Colbert plays rock star, with Jack White as guide
NEW YORK – With Jack White as his guide, Stephen Colbert is living out his rock star dreams.
Colbert debuted his new single, "Charlene II (I'm Over You)" on "The Colbert Report" on Thursday night. Then, he took the song to the streets Friday, performing it again and signing copies for Colbert Nation groupies.
The song culminated Colbert's week-long "rock odyssey" series dubbed "Dr. Pepper Presents StePhest ColbChella `011 — Rock You Like a Thirst-Icane."
After premiering the tune on his show, Colbert and White sold copies Friday in Manhattan from the "rolling record store" of White's Nashville-based Third Man Records — a truck that travels the country selling the label's music.
The former White Stripe frontman produced the track, with The Black Belles, a goth girl rock band on Third Man, performing backup.
The reference of the song is one only die-hard viewers of "The Report" likely grasp. It's a follow-up to his mock `80s new wave song, "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)," a cheesy ballad sung from the perspective of a stalker.
Since 2006, Colbert has occasionally alluded to the song and suggested that before his conservative pundit character became a TV show host, he was the lead singer in a group called Stephen and the Colberts.
But the sequel, "Charlene II (I'm Over You)," has entered the real world. The song is being sold on iTunes and from Third Man Records, including on vinyl copies. There's even a limited edition red-white-and-blue edition, with the vinyl dyed in the colors of the flag.
This is White's second collaboration with a late-night talk show host. Last year, he released a live rockabilly album with Conan O'Brien. White has been present in various segments all week on "The Report," playing a remarkably good straight man to Colbert.
Colbert, in turn, has taken every chance to remind his rock mentor that he's a Grammy winner. Colbert's "A Colbert Christmas" won best comedy album in 2010.
But this is far from the comedian's first foray into musical performance. Among his greatest hits are a performance of "Empire State of Mind" with Alicia Keys, a "shred-off" with the Decemberists and a rendition of Rebecca Black's "Friday."