If the interviews on The Colbert Report have suffered a bit in the last couple of years, it’s because the guests, too often, attempt to smirk their way through their interviews, matching Stephen Colbert joke-for-joke. It never works, and it loses the show’s early electricity, in which everyone would talk to Colbert with a sense of vague antipathy. Last night’s guest Jack White and Colbert have plenty of history together; they released a single together last year. And White deserves credit for knowing that the best Colbert interviews are the slightly hostile one. In a fun twist, the two did the interview backstage on last night’s show, and then White emerged with his all-male band to perform an absolutely ferocious version of the Blunderbuss track “Freedom At 21.” Watch the interview and the performance below.
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