Stephen Colbert is the subject of a new Rolling Stone profile that maps his rise as a serious voice as a basic cable late night television host. Along with the splashy interview, Colbert shot a video with the magazine, and in it he talks about how Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino‘s “Favorite Song,” from the former’s 2013 mixtape Acid Rap, got stuck in his head until he realized that Chance’s rhyme pattern on the song matched a very familiar cadence used by both Gilbert & Sullivan (the Victorian theatrical duo that collaborated on a plethora of comic operas) and, much more nerdishly, the Lord of The Rings.
The “Song of Eärendil” found in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic tome, according to Colbert, uses a similar rhyme scheme found in both Gilbert & Sullivan’s, work as well as Chance’s second verse on the song. Watching Stephen Colbert—known Lord of The Rings superfan—get super inside baseball about the history of a rhyme and melody is very interesting and nerdishly adorable, not in the least because he seems to actually genuinely enjoy and connect with this particular rap song. It’s also a good reminder that almost all music is linked together when you start to dissect it.
Watch the video below.