Earlier this week, we brought you the story of Napster founder Sean Parker’s multi-million dollar, Lord Of The Rings-themed wedding from 2013, and its failed offer to pay actor Ian McKellen $1.5 million to officiate in-character as Gandalf the wizard. (The thespian’s dry response: “I’m sorry, Gandalf doesn’t do weddings”.) And the story might have concluded there, except this is The Lord Of The Rings, where there’s always another ending lurking in the wings. And so Parker’s offer caught the ire last night of perhaps the only public figure who’s a bigger Tolkien nerd than him: Late Show host Stephen Colbert.
Yes, it’s the return of LoTR Nerd Stephen Colbert, one of our favorite figures in all of modern pop culture. It’s not just that Colbert’s deeply informed about the flame of Anor and the “mother-trucking Balrog”—anybody with a teleprompter and a browser page open to One Wiki To Rule Them All could fake that part. But he’s clearly so passionate about his Silmarils and his Shelobs, and so willing to geek out remorselessly on national TV, breathlessly berating Parker for failing to properly recognize the majesty of his favorite made-up magic man, that it manages to come off as enthusiastically endearing, as usual. (Also, if there was ever an appropriate time for nerds to angrily list long strings of Middle-Earth shit in someone else’s face, chastising Sean Parker seems like it would probably be it.)