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Jack White helps Stephen Colbert turn your favorite jingles into goth nightmare music

Jack White, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show With Stephen Cobert

On Friday’s Late Show to promote his new album Boarding House Reach, Jack White first spent some poking fun at his image as one of modern rock’s foremost weirdos. Joining Stephen Colbert before his in-studio performance, White amiably goofed on his image as “guy auditioning to take over should Tim Burton have a falling out with Johnny Depp” by singing along with Colbert’s comically bastardized versions of well-known commercial jingles.

Before playing his track “Ice Station Zebra” from Boarding House Reach—an album described, not without admiration, by reviewer Noel Murray as “a lot of dicking around”—White and Colbert crooned their way through a series of earworm ad campaign ditties, with Colbert’s more faithful openings segueing into White’s gamely gloomy Jack White-ized second verses. Especially suitable for the soon-to-be-defunct Toys R Us was White’s addition to the chain’s annoyingly chipper commercial ode to brand-loyal tykes, where White pivoted to a musical tale of dead ghost kids consigned to a toy-less hell for all eternity. Tim Burton, on line one.


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.