Look At Michael Steele’s Dancey Top Hat, Which He Borrowed From Some College Drama Department

by Juli Weiner

Think Progress wrote a news story about Tea Party something, presumably Michael Steele-related but who knows, and in the process, unearthed the Greatest Photo and Caption of Our Time or Any Other: It is of Michael Steele’s lapels wearing a very fresh-faced Michael Steele. The Internet has not seen archival research of this sort since Meghan McCain learned about Google filters. [Think Progress]


Hola wonkerados.

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ManchuCandidate January 12, 2010 at 10:40 am

Whew… at least he wasn’t in blackface.

Lascauxcaveman January 12, 2010 at 10:42 am


red sky January 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

Today we are all blacker than Michael Steele

Prommie January 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

[re=492973]red sky[/re]: Yes, but we are not gayer.

I_KILL_ZOMBIES_ALSO January 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

I love you internet.

Monsieur Grumpe January 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

Wouldn’t that be Blackface?
All we need to make this better is for Steele to be a tap dancer and Jewish.

Monsieur Grumpe January 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

I meant Whiteface?

PartyMart January 12, 2010 at 10:46 am

Goodbye my Coney Island baaaaaaabe!

Gumboz1953 January 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

Wasn’t there some gay guy around who could have given him some fashion advice?


Paterlanger January 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

Music Man?

bago January 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

Now you have four pictures!

slavojzizek January 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

‘Active in Drama’, ‘Chair of the Republican National Committee’… Why does this not surprise me? Although, come to think of it, it does surprise me. Drama club is too healthy a gay outlet compared to the typical Republican private life trajectory.

I_KILL_ZOMBIES_ALSO January 12, 2010 at 10:50 am

[re=492982]Gumboz1953[/re]: Republican, remember? No gheyz allowed.

Minnie Mean January 12, 2010 at 10:51 am

Hello my honey, hello my baby, hello my ragtime gal…

SayItWithWookies January 12, 2010 at 10:51 am

Even in that getup, he’s still too white for Marian the Librarian.

Aflac Shrugged January 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

Here’s another picture from those days. It’s almost like he could envision being an embattled RNC chair responding to his critics, even then!

the problem child January 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

Nice ‘stache attempt.

smitallica January 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

Whaddaya talk whaddaya talk whaddaya talk?

But he doesn’t know the territory!!

memzilla January 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

Geez, what’s next, Michael Steele in a lawn jockey uniform, complete with a Klantern?
(That would be for that country club in South Race-o-lina)

snideinplainsight January 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

Even then, he was being PrOmPt3D. Noone else in the drama club new about his new, secret friends.

Aflac Shrugged January 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

[re=492991]Aflac Shrugged[/re]: HTMfaiL., is what I meant to say.

Beowoof January 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

[re=492982]Gumboz1953[/re]: For that advice it appears Steele only needed to look in the Mirror.

PrairiePossum January 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

He could easily be a pretend ACORN pimp dressed in that outfit.

freakishlystrong January 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

Somewhere a Rat Pack just found it’s token…

JMP January 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

Doesn’t the current fighting over his RNC chairmanship mean Steele is still “active in drama”?

Oh wait, that’s more comedy.

mumblyjoe January 12, 2010 at 11:02 am

It would probably be wrong of me to say that this picture says everything one needs to know about human charicature Michael Steele. But, basically.

FlownOver January 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

All the above comments: conclusive proof we can all have our Harry Reid Moments.

Gopherit January 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

Won’t you help Michael Steele and the other unfortunate black people born without soul?

Come here a minute January 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

That picture is no different from the ones he took with his RNC interns. Once “active in drama,” always “active in drama.”

FlownOver January 12, 2010 at 11:08 am

Also – this MUST become the new Official Wonket Michael Steele Pic.

bitchincamaro January 12, 2010 at 11:10 am

Is that real madras or just Sears plaid?

magic titty January 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

Is that Man Tan or Sleep’n'Eat?

x111e7thst January 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

Zoot suit riot.

swizzard January 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

Shouldn’t the caption be “…active in drama since his college years.”?

Terry January 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

Oh, bless his heart. Just bless his heart.

queeraselvis v 2.0 January 12, 2010 at 11:15 am

Pickalittle talkalittle pickalittle talkalittle
Pick pick pick

Fred Wertham Jr. January 12, 2010 at 11:16 am

I can’t believe Wonkette posted this racist Photoshop job. It’s not even very good.

What’s that?

Sorry. My bad.

Escape Goat Nation January 12, 2010 at 11:20 am

Why is he acting all White and shit?

queeraselvis v 2.0 January 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

[re=493021]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: Also, I know, I know… the lyrics are “Cheep cheep cheep.” But that would bring up invariable comparisons with Morris Day and The Time. And…


What the hell.

*squawk!* Hallelujah. Whoa whoa whoa whoa…

Cape Clod January 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

“It ain’t necessarily so.”

Cape Clod January 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

[re=493015]FlownOver[/re]: Seconded.

