For the last six years, Clover Hope has blessed Jezebel with her hilarious, unfaltering, deviously quiet presence, writing brilliant piece after brilliant piece so stealthily—she works hard, only speaks when she has something to say, and never, ever brags despite having more than enough reason to—you’re not ready when they hit you. And so it is perfectly fitting that in the end, on her last day at this site (sob) when it is traditional for current and former staffers to roast our departing colleagues, Clover ended up reverse-roasting us all by being so stand-up and admirable that she is basically unroastable, a compliment and complaint levied at this assignment by approximately 80 percent of respondents.
What is there possibly to roast Clover about? Her inherent sense of grace and confidence with words and, more generally, in the world? Her thoughtfulness and care with coverage and her coworkers and friends? Her pithy wit, a silent killer? That whole Beyoncé shit? I do not possibly have an answer—Clover and I were hired here at Jezebel on the same day in 2014 and we were friends before that, and I cannot fathom not having her around as a trusted colleague for nine hours a day every day, another example of Clover doing the reverse-roast. But it was a question I posed to the many people who love and admire her, and so they gave it a try. Goodbye to Clover Hope, the irreplaceable. —Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Editor in Chief
You saps. You dupes. You absolute sheeple. Can no one see the truth about Clover? Her modesty, talent, hard work: all of it’s clearly a cover for something very fucked up. Does no one think it’s weird how good she is at keeping secrets? No one? I mean, I’ve talked to Clover about gummi candy more than I’ve talked to her about her apparent friendship with Beyonce? This woman has a duffel bag in the closet with a body in it, several fake passports, and a map of the Bavarian wilderness, and you can’t convince me otherwise. Congrats to Clover on her year of success and her soon-to-be-executed plan of getting away with a grisly string of murders and then faking her own death.
I would literally never dare to even attempt to roast Clover as she is the coolest person I’ve ever met. This is an impossible assignment. No thank you.
I know we’re supposed to roast Clover but it’s impossible to roast someone who is so wildly talented. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Clover who is both generous and smart while also being the person most likely to (rightly, probably) drag you across our sitewide Slack. She is a quiet genius and her presence will be greatly missed at Jezebel!
Unfortunately, Clover is nearly impossible to roast. She only ever writes things that are smart or funny, has never done anything embarrassing/uncool that I know of, is good at everything she does (including original illustrations), and is named like a character who would win the Hunger Games. (And Clover Hope would win the Jezebel Hunger Games—we decided this quite easily back in 2014.) I’m excited for her next chapter, and for her to casually mention over cocktails a few years from now that she was actually ghostwriting speeches for Greta Thunberg this whole time, didn’t she mention that? Weird that she didn’t think to mention that. See you at the next #TeedraHive meeting, Clove.
P.S. Here are some perfect Clover blogs that I think about often.
It’s a devastating and blatantly unfair blow that Clover is leaving us, but now I’ll always be able to say I have mutuals with Beyoncé. Still doesn’t make it right.
Clover is one of the smartest, most professional, most unflappable people I’ve worked with in my tenure at this website. She is extremely funny, the type of person who quietly gets off the best joke of the conversation. She is talented at keeping plants not just alive, but thriving. She has quite! literally! co-written a movie with Beyoncé. I have to tell you, she is well-nigh unroastable, and honestly, I have never been that good at these roasts. So rather than trying to get cute, I will simply say that Clover rules, we will miss her, and when she inevitably attends Hollywood award shows in the near future, I hope she winks at the camera for us (and also slips us the good gossip on background).
I’m going to miss a lot of things about Beyoncé’s best friend Clover: Her perspective as a well of pop culture history, her invaluable support and insight as a Black editor, her love of plants and fancy cocktails, and her very chill voice. But more than anything, I’m going to miss tormenting her with my unpopular food takes. While most of her reaction to my food opinions (truths, if you will) are lost in the bowels of Slack and old screenshots, I will treasure her recent reaction to my hatred of Pringles forever.
I can’t wait to see what Clover cooks up for us next. As long as it’s not mint chocolate, Pringles, or Skittles, I’ll happily consume it.
Clover is one of my all-time favorite writers, a master of subtlety who is funnier than really anyone and consistently exactly herself in a way that is special and rare. She can be searing, and it is always perfect and deserved, such as when she likened Iggy Azalea’s rap voice to “a distinct high-pitched karaoke effect, like a Lonely Island parody,” or when I left Jezebel and she DM-ed Ansel Elgort for comment (he did not reply). She is by far the least annoying person working in media and I don’t know anyone who more fully deserves all of the wonderful things and plants that are coming her way.
Clover will tell you that the most iconic blog Jezebel has ever published, Actors Who Are Bad at Acting, ruined her Twitter mentions and email inbox. Perhaps that’s true, and perhaps she will never work with Amy Adams, ever. But really, couldn’t it also be said that Amy Adams will never get to work with Clover? I mean, I don’t see Amy Adams getting poached by Beyoncé.
