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Stephen Colbert holds dance party after Daft Punk pulled from show

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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Stephen Colbert pours one out for his would-be musical guests Daft Punk on The Colbert Report. (Comedy Central)

Comedian and political satirist Stephen Colbert makes no secret his love of music on his late-night program The Colbert Report. But after a contractual conflict that scuttled a guest appearance by Daft Punk, Colbert unleashed his ire onto MTV and his parent company Viacom.

Daft Punk, the French electronic music duo, was originally scheduled to perform on the show Tuesday night as part of Colbert's annual music festival StePhest Colbchella - a play on the Coachella Music and Arts Festival.

Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Colbert, MTV had an exclusive agreement with the band to make no television appearances before the MTV Video Music Awards later this month.

Colbert cracked open a bottle of bourbon and explained the situation to his disappointed viewers.

"Apparently, and this is a deeply held secret, so...shhh, Daft Punk are going to make a surprise appearance on the MTV video music awards, spoiler alert," said Colbert, who said no one told him of the exclusivity agreement until the day before Daft Punk's planned appearance.

Colbert discussed the conflict with his usual in-character candour, punning off Viacom president Van Toffler, dubbing him Van Wilder and Flan Cobbler during his eight-minute opening rant. He said he understood MTV and Viacom's decision with his usual style: a biting series of back-handed compliments.

"If Daft Punk were on my show, people wouldn't tune in to see them on the VMAs almost a month from now," said Colbert. "That's how music works: you love a band, you see them once, then never want to see them again."

"That why after the Beatles went on Ed Sullivan, they dropped off the face of the earth. I think Ringo ended up working as a train conductor."


Colbert Dances to Daft Punk's Get Lucky by daftworld

Instead, Colbert ended the episode with a dance-off segment played to Daft Punk's single Get Lucky.

In a series of backstage segments, Colbert sings and dances with actors and entertainers including Hugh Laurie, Jeff Bridges and Jimmy Fallon. Colbert dances on a disco background with Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston - Cranston in a brown plaid suit, Colbert in blue spandex and an ill-fitting basketball jersey.

Singer Robin Thicke filled in afterward, performing his song "Blurred Lines."

Colbert appears to enjoy abounding freedom in lambasting his parent company Viacom, speaking candidly despite staying in character as not-quite-there right wing pundit Colbert (hold the hard "t"). 

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Lines from what Colbert claims is an actual email sent to him by Viacom president Van Toffler. (Comedy Central)

Pitchfork's Evan Minsker speculates that this might have been an elaborate plan by MTV to promote Daft Punk's appearance on its upcoming awards show from the start. Whatever the intent, Colbert comes out of this episode as smooth as his dance moves are awkward.

Canadian viewers will be well aware that most stories online have linked to Comedy Central's video player, which is restricted to Americans only. Perhaps adding insult to injury, multiple uploads of the segment have been removed from YouTube.

Tags: Arts & Entertainment

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