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stage dive

Breathless Countdown to Stephen Sondheim on The Colbert Report!

Oh, the sweet music they could make!

Even Stevphen has become an infrequent feature in the Stewart/Colbert late-night firmament, ever since Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert found themselves working on separate coasts. But in just under twelve hours, Colbert will audition a new debate partner/homonym in ... Stephen Sondheim. Colbert, also an experienced lyricist, will no doubt challenge his homonym to a librett-off. Sondheim, a hardened battler, certainly won't back down. It's likely that one of these fine gentlemen won't walk away from tonight's encounter on The Colbert Report. Hopefully, they'll create an incredible new gala musicale in the process. (Or maybe they'll just talk about Sondheim's new book, Finishing the Hat. Which I haven't read yet so no spoilers please.)

In all seriousness: Colbert’s commitment to theater is unassailable. (He is, I believe, the only late-night comedian ever to use “LaMaMa” as a punch line.) In my Glee-like fantasies (and really, which of my fantasies aren’t Glee-like?*), he and Sondheim pull off an incredible two-man version of “Another National Anthem” from Assassins. I’m starting the countdown now. But since it’s Sondheim, we’ll be throwing an extra beat in here and there, just to keep things interesting.

*: The ones based chiefly on vintage episodes of The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour.

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Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images, Jim Spellman/WireImage