Simba B January 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

This made getting up this morning totally worth it. Thank you, Think Progress.

forgracie January 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

I was wondering what became of Urkel…

teebob2000 January 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

Michigan J. Darkie

teebob2000 January 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

And where the fuck is our amusing alt-text, Juli??? Hm????

Mad Brahms January 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

And yet Fred Astaire manages to be more authentically urban, somehow.

Pilate January 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

Wonkette wins the morning.

elburrito January 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

I don’t know of many of Politico’s readers are aware of our moderne theatre, but what they are saying is that he is gay.

Guppy06 January 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

Michael Steel in a minstrel show! Shocking!

S.Luggo January 12, 2010 at 11:43 am

How does the Boston Terrier fit into the act? Or is it the act, with Steele as the warm-up?

boyhowdy January 12, 2010 at 11:44 am

As a student of hat types, please tell me: is that a porkpie or a boater?

S.Luggo January 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

[re=493037]teebob2000[/re]: Win.

gjdodger January 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

[re=493002]JMP[/re]: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Hawaii

TGY January 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

Rod Blackojevich, is that you?

teebob2000 January 12, 2010 at 11:51 am

[re=493053]S.Luggo[/re]: Does it diminish it that I took steroids? I just did it to help with the carpal tunnel.

Texan Bulldoggette January 12, 2010 at 11:51 am

Wow, I wonder if some white guys were shooting at his feet, too.

montyburns4prez January 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

Steele is just showing some of that good ol’ pazzaz. What’s wrong with that?

doxastic January 12, 2010 at 11:57 am

And just think, if Steele hadn’t decided to become a professional rube, this would just be a picture of a guy in a play. I may have learned a life lesson today.

queeraselvis v 2.0 January 12, 2010 at 11:57 am

[re=493051]boyhowdy[/re]: Boater. Porkpies are usually work my middle-aged Cockneys. Or Joe Lieberman.

Mr Blifil January 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

I believe that is what is known as “doing the Humpty-Hump.”

doxastic January 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

[re=492987]slavojzizek[/re]: Better to go the Katon Dawson route and have all your minstrel shows in the photo-free environment of the whites-only country club.

SayItWithWookies January 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

[re=493051]boyhowdy[/re]: That’s a boater, often worn by barbershop quartets and nobody else. Porkpie hats are felt with a short brim and worn by frat boys who think they make them look like Tom Waits. This is why men don’t wear hats anymore.

queeraselvis v 2.0 January 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

[re=493075]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: Shit. “work by” =/= “worn by.”

magic titty January 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Michael Steele was Rog’ from What’s Happening?

[re=493077]Mr Blifil[/re]: Awesome.

sleptwithyetti January 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I’d walk a million miles for one of those Mammy.
So he can imitate Al Jolson and a party chairman.

Polisurgist January 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Michael Steele = Ol’ Gregg?

Tommmcatt January 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I would go on about how well that photo encapsulates it’s subject, but that picture actually renders commentary moot. To be frank, it is one of the rare photos which is not improved by alt-text. I would even go so far as to state that you all could have posted that photo with no headline or commentary, then taken the rest of the day off. It is simply that hilarious.

Well-played indeed, overlords.

boyhowdy January 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm

[re=493082]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Ah, but like all things in fashion, they will come back. My college son is mad for hats (though he has, as of yet, neither boater nor porkpie), and now for suspenders, too.

maven January 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Did anyone look at the comments there? Look at this one, yikes…:

“If I wasn’t doing this job, I’d be out there with the tea partiers,” Steele recently told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.

Yes, I’m sure the teabaggers would welcome him to their party. (links to this:
January 11th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

proudgrampa January 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm


Oh, Mammy. Don’ flimflam me, Mammy!

PickneyPinchback January 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

My eyes! My eyes! Ohhhh, it buuuuuuurns!

Papas got a brand new teabag January 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

10 to 1 he had a showmance with the guy that played sky masterson

TCDang January 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Surely I am not the only one to recognize the plaid/straw hat flair of Outkast’s Andre 3000 here:

BigDupa January 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Isn’t that the guy who sold stereos in “Boogie Nights?” or did he mug a young Joe Biden and steal his car sales uniform?

Escape Goat Nation January 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

This photo is taken out of context.
Howard University requires all incoming Freshmen to take White Studies.
This is simply a photo of Mr. Steele in his White Studies class.

PrinceRoy January 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I have just three questions for this so-called “Michael Steele”:

1) Did you once get busy in a Burger King bathroom?

2) Has anyone ever said you look like M.C. Hammer on crack?

3) Is your name pronounced with an umpty?

Thought so.

maximumneanderthal January 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Why am I hearing Cleavon Little singing “I get no kick from champagne….” when I look at that pic? What happened to a good ‘ole n***** workin’ song?
“Oh, dey Campdown ladies sing dis song… (fade)

JadedDIssonance January 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

He has such articulate fingers!

teratologram January 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm


Capitol Hillbilly January 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm

[re=493027]Cape Clod[/re]: “He made his home in, that fish ab-do-men ” … Ira Gershwin’s crowning achievement.

