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Tolkien Expert Stephen Colbert Breaks Down the Reasons Why Gandalf Won’t Perform Weddings

It all stems from a real request someone made of Sir Ian McKellen.


If you’re looking for a late-night host who knows their Lord of the Rings, it could be argued that no one–and I mean no one–is more qualified to discuss Tolkien’s works than Stephen Colbert.

Not only does he go full Tolkien nerd while answering audience questions about the series, he’s also seriously geeked out over meeting Elijah Wood and posed as several characters for the cover of Entertainment Weekly. (Those are only a couple examples, by the way–when it comes to Stephen Colbert’s love of LOTR, our tag goes back several years.)

In his opening monologue for Friday night’s show, Colbert covered a variety of topics–from the recent disturbing spike in the price of EpiPens (including some clever digs at “pharma-bro” Martin Shkreli) to the news that Sir Ian McKellen had turned down $1.5 million from Napster founder Sean Parker to officiate his Lord of the Rings-theme wedding as Gandalf. Well, you can bet Colbert would come up with some perfectly legitimate reasons why Gandalf doesn’t have time to officiate your wedding, Sean Parker. (The bit about Gandalf starts at around 5:15 in.)

Personally, I still think a Lord of the Rings-themed wedding would go over better than a Game of Thrones-themed wedding, but that’s just me.

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