“Prepare yourselves, Radiohead. You’re about to meet Televisionface.”
That’s how Stephen Colbert introduced Thom Yorke and his group on Monday night during a very special hour-long episode of The Colbert Report that was almost entirely devoted to the band, and was also “presented by Dr Pepper, except for Radiohead, who present themselves because they’re nobody’s corporate tool.”
Wait… jokes? About the pioneers of “Serious Listening”? Yes, it’s true. Yorke was actually laughing, and the whole group seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves during the show.
Colbert accused the Brits of “stealing American rock jobs,” and when he chided them for their anti-corporate stance by sitting beneath a giant Dr. Pepper sign, Yorke quipped that the soda “tastes like that stuff you get at the dentist to swill your mouth out.”
“Well, Thom,” Colbert replied, “It is a doctor.”
Watching the entire show (which is available in its entirety here), it’s clear that Radiohead are way more comfortable here than they were during their disappointing SNL performance over the weekend. Where they were too cerebral on Saturday night, trying to cram the sweeping keyboard doodles and Hal 9000 bloops of “Lotus Flower” into a short-attention-span time slot, Colbert found them playing actual song-like songs, including “Little By Little,” “Bloom,” and a bluesy piano and horns version of the unreleased favorite “The Daily Mail” that was so warm, they played it beside an actual fireplace.
The night was, as Colbert promised, “a mind-blowing evening for the music nerds.” Of course, he scoffed, “If you were a real fan, you’d be watching this on vinyl.”
Watch a web-only exclusive of Radiohead playing “The National Anthem” (which is mislabeled as “Codex”) on Colbert after the jump.
Radiohead to play ‘historic’ one-hour episode of ‘The Colbert Report,’ two shows at NYC’s Roseland