Stephen Colbert Explains What Really Happened With Daft Punk

UPDATE: VMAs executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic tells The Hollywood Reporter, “We don’t put restrictions on anyone. I just think that we’re talking to them about a moment and then things sort of change. I would not describe that as MTV putting restrictions on people — it was up to that artist and their management what they wanted to do.”


Last week, Daft Punk was supposed to appear on The Colbert Report. It didn’t happen. The French robots were also booked as surprise guests at MTV’s VMAs later in the month, and MTV, which is under the same corporate umbrella as Colbert’s network, nixed the appearance at the last minute. The end results — Colbert coldly ethering MTV on TV for eight minutes — was way better than any Daft Punk appearance could’ve ever been. But rumors soon circulated that Daft Punk were never supposed to appear on the show, and that the whole thing was a stunt to promote the VMAs. And today, Colbert appeared on Paul Mercurio’s podcast to explain the whole fracas.

As Pitchfork reports, Colbert told Mercurio that the cancellation was real, and it really did come at the last minute; it was no stunt. Daft Punk weren’t going to perform or be interviewed, but they were going to appear. And MTV didn’t block Robin Thicke, for whatever reason, from appearing on Colbert’s show, even though he’s booked for the VMAs too. Colbert also says that he wasn’t mad about the whole thing, but that his character had to be. Listen to the whole podcast here.