Watch Stephen Colbert take down the Boston ‘Straight Pride Parade’

Stephen Colbert in March.
Stephen Colbert in March.Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press/Invision/AP

Add Stephen Colbert to the growing list of celebrities who are rejecting a proposed “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston.

The organizers of the parade — one of whom was behind the controversial Rally for the Republic in 2017 that attracted swarms of counterprotesters — have filed a permit request with the city seeking to hold the event Aug. 31 (a prime moving day) around Boston Common and downtown area. The request claims that about 200 people are expected.

John Hugo, the president of the organizing group, said his group is “not anti-gay, we’re pro-straight,” adding that they are “for traditional American values.”


Reports of the parade drew swift criticism from several celebrities, including Sudbury native Chris Evans, actor George Takei, Blink-182 musician Mark Hoppus, and pop-rock band Smash Mouth.

Colbert added himself to that list Wednesday night, as he railed against the parade on “The Late Show” on CBS.

“If you’re wondering, the difference between the Gay Pride Parade and Straight Pride Parade, the Gay Pride Parade will have women at it,” he said.

Colbert also mocked the name of the group organizing the parade — Super Happy Fun America.

“Wait a second. Have you seen a Pride Parade? That is Super Happy Fun America,” Colbert said.

Colbert also noted that while many people criticized the event, “no one phrased their feelings quite as succinctly as ’90s rock band Smash Mouth,” who tweeted, “Straight Pride Parade???? [Expletive] off!!!!!!!!” (As of Thursday morning, the tweet had more than 343,000 likes and 109,000 retweets.)

“Thank you for taking a stand, Smash Mouth. You truly are the Rosa Parks of early ’90s pop rock,” Colbert said. “I applaud Smash Mouth for their bold stance, though I gotta say, I’m surprised they went with ‘[expletive] off,’ instead of, ‘Hey now, you’re an [expletive]!!!’”


Smash Mouth, for their part, seemed to enjoy the shout-out.

As for whether the parade will actually take place? It’s unclear if the city will grant the permit, but Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Wednesday that “you can’t really stop a permit, it’s very difficult to stop a permit.”

However, Hugo said that if the city denies his group, they will file a lawsuit and hold the march anyway.

Steve Annear and Milton Valencia of the Globe staff contributed to this report.