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Stephen Colbert Interviewed Smaug the Dragon and It was FREAKIN’ AWESOME

It’s funny, because just the other day Benedict Cumberbatch was saying on the Nerdist Podcast (yes that very one!) that he was hoping to do a bit more comedy in his career. Well, he can rest assured that his vocal appearance as Smaug on Thursday night’s Colbert Report was exactly that. But I mean, would a dragon yelling the word “motherf–kaaaaaaa!” be anything else but utter hilarity?

In a seriously impressive and masterful visual feat, Colbert worked with the brilliant cavalry Peter Jackson employs to bring the dragon to life. It took ages to pull off (we’re going to assume — just listen to the exhaustive list of contributors for that 7-ish minute segment at the end of the show!) but the results were truly spectacular. Shattering the set around him, Smaug’s entrance managed to both confuse and amaze us: was it a puppet in-house? CGI out the wazoo? Actual real-life magic come to life in a small New York City cable faux-news studio? More likely than not it was a little bit of all three (c’mon, Colbert: we’re going to need that behind the scenes reel tout de suite).

Achievements aside, the whole interview itself was a joy to behold. Colbert’s a big fan of all things Tolkien, and going tet-a-tet with the fire drake of the Third Age is no small feat (particularly if you don’t have a ring that grants invisibility just lying around).

Plus, like we said before: there’s that whole hilarious Cumberbatch business as an aural bonus to this visual feast.

What do you think of the segment? Leave your thoughts (and accolades because SERIOUSLY well done you guys, holy jeez) in the comments.

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  1. Teresa Bittinger says:

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  2. Vince says:

    I thought from screenshots that they may have made a giant animatronic head. The VFX CGI work here is wonderful, certainly… but a part of me is disappointed nonetheless. I wish SOMEONE would’ve made a huge animatronic Smaug head now :'(—Does anyone remember the huge puppet dragon from The Jim Henson Hour episode, “The Monster Maker”? It was called, the Ultra Gorgon. It’s still one of the most impressive large-scale animatronics you’ll ever going to see. Would’ve been awesome to see Smaug show up as something like that. 

  3. Justin says:

    I can’t blame Smaug for turning down the role in Sherlock. He would be playing second fiddle to Cumberbatch. 

  4. Diana says:

    I’d like to know what the in house audience saw. I assume they had monitors to see Smaug, but did they really break through the set?

  5. sarah says:

    He started this week big with The President and ended bigger (in every way) with Smaug the dragon. It was fantastic and who knew it took so many people to make one 7 min interview but it was worth it

  6. nate says:

    awkward interview, but killer effects