Now that The Colbert Report has come to an end, we figured it was a good time to celebrate the exploits of one of pop culture's biggest geeks. Though Stephen Colbert has decent cred when it comes to Marvel Comics and Star Wars, his first love has always been The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the other fine works by J.R.R. Tolkien.
For those who fear the dreaded "This Video is Not Available in Your Country," we've provided alternative YouTube links where we can.
Gimmicky guest stars have been a staple of talk shows even before ALF's reign over The Tonight Show, but this one was something special. In bringing Smaug into The Colbert Report studio, the WETA Workshop really went above and beyond for their longtime friend. Not only is the concept fantastic, but the execution is exceptional -- you really believe that a Benedict Cumberbatch dragon would vote for Rand Paul.
In a video sent to the director of The Hobbit, Colbert laid out an obscenely detailed query, the details of which will actually evaporate from your brain as you watch. Surprisingly, Peter Jackson's answer is short, and in one part.
This is a great example of Colbert's genuine fandom -- he's not just a Tolkien buff, he's damn near a scholar. His immense breadth of knowledge and respect for the canon means that he can speak authoritatively about elf hierarchy without a hint of irony.
The Colbert Report
When the first of three Hobbit films hit theaters, Colbert went all-out, transforming his studio into Hobbiton, with Middle-Earth-based guest stars throughout the week. The soaring high of excitement of Colbert's hype followed by deafening indifference of the movie itself was a disappointment rollercoaster matched only by the Star Wars prequels.
During the same week as the Smaug interview, Colbert's makeup-pancaked face hit newstands next to Khloe Kardashian and the newly-disturbing stare of Bill Cosby. The costumes are spot-on, which makes seeing that classic clown mug atop those shoulders all the more unsettling. The Misty Mountains don't have valleys this uncanny.
We've added video and some pictures below, but there's more over yonder.