Just finished watching what may one day become a classic piece of television history.
On tonight’s Colbert Report, Stephen interviewed Brian Eno and later honored surprise guest Michael Stipe with a “permanent” placement on his rock and roll mantel. He then asked Eno back onstage and the trio launched into an a capella rendition of Lean On Me. At first it seemed cute, and ironic. But it became clear as they went on that there was no irony.
In three-part harmony, two rock stars and a comedian sang their hearts out and for a few minutes I felt that I was witnessing a golden moment in television. It’s not that the performance itself was breathtaking. But the simple unadulterated joy of three men singing together for no reason except, perhaps, that it made their hearts glad, reminded me of how rarely we do anything without defense mechanisms.
I feel even Colbert and Jon Stewart (who seemed equally subdued tonight in relation to the Penn State scandal) must yearn for some sincerity in the vapid world they dissect for our amusement. And I like to think tonight’s performance on Colbert was a protest against the dying of sincerity.
Perhaps I am projecting all these intentions behind the event, but I silently cheered for humanity. Who wouldn’t like to let their guard down for once and sing their heart out?
(click the link below, in the black bar, for the video)