Conan O’Brien brought The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour to Radio City Music Hall Tuesday night for the first of two performances. By far, the evening’s highlight was the surprise appearance of Stephen Colbert, who came out onstage to rib O’Brien for leaving New York to do The Tonight Show in Hollywood. You’re gonna wanna watch the audience-filmed video below. If you can’t view the video, we’ve got your play-by-play.
Their verbal tiff quickly escalated: “We’re at Radio City, there’s only one possible way to fight here,” Colbert said with his face literally in O’Brien’s face. “Anything that gets us to separate our noses and lips,” O’Brien answered. “How about a good old-fashioned dance-off?” Colbert suggested. Cue “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
I would say Colbert was winning until he ruptured his hamstring. He was about to admit defeat when — “Don’t you dare, Stephen Colbert! Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare!” It was the voice of Jon Stewart booming from the back of the theater. (Even those of us in the last row of the second mezzanine who couldn’t see him knew it immediately.) Stewart walked down an aisle to the stage — wearing a red satin shirt, black pants, and a gold cummerbund — as the audience exploded into a standing ovation. The fan reaction caught on this video says it best: “Holy f—ing s—!”
“I will be your legs,” Stewart said.
“Jon Stewart, how did you know that I was wounded?” Colbert asked.
“Stephen Colbert, you know that I feel what you feel. All you have to do is think about my help, and I will be there dressed rather gayly,” Stewart said.
Stewart asked for a beat to finish the job, and more dancing ensued… until Andy Richter came out and shot Stewart. Then, we got a touching death scene that ended with Colbert kneeling by Stewart and saying, “Jon, before you go…. Can I have 11 o’clock?” Colbert then dragged what O’Brien referred to as “the dead Mexican Jon Stewart” off the stage as Stewart flashed a smile and a pair of finger guns.
All I can say is that the gloriously unrehearsed bit by the future time-slot competitors makes me wish my dream of Stewart at 11 p.m., Colbert at 11:30 p.m., and O’Brien at midnight on Comedy Central had come true. I love New York. And how exciting is it to see Colbert in jeans?
Another fan video of just the dance-off: