With a glass of what looked to be whiskey at his side, Stephen Colbert explained on Tuesday how his much-anticipated (and heavily-sponsored) show featuring dance-pop duo Daft Punk was scuttled by fellow Viacom network MTV just 24 hours before air.
Colbert pinned the no-show on MTV president Van Toffler, who claimed exclusive rights over the band’s appearances in the month leading up to their heretofore surprise appearance on the MTV Music Awards on Aug. 25, even though Daft Punk’s representatives claimed they made no such promise. But since he had already cashed his sponsor’s check, the Comedy Central host pitched a compromise to Toffler.
“These Daft Punk guys are French — they’re not really into exclusive relationships,” Colbert said. “I thought we could have a ‘menage-a-show’ and maybe they could do us both. Although working twice in one month is a little more than the French are used to.”
Unfortunately, Colbert said, Toffler expressed concern that his “peeps” were feeling “funky” about that proposition, and ultimately the band chose to stick with its MTV appearance. But, as a company man, Colbert expressed his empathy with the MTV head.
“If Daft Punk were on my show, people wouldn’t tune in to see them on the VMAs almost a month from now — that’s not how music works,” Colbert explained mockingly. “You love a band, you see them once, then never want to see them again. That’s why after The Beatles went on Ed Sullivan, they dropped off the face of the Earth.”
Watch Colbert explain the breakdown, aired Tuesday, below.