Daft Punk misses Colbert Report performance due to MTV VMAs, Viacom agreement. (VIDEO)

Daft Punk Punks Stephen Colbert

Daft Punk Punks Stephen Colbert

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 7 2013 12:01 PM

Daft Punk Punks Stephen Colbert

While the Billboard charts appear to disagree, Stephen Colbert declared Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" "The Song of the Summer of the Century." In honor of this anointing, the electronic duo was supposed to appear last night on The Colbert Report as part of StePhest Colbchella '013, a very special musical-themed episode. But, as he told a disappointed audience, Daft Punk was definitely not in the building.

As Colbert explained, Daft Punk are likely to make a surprise appearance on the Video Music Awards in a few weeks, and MTV head Van Toffler claims that they have exclusive rights to all TV appearances by the duo leading up to the ceremony. Unfortunately, Colbert, who booked them last month, was not informed of this until 2 p.m. the afternoon before, leaving him in a difficult spot with the sponsors of last night's show, Hyundai. (You see, he'd already cashed the check they gave him after promising to deliver "Get Lucky" live.)


A hilariously bitter Colbert proceeded to read the email sent to him by Toffler, and turned lemons into slightly less sour lemonade by dancing with Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, and other surprise celebs. Afterward, he replaced Daft Punk and "Get Lucky" with a live performance of what is probably the actual Song of the Summer: Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines."

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.