I know this is supposed to be a roast, but Clover was the best of fucking Jezebel. There’s so little shit to actually roast her about! OK, I’m lying. If I were to get extremely critical, I’d mention that she has a tendency of sometimes killing her plants. Or that she often took all the “literally”s—and excessive fucking swear words—out of my blogs. And there’s that still that unresolved disagreement between us. Clover, you’re brilliant, and incredible, but I still think you’re wrong: Love Is Blind literally sucked! It did! I can’t keep fighting with you about this.
But you were also the first editor I ever really wrote for at Jezebel, and I will never thank you enough for the blessings you shared with me, like the freedom to express myself, or your rare skill at crafting headlines. (“Bust Down Ivankiana” will forever be the GOAT.) I guess it could be said that you were “the heartbeat of next” all along. Jesus Christ, I’m gonna miss you so fucking much!
I always liked Clover well enough but there is something ominous about a person who can keep an office plant so healthy for so long.
One of the first things you find out about Clover is that she speaks very quietly. The first few times I met her I was intimidated because of how softly she spoke and how everyone leaned in to listen to her every word. She is so quiet, in fact, that I’m certain I’ve only heard half of the things she’s ever said, which is a huge loss for me, personally. When I finally brought this up to Clover, she replied in the most devastating way possible. “Ha ha yea everyone says that but I never notice. I mean, I can hear me.”
Clover has only gotten scarier as our relationship has developed. Here are some examples of how she has responded to my pitches over the years:
And now? Clover is leaving media and never working again because she won $30,000 in the lottery. Goodbye Clover.
Here are some things you should know about Clover: she absolutely unleashed ants onto writer Clio Chang’s apartment, no matter how much she denies it. She is contractually obligated to return to Jezebel in the future to publish her already written, one-off hit piece about [REDACTED CHILD ACTOR] when they turn 18. The same week she made the accurate claim that Amelia Earhart was one of the most famous people ever (“people still talk about her”) news reports popped up that a new search had begun for her plane (psychic much?). We could be in the grimiest Times Square sports bar where the drink menu is limited to Miller Lite, Bud Light, and literal dishwater and she’ll still order a mint julep or fancy mezcal situation, because taste doesn’t sleep.
In her time at Jezebel, Clover has been an intimidatingly cool, excellent editor and GMG Union rep, even if it took her far too long to come around to Nic Cage. I am going to miss her and think she’s a big idiot for leaving, but I offer this blurry image of an omelette I made her as a peace offering:
Before Clover watered my plants there were no ants in my apartment. I get back and my apartment is full of ants. That’s all I’ll say about that.
One time, I was working on a piece of criticism for Clover. After a few rounds of edits, I realized that I didn’t like what I was writing and that what it concerned was probably best left for therapy, so I asked her if we could kill the piece. She said yes, no questions asked—didn’t even pressure me once or guilt me for not giving her a promised piece of content from which to mine views! So, I guess by media #girlboss standards, she’s abysmal! Which is the only possible framework I can think to use if I’m gonna try to roast her, because by editor-who’s-also-a-good-person standards, she’s incredible.
The problem with Clover is that she is simply impossible to roast. She’s a joy to be around, the perfect combination of devastatingly mean when necessary and huge-hearted. Thrillingly talented, yet cool about it. It’s infuriating, really. What I’m trying to say is that Clover Hope is amazing. Yeah. She is actually the single greatest employee of her generation. I’m gonna tell you what: You hire Clover Hope and she does not meet—nay, exceed—every one of your wildest expectations, then you can hold me, Kelly Lee Stout personally and financially responsible. OK? OK.
Clover is brilliant, impeccably organized, composed in a crisis, quietly deranged, and possesses the rare kind of steady cool that allows her to say things like “I am learning to cook” and “I am a co-writer with Beyoncé on Black Is King” with the same nonchalance. She’s stylish and generous with good advice. I’ve only seen her get mad maybe once. I love Clover and am grateful for her friendship.
But Clover is also someone who, in a diner upstate, sipping a juice during breakfast, casually told a story about the time she woke up with a hangover and decided to call an ambulance to take her to a hospital that was a couple of blocks away from her apartment. In my imagination, the EMTs carried her down the stairs of her place in a stretcher, but she insists they just walked next to her. When the ambulance arrived at the hospital, in what must have been mere seconds, they told her she was fine—just hungover. Soon enough she went home, which again was just a couple of blocks away. It was truly the most insane shit I ever heard.
It’s hard to come up with the right words to explain Clover. Everyone knows she’s an amazing writer and editor, but I’ve appreciated the calm she has brought to the day-to-day stress of working in media. Also, do you know anyone else who can turn a Housewives recap into a work of art? Saying goodbye is so hard, but I refuse to be sad because it feels so good to see truly amazing people succeed. She’s been the Gayle to our Oprah and I honestly don’t know a better person!
