Last night, Brian Eno made his much-publicized appearance on The Colbert Report. As it turned out, though, he wasn’t the only musician in the building. Michael Stipe came out at the end to be permanently installed on Colbert’s new “Rock and Roll Shelf of Fame.” Without R.E.M. to front, he’s gonna have a lot of time on his hands. Eno soon popped back out for a “Lean on Me” sing-along.
We’ve seen Friday reimagined as a dark narrative about loneliness. We’ve seen it parodied in songs like Thursday. We’ve even seen it played by an orchestra. Leave it to Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon to pay homage by doing the craziest thing of all: adding more fun.
The back story is slightly complicated, but the important thing is that Fallon’s fans were able to raise $26,000 for charity, forcing Colbert to come on the show and sing the maligned Rebecca Black “song.” Colbert starts by crooning alone, on a pitch black stage, his voice choked with emotion. This is the performance one might expect – as it seems completely unexpected. Of course Colbert would come on the show and totally make fun of the song by turning it into a broken-hearted, country-tinged love song.
Don and Phil Everly boast two of the most beautiful voices in popular music history. Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello do not. That didn’t stop them from busting out a surprisingly tender “All I Have to Do Is Dream” on The Colbert Report last night. “I’ll be back on Monday, but until then, I’ll see you in my dreams,” Colbert says. The audience seems pleasantly confused.