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Stephen Colbert Turns Daft Punk Lemons Into Star-Studded Lemonade

Submitted by on August 8, 2013 – 8:08 amOne Comment

Stephen Colbert‘s hit show The Colbert Report suffered a rare setback this week when his own parent company screwed him out of a much-hyped appearance by Daft Punk. But instead of ranting and complaining about it (well, in addition to that), Colbert threw together one of best segments ever to rock out to the French duo’s summer hit, “Get Lucky.”

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The clip features appearances from Hugh Laurie, Jeff Bridges, The Rockettes, Charlie Rose and the cast of Breaking Bad, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Matt Damon, the judges and audience of America’s Got Talent, and even a bearded Jon Stewart via webcam from the Middle East. It’s almost hard to believe that this entire segment was thrown together in just over a day (Colbert says MTV intervened at 2pm on Monday, and this episode would have filmed on Tuesday evening). It’s possible that some of the appearances were already booked- maybe they were going to appear along with Daft Punk, or maybe Colbert just keeps stock footage of himself prancing with celebrities.

Either way, I’m sure that some of the celebrities appeared on a moment’s notice to help out a friend in need, and that energy made it even better. Hugh Laurie’s slightly-out-of-synch choreography and Jeff Bridges’ clear discomfort made the whole thing more human. Maybe this was better than just watching two guys in helmets play synthesizers.

The first part of the episode was pretty entertaining too. Colbert offered a rare (and risky) glimpse inside a backstage spat. As he explains, he had booked Daft Punk to appear on his show on Tuesday- and had been paid a large amount by Hyundai for sponsorship of the event. But at the last minute, the head of MTV intervened, saying the network had exclusive rights to Daft Punk’s TV appearances leading up to their secret appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards at the end of the month (which is no longer a secret, thanks to Colbert).

Colbert is at his best when he is genuinely befuddled and frustrated by stupidity and incompetence, walking a fine line between zaniness and scorn. And Tuesday’s show was definitely one of his best, Daft Punk or no Daft Punk.

What did you think?

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