The Late Show host Stephen Colbert is known for his wit and his political satire, but in his first opening monolog, since President Trump was sworn into office, Colbert chose a different field upon which to battle: the field of high fantasy.
Colbert is known as an expert on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Colbert is so knowledgeable about the world of Middle-earth that he once beat Peter Jackson, director of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies, in a Tolkien trivia contest. Colbert even had a cameo in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and was given a prop of Sting, Bilbo Baggins’s sword, from the film.
So when President Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor Stephen Bannon compared Trump-voters to “the working-class hobbits” of Middle-earth, Colbert took exception.
“Hey! Now you’ve gone too far,” Colbert said in his monolog. “You might be the dark media genius behind the biggest electoral upset in American history, you might be playing footsie with neo-Nazis, but now we’re talking Tolkien and that’s a subject I happen to know just a little bit about.”
Colbert then went on to explain exactly why Bannon’s analogy doesn’t make sense. “There is no working class is Hobbiton – it’s an agrarian society. The only working class citizen of Hobbiton is Ted Sandyman, the miller, and he’s the bad guy – he scoffed at Samwise Gamgee, said Bilbo was cracked and allied with Saruman in ‘The Scouring of the Shire.’
“So Steve Bannon, when it comes to Hobbits, maybe you should shut your mouth and listen for a while.”
Colbert clearly had more to say on the subject but showed some restraint in letting the subject lie. The lesson here is do not challenge Colbert on his turf, and his turf is located in the Shire.