Stephen Colbert Explains Daft Punk’s Absence

Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report was supposed to receive the legendary electro-pop duo as its guests, but according to the show’s host, getting them on the program proved to be an incredibly difficult task.

Speaking on Paul Mercurio’s podcast, Stephen Colbert expressed candidly the ins and outs about the time period that led up to Daft Punk’s scheduled performance, revealing that he and his writers were forced to write around the artists’ refusal to talk or perform during their appearance on the show. “They said, ‘Do you want to cancel?’ I said, ‘No, this is an interesting challenge,'” Colbert said of the process, explaining that The Colbert Report was planning a six-minute monologue while the group nodded in silence alongside him. Colbert, notoriously known for bringing in anyone willing to “play ball,” hoped to enlist the duo’s manager for a speaking appearance, while riffing on the fact that they refused to perform.

“I wish we could have done this joke. It was: ‘Paul [Hahn, their manager], can I ask you — how do I even know it’s them in the robot outfits, how do I even know it’s them?’ And he goes, ‘Stephen, if it wasn’t really them, they’d be doing the song,'” Colbert relayed.

Daft Punk was reported to have been “uncomfortable” with the gag and requested that Colbert and his writers try again. “It’s playing too much on the idea that they’re not performing as opposed to the joy of them being there,” Colbert recalled. After settling on a new plan of action, the countdown inched towards their impending arrival to the show. But just one day before their New York appearance, Colbert notes that MTV began tinkering around with an idea of their own and became unsure if the network would agree to have them on both programs. “Ultimately, I would say, I understand that the VMAs have got their own rules, and Daft Punk, that’s a big important thing to have done,” Colbert said.

Without a deal in place and hours left to go before showtime, Daft Punk did not appear and Stephen was left without a guest for his show.

You can listen to the full breakdown as Stephen Colbert let all be heard on Paul Mercurio’s podcast, which you can hear below:

Props: The Hollywood Reporter