Is noted Broadway nerd Stephen Colbert trying to turn The Late Show into a musical?
It was one thing when he was encouraging his guests to sing impromptu little numbers at his desk, like the time he convinced fellow Stephen Sondheim fan Anna Kendrick to join him in a classic Broadway duet from Annie Get Your Gun (the singing starts at 7:28), with harmonies so lovely Kendrick had to fan herself mid-song.
Then there was poor Tom Hiddleston, who turned pale as soon as Colbert suggested he preview his singing from the upcoming I Saw the Light, in which he plays Hank Williams.
"I feel like if you want to see me sing, you should go and see the film," Hiddleston protested, but Colbert, undeterred, launched forth into "I Saw the Light." Hiddleston’s voice may have been a little flat, but he gamely gazed into Colbert’s eyes for the duration of the song anyway.
And on Tuesday, Colbert began branching out from impromptu deskside duets. When Rachel Bloom, the co-executive producer and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, appeared on the show, Colbert had the opportunity not only to cover an old classic but to sing an original number, just like the ones Bloom writes and performs for her show. Obviously he grabbed it with both hands.
The result may not be as charmingly vulgar as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend classics like "The Sexy Getting Ready Song" or "You Stupid Bitch," but it’s enormously fun. "Anything can be a musical, as long as you just sing it!" Bloom proclaims as she and Colbert launch into "an interview / with music, too!" complete with Music Man–style rap breaks.
"Musicals don’t just happen when you’re talking to a guest," Colbert sings — but his previous guests might beg to differ.