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Stephen Colbert on why Daft Punk canceled, and what could've been

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Colbert Daft
Colbert Daft

Last week, Daft Punk were scheduled to appear on Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report, but an exclusive agreement with MTV's Video Music Awards (VMAs) forced a last-minute cancellation. The result? A hilarious seven-minute skit that's since been watched the world over. In an interview with The Paul Mercurio Show, Colbert talks the show's host through the complex negotiations that took place in the lead-up to the show.

Colbert starts talking at about the Daft Punk drama at 24:15

Daft Punk were to appear in a 6-minute silent interview

Speaking with Murcurio, Colbert explains that agreeing on how Daft Punk would appear on the show took weeks. In the lead-up to their appearance, Colbert was informed that the French electronic music duo would not talk or perform on the show. Although he was offered to the chance to back out from the appearance, undeterred, Colbert decided to make the act's silence part of a series of sketches. Colbert intended to conduct a six-minute interview in which Daft Punk would simply nod in agreement. He also attempted to book their manager to be interviewed and formed the idea that celebrities could appear on the show to try to coax Daft Punk into performing. "I wish we could have done this joke," explains Colbert. "It was 'Paul, can I ask you: How do I even know it's them in the robot outfits, how do I even know it's them?'" Paul Hahn, Daft Punk's manager, would have replied "Stephen, if it wasn't really them, they'd be doing the song."

MTV executive producer claims the decision was Daft Punk's

Unfortunately, Daft Punk pushed back, noting that Colbert's planned script played "too much on the idea that they're not performing as opposed to the joy of them being there." Eventually, all of the kinks were ironed out, but on the eve of their appearance, Colbert was informed Daft Punk wouldn't be appearing on the show due to an exclusive agreement with sister-network MTV's VMAs. After scrambling to rewrite, we ended up with a biting monologue and a star-studded rendition of the act's hit single "Get Lucky." For their part, the people behind the VMAs say that the decision to pull out of the show was the bands, and no restrictions were enforced at their end. VMAs executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic tells The Hollywood Reporter: "We don't put restrictions on anyone. I just think that we're talking to them about a moment and then things sort of change... I would not describe that as MTV putting restrictions on people -- it was up to that artist and their management what they wanted to do." Daft Punk are still scheduled to perform August 25th at the awards.