In its final days, "The Colbert Report" is getting creative with its guest bookings. The Grim Reaper, or "Grimmy," is expected to be the final guest on Dec. 18, but on Thursday, Colbert played host to an even more unusual fictional creation, Smaug the fire-breathing dragon from the "Hobbit" movies.
Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch and animated by the visual-effects people from Weta Digital, the dragon made a dramatic appearance into the "Report" studio, appearing to burst through a wall and intimidate Colbert with his size and fury. He even left the studio in a burning shambles when he departed.
But surprisingly, Colbert was able to draw a lot of insight out of the ancient creature. For instance, Smaug is apparently a Rand Paul guy and a supporter of returning to the gold standard. And he competes with Kelsey Grammer for a lot of roles. He also seemed to be in favor of various "stand your ground" laws following Bilbo's robbery of his lair in the Lonely Mountain.
It's not every day that a fictional, animated dragon makes questionable jokes about current hot-button issues.
With his film, "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies" opening Friday in theaters, Smaug has apparently been doing the publicity rounds in New York City. He told Colbert he'd just eaten the ladies of "The View."
"My, weren't they a feast," he said.
Colbert even teased out a bit of professional dismissal between Smaug and the three youthful dragons on HBO's "Game of Thrones," referring to them as "Khaleesi-lipped lap lizards." And Toothless from the animated "How to Train Your Dragon" movies, who Smaug described as "a captive who allows himself to be ridden by filthy children."
But touchingly, Smaug revealed a more tender side when Colbert insisted on showing a clip of his performance in the movie. Even the fiercest armor-plated dragons have a tender underside. They don't show it often, but that's probably because they need to keep it protected from arrows.
You can watch the entire interview here.