During the live episode of his show, Colbert staged an elaborate musical performance that started with a small child actor in the audience (or, as Colbert called her, an “adorable little street urchin”) dressed in old-timey garb who told Colbert she was “too scared to vote.”
So Colbert sang a Broadway-style tune about how easy it is to vote. Just as it looked like he was going to throw to commercial, out strolled Stewart.
Colbert introduced Stewart as the “mayor of Candytown,” which was fitting, considering his outfit. “If the girl does not want to vote, I say the girl does not have to vote,” Stewart roared. “Have a toffee.”
Stewart started throwing toffee into the crowd and singing before Colbert asked, “Do you remember who’s running this year?” Then, they performed a reprise of the bit from the Republican National Convention, where Stewart takes a big sip of water before Colbert informs him that Trump is the GOP nominee, which leads to a giant spit-take:
“Are you kidding me?!” Stewart exclaimed. “Are you serious? That angry tax-and-draft-dodging little orange groundhog is running for president?” Then he immediately “forgot” and made Colbert tell him again — but not before he took another big sip of water and spit on Colbert’s face one more time, just for fun.
After the antics, the little girl sighed. “Well, he’s running against Hillary Clinton. Ugh, I can’t tell which one’s worse.”
“He’s worse,” Colbert and Stewart said simultaneously.
Then the little girl launched into a truly haunting ballad, venting about how neither candidate shared her values: “But in civil oligarchy we don’t have a real choice/How can I change a system that won’t listen to my voice?/To add my vote to either side would be an awful lie/But there’s power in abstaining, sitting out feels justified …”
Her voice was magnificent, and Colbert and Stewart were duly impressed. “That is an unbelievably contrarian think piece, that blew my mind,” Stewart said. “I want you to write for Slate, because I think you’re amazing.”
“So we’re all agreed. We need to make a statement and sit this one out,” the girl said happily.
Not so fast! In flew Javier Muñoz from “Hamilton” (who replaced Lin-Manuel Miranda as the title character), who performed a rap about how important it is to vote: “Staying home isn’t a statement/You’re saying you gave up your say in the way that your state went … Did you fight, use the right, did you decide or refuse to use this power people died for?”
Stewart and Colbert were convinced. To bring it home, they launched into the final number urging people to vote, which allowed Stewart to get in a few more Trump digs (“He’s been endorsed by David Duke!”), including a rhyme: “You know he acts real tough, but he’s a wussy/He’ll probably fill the court with Gary Busey/And then he’ll grab your mother’s …”
Colbert stopped him before the end of that sentence, thanks to broadcast standards. And they all ended on a final message: “Go vote!”
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