a city full of idiots) and had a character on his other cartoon American Dad equate barely passing a class to getting a good grade at Arizona State.
The main characters of Ted 2 lambast an ASU graduate in the film.
Twentieth Century Fox
6) Ted 2
MacFarlane also put ASU on blast in his foul-mouthed buddy comedy Ted 2 with a slew of jokes dished out in rapid-fire succession that hit on all of the worst stereotypes of the school. The film’s two main characters, played by Mark Wahlberg and MacFarlane himself, joke about the fact that another character attended Arizona State with barbs about sex on houseboats and how ASU students party more than they study ("Did you write your dissertation on the collected works of Red Bull?"). Then comes their knockout blow: "So do you say 'Arizona State University,' or do you say 'HPVU'?"
Comedy Central wiseacre Daniel Tosh.
Mattias Clamer/Comedy Central
Ribald stand-up comedian Daniel Tosh came to ASU in 2011 for an episode of his Comedy Central show and lampooned Sun Devil students like mad, including poking fun at their tendency of drinking to excess, satirizing frat-boy culture on campus, and even noting that “there's a lot of chlamydia here, apparently." Brutal.
4. 30 Rock
The now-defunct NBC sitcom took aim at ASU in a 2010 episode when smarmy prick Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, made a condescending jab at anyone who wanted to attend the school. “A parent is the one person who is supposed to make their kid think they can do anything. Says they're beautiful even when they're ugly, [and] thinks they're smart even when they go to Arizona State.” Ouch.
3. The Daily Show
Arizona State University earned itself a comedic ass-whipping from The Daily Show in 2009 when it infamously denied an honorary degree to President Barack Obama. As a result of the snub, Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones paid a visit to ASU, mocked its party-hearty student body and the school’s dimwitted reputation, and even famously labeled it as the “Harvard of date rape.”
ASU isn't going to get any ringing endorsements from comedian Bill Maher anytime soon.
Janet Van Ham/HBO
2. Bill Maher
The famed comedian and political pundit also touched upon ASU's snub of the POTUS in his 2010 HBO special, ...But I'm Not Wrong, and didn't pull any punches in his tirade against the school. "What poseurs, Arizona State. You gave it to Tommy LaSorda last year, for crying out loud. Arizona State," Maher jokes. "Fuck you, I've been to that school. It's a party-ville, it's a football school. You know when strippers say, 'I'm working my way through college'? That's the college."
1. The Simpsons
ASU got some major shade thrown its way in 1999 courtesy of The Simpsons, which humorously skewered the school’s amazingly high admission rate in an oft-quoted joke. Here’s the setup: Springfield’s resident Jesus freak Ned Flanders believes that the rapture has come and spared the righteous. Then he spies Homer Simpson and remarks, “Looks like heaven is easier to get into than Arizona State.”
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