Stephen Colbert really, really wanted to hang out with Daft Punk.
So when they cancelled their visit to his show, the comedian decided to blow a secret the band had been keeping – he announced they would be making an appearance at MTV’s Video Music Awards on Aug. 25.
See, Viacom owns both MTV and Comedy Central, which produces The Colbert Report. So when it came to the company’s attention that both networks had arranged to host Daft Punk’s first TV spot since releasing their latest album in May, the musicians chose MTV, despite the fact Colbert said they had been booked on his show for over a month.
So Colbert went on a little rant.
“Apparently – and this is a deeply guarded secret, so shhhh! – Daft Punk are going to make a surprise appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards – spoiler alert. Don’t tell anyone, because fun fact: No one told me until 2 o’clock yesterday,” he said.
In tones dripping with sarcasm, Colbert called out MTV president Van Toffler, reading an alleged e-mail from him that read: “Not sure I can help you with that one. … Checked with my peeps … and they’re feelin’ funky on this one.”
So the real question here is: Was this just a very elaborate publicity stunt?
I have a hard time believing that if Daft Punk’s MTV engagement was truly a surprise, there wouldn’t be any backlash against Colbert for outing the secret. In fact, I don’t think this could be negative in any way: Now Daft Punk lovers are going to make sure they tune in for the show, only there won’t be an epic freak-out when they take the stage in front of thousands of formerly unsuspecting fans.
Colbert, though, was really excited about the duo coming on the show to participate in his “StePhest Colbchella ‘013” celebration. He’d been hyping up the band for over a week and seemed genuinely disappointed when he announced that “Click and Clack” wouldn’t be showing up after all.
It definitely made for entertaining television though – mainly because I have a deep and unnatural love of sarcasm.
“If Daft Punk were on my show, people wouldn’t tune into see them on the VMAs almost a month from now,” Colbert said.
“That’s how music works. You love a band, you see them once, then never want to see them again. That’s 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.”
In lieu of a live Daft Punk performance, Colbert instead danced with Hugh Laurie, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Fallon and Jon Stewart to a recording of Get Lucky, in addition to a last-minute appearance by Robin Thicke, he of Blurred Lines fame. Which sort of made up for the mix-up in the end.