Stephen Colbert's Long Story Shorts: Tolkien Reading Day

Stephen Colbert's Long Story Shorts: Tolkien Reading Day

In our first installment of Stephen Colbert’s Long Story Shorts, join us on a tale of epic proportions as Stephen discusses his favorite chapters of “The Lord of the Rings” for #NationalTolkienReadingDay! #Colbert #LOTR #Tolkien

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Stephen Colbert brings his signature satire and comedy to THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT, the #1 show in late night, where he talks with an eclectic mix of guests about what is new and relevant in the worlds of politics, entertainment, business, music, technology and more. Featuring bandleader Louis Cato and “THE LATE SHOW band,” the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated show is broadcast from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater. Stephen Colbert took over as host, executive producer and writer of THE LATE SHOW on Sept. 8, 2015.


  1. Holy hell. I’ve read the Fellowship so many times in my life- probably 10 times. And if I read it last week I couldn’t recall it like that.

  2. Thank goodness Jackson’s "Lord of the Rings" wasn’t made after 2020. Just imagine it. Black Frodo? We got it! Trans Arwen? Right here! Chinese Female Gandalf? Yep! Gay Elrond with a husband? Box checked!

  3. Thanks Stephen, I’m just starting LOTR now again (for about the 6-7th time) I’ll read those chapters with your thoughts in mind. I look forward to more content like this. But mate, in future, leave your OTHER favourite mythical tales of violent fantasy out of your intro’s eh? So poorly written and implausible, I certainly wouldn’t like children to read that rubbish. 😀

  4. Im mad at y9u, leave us hanging with no show, used to be 5 nights a week ,were are you going all the time. Dont retire yet!

  5. In one of Colbert’s audience questions YouTube videos a couple asks Steven to recommend a LOTR reading for their wedding. He recites a poem from memory with such eloquence it is impossible to doubt his love for Tolkien’s life work.

  6. Please correct reading inspires imagination and you can create your own scenarios from reading I really miss reading

  7. A reminder to pick up the books again. I used to read them every year until I watched the first part of the first movie and realized I liked my imagination better. I had to wait for Peter Jacksons interpretation to fade from memory….

  8. I’ve read LOTR every year for the last 60 years. It has affected my life immensely and as an artist it speaks to my very core. Thank you Stephen for talking about and encouraging people to read the trilogy. My oldest son feels the same way and is passing the love of Tolkein’s work to his children.

  9. I love The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I have no idea how many times I’ve read them. I really like the movies as well, but I was so disappointed the first time I saw them, and Tom Bombadil and his lady weren’t in there!

  10. Thank you Coal’ Bare’ Its always nice to hear from lights’ of Writings i have yet to read. eternally grateful to have others help me

  11. The difference between LOTR and the bible, we don’t use Tolkien as a weapon. If only folks could enjoy their mythologies privately.

  12. Finally, finally, finally! I have wanted exactly this for the longest time – I used to tell anyone who’d listen that I wished Colbert would just talk about his knowledge of Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. PLEASE do more, more, more of this!! We/I need it.

  13. Those are some of the best chapters. Shortcut to Mushrooms is definitely my favorite; I absolutely love Farmer Maggot! Tom Bombadil is a delight of course, but I understand he’s waaaay too jovial and unburdened for the movie.

    Oh! Another thing I love is the two times (I recognized) where they said the name of a chapter in the movie. One of them is "drums in the deep," and the other is "Out of the frying pan." I went to see Fellowship in theaters with my uncle at least 4-6 times 😀

  14. Thank you, for expressing my thoughts, feelings, and love for The Ring Trilogy. It’s nice to know someone feels about the book the same way I do.

  15. I completely agree with colbert about the missing chapters. I wanted them but I understood why they weren’t included.

  16. I was highly disappointed that the films glossed over or left out much of those chapters , because I agree with you the beauty and sense of adventure in that part of the story is a big part of what makes the entire story so endearing and relatable .. lol relatable .. ok so I’m a geek .. but you know what I mean !

  17. It’s good to hear someone else as passionate about these books (and books in general) talk about them. I read (and reread) the Hobbit and LOTR (and other fantasy books, I’m looking at you Terry Brooks😊) in a cabin in the middle of the woods in northwestern Massachusetts, with massive snowstorms howling nightly, without power and just a candle and the woodstove for light and heat. It was basically long term camping but so immersed in the book world and the woods around me, it felt like I was EXPERIENCING middle earth, not just reading it.

    I’m telling you, for those of you who are bold enough, reconnect with nature and a good book and life will start to get interesting and better again. LOTR is perfect (in nearly every way) and shows Tolkien’s great reverence for the natural world on nearly every page.

    Stephen, thank you for being so unabashed about your love for these masterful works. I truly believe that the magic within them, as in all great stories, is a transformational one that occurs within the the heart of the reader. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    Edit: I agree that those chapters were some of my favorite especially Bombadil, (which was like the ghost of Christmas past, where all troubles are put on pause for respite from the world and fun and childlike wonder) and should have been included or focused on at least as much or more so over the fixation on some violent aspects of the story.

    And yes, I too, would watch a series of Colbert based on Middle Earth. You guys should totally do it. I’m calling it here and now, it would be a great success! Get on the phone with network exec’s or Netflix. It needs a pitch asap. Give me a yell, I’ll help! Make this happen!😊

  18. I think it’s also important to point out that in cutting those 6 chapters, Jackson also removed 90% of the competence and agency from Merry and Pippin. Merry knew about the ring, even before Frodo, and he kept it secret for years. Everything that happen at the start of Frodo’s journey was outlined by Merry, Pippin, Sam and their friend Freddigar Bolger. Fred stayed behind in the Shire pretending to be Frodo until the evening that the 4 Hobbits stayed at the Prancing Pony.

  19. His love of Lord of the Rings is just so endearing… I love this about him, among so many other things… ❤️

  20. I prefer the beginning chapters of the Lord of the Rings, too. Before it gets fast, hard and really scary.

  21. Rivendell. By the way, I have difficulty communicating because I had a stroke in Broca’s area, the part of the brain that controls speech. 2/8/2021 but I lived again. (My wife helped me compose this.)

  22. Just on my third or fourth reread and I’ve finished the first three parts out of six. I also picked up Humphrey Carpenters Tolkien biography which is highly recommended.

  23. Nothing better than this. Thank you, Stephen. You’ve gotten me through some tough times, and you fill our lives with great humor, thoughtfulness, kindness and insight. Love ya!

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