'Stoked' Steven Colbert livens up APEC after PM Ardern invite
Host Stephen Colbert of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" (via screengrab).

US comedian Stephen Colbert addressed world leaders at a virtual meeting on the Asia-Pacific's future Thursday, after New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern invited him to bring some levity to an event dominated by pandemic responses and climate change.

Prime Minister Ardern is hosting this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit online, and lined up leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australia's Scott Morrison to talk to business executives.

She also asked Colbert, who is a renowned Kiwi-phile and fan of Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" movies, to inject some humor into the meeting.

"I'm a big fan of this beautiful country at the bottom of the Pacific," Colbert said, going on to address the online delegates in New Zealand slang accompanied by subtitles.

"I was stoked (thrilled) when Jacinda, the head sheila (prime minister), called me on the blower (phone)," he said. "I thought: sweet as (great). That would be pretty choice (excellent). Then nek minnit (next minute), here I am."

Colbert has repeatedly referenced his affection for New Zealand on "The Late Show" and visited the country in 2019, later airing a string of stories about his travels.

During his visit, Colbert did carpool karaoke with Ardern, attended a barbecue with singer Lorde and interviewed Jackson.

© 2021 AFP