Steven Patrick Morrissey and Stephen Tyrone Colbert were practically made for each other. One's a dapper, lovably curmudgeonly media manipulator, and the other used to sing for the Smiths. Last night on The Colbert Report, the Pope of Mope and the Lord Protector of Faux Punditry finally met face to face.
Morrissey's outsize persona isn't really suited to sitting back and letting someone else play the diva, but nor would he ever deign to try and out-funny some late-night cable-TV host, so the result was one of the more enjoyably awkward Colbert musician interviews since April's backstage weirdness with Jack White. With a dry smile all the while, Morrissey blasted the British monarchy as a "dictatorship," gave Colbert a playful lesson on the meaning of the word "legend," and once again rejected the idea of a Smiths reunion. "Not everyone's a fat old slag," he said. They also discussed vegetarianism, as Colbert revealed Moz had "demanded" the show to be a "meat-free environment" for his appearance — a reference to that vegetarian Coachella rumor that popped up last week.
Last week, Morrissey performed a Frankie Valli cover and 2006's "You Have Killed Me" for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, as his band wore t-shirts emblazoned with the word "THUG." For Colbert, Moz crooned his as-yet-unreleased "People Are the Same Everywhere," adding "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris," from 2009's Years of Refusal, as a web exclusive. This time the band's t-shirts said "MUGGER." At the end of the televised performance, Morrissey growled.