Monday night featured the premiere of Ava DuVernay’s new series Queen Sugar on OWN, but when the director went on The Late Show later that evening, all she could talk about was the first time she met host Stephen Colbert… at President Barack Obama’s secret birthday party. To hear the two of them tell it, this was a starry party full of all the coolest celebrities — and so secret they all had to turn in their phones to gain entry.
“At one point, Paul McCartney leaned over to me and said, ‘It doesn’t get better than this,'” Colbert recalled. “And I thought, ‘Well, you would know how good things can get!'”
DuVernay told one specific story from the White House event involving, of all things, a dance battle between Usher and Janelle Monáe.
“And so they’re danicng and they’re going at it. I’m like, it can’t get better than this,” DuVernay said. “Then, on the periphery, you see POTUS and FLOTUS, and they’re getting into it, like it can’t get better than this. Then, who steps into the middle of the dance battle? This one. He starts dancing, and everyone fell out, just fell flat out. Then Ellen jumped in, then Paul McCartney jumped in, do you remember? And Chance the Rapper too. I was like, ‘My eyes, I don’t know where to look.'”
“It was a peak feeling, I will tell you,” Colbert said. “When Janelle Monáe put her hat on my head and we started trading off moves, I had a flirtation with cool.”
Watch the clip below.