TV

'Publix: Where do you get off?' asks Stephen Colbert after 'cum' cake censorship

Stephen Colbert put Publix on the griddle Tuesday night during his monolog on "The Late Show" as the TV host poked fun at the Florida-based grocery chain's decision to censor a high school student's graduation cake.

"First of all, Publix, you nasty!" Colbert teased.

Come again?

In case you missed the fuss, Charleston, South Carolina, mom Cara Koscinsci said she ordered a Publix cake online for her son, Jacob, 18, last weekend to celebrate his summa cum laude designation. She intended the frosting to read: "Congrats Jacob! Summa Cum Laude class of 2018."

But a computerized Publix algorithm that trolls cake inscription requests for naughty words didn't like the Latin word 'cum' — pronounced coom — which means "with."

The centuries-old phrase translates to "with the highest distinction" or "praise." So the cake maker followed the computer's instruction — despite Koscinsci's explanation of the Latin phrase in the "special instructions" column of the order form — and instead decorated the cake with "Congrats Jacob! Summa --- Laude class of 2018."

The Latin preposition for "with" was replaced by dashes.

Koscinsci went on Facebook to tell everyone how embarrassing it was to have to explain to her son and 70-year-old mom the other meaning of that preposition when used as English slang.

Read Next

Colbert couldn't resist taking a bite out of the cake flap.

A little over a minute into his routine, Colbert said: "You know it's graduation season. Everyone is in a mood to celebrate. Except for regional grocery chain Publix." He recapped what happened to the Koscinsci family.

"Publix, I'm not asking literally, but where do you get off?" the CBS star quipped. "By your own logic, in your name, you should have to take out the 'lix.' Hell, your name could be pronounced Pube-lix and you write that name in giant letters on your buildings.

"For shame, Publix for ruining a special day where Jacob was about to dig into a celebratory sheet cake and suddenly his mother is stuck explaining a slang for ejaculate to him and his grandma," Colbert continued.

The TV host, who more often than not devotes his monologs to his take on the latest controversies in the Trump White House, wasn't quite done. He had another graduation treat made for Jacob — cupcakes with the offending (to Publix) word as decorative frosting.

He took a lick of the frosting, repeated the Latin word several times, and with a satisfied smirk said: "We want to help Jacob. Your summa cum laude cake is incomplete so we made a cake with the missing words. So there you go," Colbert said, displaying the replacement dessert to the cameras to audience laughter.

"Presenting your very own cum-cake. So you hold tight! We’ll ship one of these right down to you."

Pity poor Bill Maher. You just know the "Real Time" host would likely have riffed on Publix on his late night HBO talk show Friday night but he's taking the week off and the subject will be as stale as week old sheet cake by the time his show returns.

Let Bill eat cake.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.
  Comments