Nothing is too over-the-top for Stephen Colbert, who last night featured Paul McCartney on a special one-hour episode of The Colbert Report, which opened with a segment titled “Stephen Colbert’s Tribute to Having Paul McCartney on His Show, Featuring Paul McCartney, With Special Guest Stephen Colbert.”
And what a show it was. In addition to bits on the federal government’s efforts to collect Americans’ phone and e-mail records and New York City’s inexplicably controversial bike-share initiative, Colbert featured an interview with McCartney, who also played six songs. “Tonight I am sporting some serious Norwegian wood,” Colbert said at the start.
McCartney talked in the interview about starting over with Wings after the Beatles split in 1970, explained to Colbert why he recorded Band on the Run in Lagos, Nigeria (“for the climate and the disease,” the singer joked), the Beatles’ artistic evolution and instructed the host on the proper way to pronounce “schedule.”
Then he performed “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” followed after a break by “Hi, Hi, Hi” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” Later, he performed “Listen to What the Man Said,” then “Lady Madonna.” He stuck around to record a web exclusive performance of “Birthday,” which he dedicated to “anyone who has a birthday during the entire year.”