Buddy Cole (character)
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Charles Budderick "Buddy" Cole is a fictional character created and portrayed by actor-comedian Scott Thompson. He is an effeminate, gay socialite, made famous on The Kids in the Hall, a popular Canadian sketch comedy series and troupe of the same name. The character also has a recurring role in The Colbert Report.
Buddy has a penchant for going on long, comedic rants about his personal life and the gay community. He also frequently drops celebrity names, insinuating that he has many close friendships with the rich and famous. A series of The Kids in the Hall sketches portrayed his deeply personal relationship with Queen Elizabeth II (also played by Thompson).
During the second season of The Kids in the Hall, Buddy began to star in more action-packed sketches. In the first such appearance, he becomes the substitute coach of a lesbian softball team. From there on, his adventures became more outrageous and surreal, from accidentally murdering a drag queen (while on a bad acid trip) to purchasing his very own male slave in the 1950s. Still, for the most part, Buddy delivers monologues from his gay bar, Buddy's, which he purchased with money saved during a brief stint of not smoking cigarettes.
In the series' final episode, he is one in a handful of characters to get something of a resolution: Having lost his bar in a game of strip poker (he refused to remove his shirt having just put on ten pounds), he burns it down in order to win back his old boyfriend - "a firefighter from Buffalo". Also in the last sketch is a childhood photo of Kurt Cobain (an acquaintance of Thompson's), sitting on the bar as it burns down.
Thompson has described Buddy as a "butch queen" and an "alpha fag", pointing out that while extremely effeminate, Buddy is also very forceful and strong willed. Thompson, who is openly gay, has always directly confronted charges that Buddy is a homophobic stereotype. "The whole idea of Buddy Cole being considered a terrible stereotype and a terrible throwback is, I think, just tragic," he told Orlando Weekly in 2000. "I mean, most gay men are more Buddy than Sly."
According to the "Chalet 2000" episode of The Kids in the Hall, a full-length adventure starring Buddy and friends, Buddy is the nephew of comedian Rip Taylor.
Following the conclusion of the television series in 1995, Buddy Cole made regular appearances in Scott Thompson's one-man stage show. Since 2000, Buddy has been one of many characters revived for The Kids in the Hall reunion tours. He did not, however, appear in The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town.
In early 2006, Breakthrough Entertainment, the producers of the series Atomic Betty and Paradise Falls, announced that an animated comedy series based on the character was in development. Buddy's was expected to air on CBC Television and the American LGBT channel Here!. However, in a February 1, 2007 interview on Tom Green Live, Thompson announced that the series was no longer in development. No reason for the dissolution of the show was given, but Thompson did say that Buddy Cole now had his own blog instead, written and updated by Thompson himself.
On January 13, 2008, Thompson posted a video blog as Cole. However, it was also his last; as announced in the video (titled "Adieu to EWE"), Cole simply didn't have enough time to blog.
On February 10, 2014, Thompson began a stint on The Colbert Report as Buddy Cole, Colbert's longtime producer and former theater camp colleague and the program's correspondent to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. His coverage focused on Russia's anti-gay laws, including interviewing openly gay Ambassador Daniel Baer of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
- Shirley R. Steinberg, Michael Kehler and Lindsay Cornish, Boy Culture: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO, 2010. ISBN 978-0-313-35081-8.
- "Buddy Cole Learns About Russia's Anti-Gay Laws, Prepares To Visit Sochi For 'The Colbert Report'". Huffington Post, February 11, 2014.
- "Two 'Kids in the Hall' take a shot at stand-up". San Jose Mercury News, September 14, 2011.
- "Scott Thompson Goes Straight With New Comic". Torontoist, March 16, 2011.
- "Breakthrough for gay sitcom toon". C21 Media, April 12, 2006.