It’s hard to roast Clover because Clover roasts all of us every day by being Clover. She is both the funniest person I know and the driest, meaning sometimes she will say something and then you go home and wash your face and get in bed and realize, “Oh no, I’ve been murdered by Clover.” Other times you will zoom with her and she will say, “Time for dinner,” and you will say, “What are you having?” and she will say, “Just a lamb leg I slow-roasted for 20 hours over an open flame, ha ha I’m learning to cook in quarantine.” And she does that while unostentatiously keeping a small forest, one cat, and **y****’s career alive? It’s sickening. I hope one day that she will allow me to intern (unpaid) for her.
There has been no shortage of un-roastable personalities to pass through this terrible and truly archaic goodbye ritual, a testament to the fact that this group of websites has still managed to hold onto, for however long, a truly exemplary group of people. Clover is one of those folks. I mean, what do you even roast her for? For how well she takes care of like, 200 plants? For convincing you that you may look as good as her in her minimalist-chic summer dresses and knit hats (you won’t, don’t try)? For working with [redacted]??? She is humble, gorgeous, casually brilliant and always encouraging, but her best virtue—the moment I knew Clover Hope was a cut above the rest—was when she left Brooklyn one time to meet up in Harlem for brunch (pre-pandemic, chill) which is literally not a thing any of the other raggedy Brooklynite bitches I call friends have ever done for me.
Every person I have ever spoken to about Clover has asked me if she is as intimidating as she seems. The answer is always yes, if “intimidating” is code for “demonstrably more talented than the dummy asking the question.” I hope she hires me in the future. Was this a roast?
Clover Hope is one of the smartest, funniest, most talented people I’ve ever had the honor of working with, let alone calling a friend. Her robust body of work—from thoughtful and studied criticism and commentary to rousing screen narratives—is far from a mere pleasure to consume; it’s an inspiration. In all aspects of life, Clover chooses her words carefully and wisely, reminding you that brevity truly is the soul of wit. I’d love to link out to some notable work by Clover that has moved me, impressed me, or made me think about an artist in a way I never had before, but I’m having trouble remembering her greatest hits at the moment. Honestly though, just Google her. You’ll see what she’s done. I know there was this profile she wrote recently of what’s her name, the lady, you’d know her. Anyway, it was good and you’ll for sure find it if you scroll enough. You can also catch a movie she co-wrote with Kelly Rowland on either Peacock or Quibi. Just try both of those. Again, Google is your friend. What I’m trying to say is that everything Clover Hope touches turns to gold, although nothing she accomplishes in the future will ever outdo her masterwork:
Clover’s biggest flaw is that she is, regrettably, extremely unroastable, and as her friend this drives me crazy—but not quite as crazy as her habit to “bury the lede,” as they say. More than once, I have hung out with Clover droning on and on about things like where I want to travel next or decoding a dumb media subtweet while she listened attentively, only to learn, the next day, that she has just published a cover story about Beyoncé, or she is writing a book, or she is teaching a course at NYU. I fully expect that one day, after a nice, relaxing session of drawing trees in the park together, I will discover that she just won the Pulitzer Prize—but told no one. This is the most Clover thing I can imagine, and I love her for it.
Roasting Clover is a difficult task because she has made herself unroastable: she is extremely smart, she is the funniest person I know, and, also, she is Beyoncé’s best friend. Difficult to even TRY to roast someone who has been in the presence of greatness because one false move and a fleet of quiet assassins dressed in Ivy Park will disappear you forever. In any case, Clover is doing what I feared the most and leaving to become an interior decorator/cat whisperer/increasingly more famous person, which is great for Clover and terrible for the rest of us. Clover, Garrol will miss you and so will I.
Given the unending number of words I’ve read and forgotten in my lifetime, I think about Jia Tolentino’s Hunger Games blog featuring the Jezebel staff with extreme regularity. For those unfamiliar, in it, Tolentino deftly breaks down several possible fight-to-the-death scenarios for the staff as it existed in November 2014, and—despite none of them having yet come to pass—her characterization of Clover Hope feels, after all these years, the most accurate. One example: “She changes her mind about the alliance, kills Kelly with a pistol and and goes off to find Kate instead. ‘Bitch seems crafty,’ she murmurs, with a smirk,” Tolentino writes at one point, imbuing the perfect visual of Clover right down to the soft way she’d murmur that sentence to herself. The last, most realistic, option hits hard: “Clover, who has just been standing there watching, wins.” She always does, down to every last plant she’s managed to keep alive in her apartment as all ours struggle.
Clover, like many of my former colleagues, is unroastable, because she is inherently good. But more importantly, and specific to Clover, she is unroastable because she is preternaturally dry. If you roast the dry you end up with flames. Clover is capable of exposing the absurdity of something or dressing down with a single, sharply observed sentence. Her humor is so wry it would never even signal itself as comedy. I have always interpreted this sensibility as deep, enviable confidence—so much that it doesn’t bother to tell what it’s showing. This is the sweet spot of expressing self-worth, and expression in general and it is why I often specifically attempt to emulate Clover’s voice when I’m trying to be brief and funny. The reason I always fail in this endeavor is that there is only one Clover. She leaves a void that could never be filled.