Prommie January 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm

[re=493082]SayItWithWookies[/re]: The porkpies are also frequently seen on Joisey Guidos, who associate them with the young Frank Sinatra. The porkpie is a fine hat, but suffers from a tarnished reputation stemming from the fact that any time you see a porkpie hat, you are almost certain to see an asshole standing beneath it.

Prommie January 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

[re=493109]boyhowdy[/re]: Styrofoam boaters used to be common as dirt on some holiday or another, way back in the 60s and 70s, I don’t remember now whether it was New Years Eve or Saint Patricks Day or some such other shit, but the tradition was for styrofoam boaters to be passed out to one and all. Its strange, I never noticed before that for some reason this no longer happens. When did it stop?

Red Zeppelin January 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Well I think this proves that he doesn’t have the negroid dialect except when he wants to, like for a great old classic racist showtune.

assistant/atlas January 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm

It’s going to be a good day. I can just feel it.

God bless Michael Steele.

S.Luggo January 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm

[re=493068]montyburns4prez[/re]: But how will it play in Honolulu at the RNC convention?

queeraselvis v 2.0 January 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm

[re=493170]Prommie[/re]: Boaters died in the 80s, when preppy came back in style, and everybody wanted to look as though they graduated from Sweet Briar and had a cottage on the Vineyard. See also pads, shoulder.

boyhowdy January 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm

[re=493170]Prommie[/re]: When did it stop? “And why” is the obvious twin question. But seriously, I always thought that “straw boater” was redundant. Styrofoam? I missed that. (BTW, I knew it was a boater, I just wanted to get a hat discussion going. I love hats.)

boyhowdy January 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

[re=493197]boyhowdy[/re]: “I love hats”–the more usual prompt being “fedora or homburg?”

Cape Clod January 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

[re=493082]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Ah, but the porkpie hat looked great on those eighties English Ska bands like the English Beat.

doloras January 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

[re=493104]Polisurgist[/re]: Are you seriously suggesting that Michael Steele has a mangina that blazes with light? If so, pix plz.

desertwind January 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Wouldn’t it be fun to still have Steve Gilliard around?

Red Zeppelin January 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm

You can now by porkpies in Target (soon, Wal-Mart, no doubt) so they are definitely no longer “with-it”

JMP January 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm

[re=493170]Prommie[/re]: Oh, I still see a number of them every St. Patrick’s day, usually with a green trim with a paper shamrock sticking out. But maybe that’s just in this city where half the white folks are “Irish” (read: a couple great-parents were Irish; they’re just regular old white Catholics).

AnnieGetYourFun January 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

[re=493170]Prommie[/re]: It was New Year’s, and I think once novelty sunglasses that became a viable option in 1980 (can’t look through a 7, can you?) replaced them.

St. Patrick’s Day is for plastic green bowlers. And vomit.

boyhowdy January 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

[re=493250]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: And here I thought St. Paddy’s day was for singing that crazy “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” hymn that catches all the new folks so very off-balance. Have I missed something?

problemwithcaring January 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

This picture pretty much spells the end of the one with him and the dog, right?

wallythepug January 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Mr. Bojangles, dance.

crookedE January 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

That is an extremely well-executed Blingee.

coolcatdaddy January 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Amazing … twenty years later and a few pounds more, he still manages to use the exact same expression in photos to try and convey that’s he’s “cool”.

Takes practice, me thinks.

notreallyhelping January 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

But is that Steele’s knee or someone else’s shoulder in the lower right corner of the frame? If it’s his knee, he was whoopin’ it! Goin’ for it! Yeah! (Christ, I’m dizzy now.)

And shortly after the picture was taken, he fell down.

lochnessmonster January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm

[re=493015]FlownOver[/re]: With Blingee!

populucious January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Why it’s the Model T Ford made the trouble,
made the people wanna go, wanna get, wanna get,
wanna get up and go seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve,
fourteen, twenty-two, twenty-three miles to the county seat!

Which I believe will be the RNC’s platform in 2010.

keepintime January 12, 2010 at 8:41 pm

They misspelled “duncey”. Steele is too dense to realize he’s no more the RNC’s Chairman than GW was really ever the president. Word is he’s been gettin’ uppity with his own GOP critics, too. Told ‘em to fire him, or shut up if they didn’t like the way he was runnin’ things. Ha! Guess he thinks they won’t get all lickered up and lynch his dumb ass on some dark and stormy night.

sleptwithyetti January 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm

My heart’s strings are tangled about Alabam me.
I’m a commin’ Sorry that I made you wait,
I’m a commin’ Hopin’ pray I’m not too late
Oh Oh Oh Mammy Mammy, I’d walk a million miles
For one of those smiles My Mammmmmmmm———

Al rocked!

Pat Pending January 13, 2010 at 3:32 am

SOOO late to this party, but OMG! OMG-OMG-OMG!!!! SHREEEEEIK!!!!!!

Now, lemme see him cake-walk…

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