5. Colbert's Hobbit cameo

It might be common knowledge now, but how many of you caught Stephen Colbert when you saw The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug in theaters? If you blinked, you might have missed his dashing eyepatch in a quick Laketown scene. Colbert's only on for a second, but his goblinesque scowl is unmistakable. You can see Colbert dish on what he calls his "peak geek" on Late Night with Seth Meyers


6. Fan-casting Lord of the Rings with politicians

No YouTube version, but instead here's a puppy's floppy ears being blown around by an air vent for no reason

Colbert doesn't need a movie release to make copious Lord of the Rings references -- any time Tolkien comes up in politics, he's on it like stank on Gollum. He's taken bureaucrats to task for misrepresenting the Eye of Sauron and mixing up Satans and Balrogs; an especially big highlight came after Senator John McCain called the Tea Party a bunch of Hobbits. What followed was a marvelous drubbing of the idea that simultaneously acted as an accurate fan-cast of The Lord of the Rings saga.  includes President Obama as Sauron, Eric Cantor and John Boehner as Frodo and Sam. Upon seeing the sketch, Vice President Joe Biden called "dibs on those bitchin' eagles."


7. A pre-Report Colbert pestered Viggo Mortensen on The Daily Show 

Skip to 4:25, or check out this YouTube mirror

It's not like you suddenly become a superfan when you get your own TV show. Case in point: About a month before the Colbert Report started, Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen stopped by The Daily Show. Near the end of their chat, Jon Stewart brought up a taped monologue voiced by one Stephen Colbert, reciting an in-depth history of Aragorn with more detail than a Wikipedia entry. Stewart cut it off prematurely, but not before making millions wish for a Lord of the Rings audiobook narrated by Stephen Colbert.


8. Schooling James Franco

James Franco has made some poor life decisions like anyone else, but none are so foolhardy as to challenge Colbert's Tolkien trivia skills. As you can see above, the first time they played the game, Franco was soundly trounced. Two years passed, and finally another showdown was at hand. Franco was out for blood.

You come at the First High King Elessar, you best not miss.