Sometimes, late night shows can be an arms race. Shows compete for the biggest stars, try to put on the biggest spectacle, outmaneuver each other on monologue jokes about the day’s headlines. But then something happens in the dead of night on an otherwise-unassuming Thursday that gives you hope for the future. And it comes in the form of Ken Marino sprinting across a stage.
The comedy triple threat was on Thursday’s edition of the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote his recent role on the very funny Comedy Central show “The Other Two.” Without giving away too much of the details, let’s just say that there didn’t end up being that much time for the standard questions.
Instead, the interview segment morphs/devolves/blooms into a series of Marino alts, with him testing out different ways to come out on stage to an adoring crowd. To say any more would be a crime, but it continues to veer away from your standard press tour stop. Like the recent year-capping Joke Bucket segment on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” this is the brand of late night wackiness that makes for some of the best TV moments.
The real magic of this segment comes from the ambiguity of whether or not Colbert is in on the joke. On almost any other show, this would be a telegraphed bit that seems overly scripted. But the bewilderment on display — forced or otherwise — is what really sells this tiny bit of controlled chaos. It’s goofy, it’s random, and the climactic punchline is one of the better twists of 2019 so far. (Honestly, the whole thing is better than any reveal on “The Masked Singer” could possibly be for the rest of the season.)
To see the whole seven-minute saga unfold for yourself, watch the full clip of Marino’s appearance below: