Stephen Colbert can out-Tolkien the best of them. His mad Middle-earth knowledge has put to shame such lesser lights as James Franco. The Truthiness Teller knows his Silmarils from his Bombadils — and isn't afraid to rub it in your face.
And it's earned him one heck of a prize.
The host of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" has an actual role in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." If that wasn't enough, Warner Bros. tells Yahoo Movies, that there's a downright proliferation of the Colbert Nation in Laketown.
Director Peter Jackson also snuck Colbert's two sons — John and Peter — into the action, along wife Evelyn McGee-Colbert.
The Colberts all play "Laketown spies" in the film. The location becomes central to the story about two-thirds of the way through the flick as it is the final destination before the dwarves and Bilbo Baggins head into the Lonely Mountain to displace that evil, treasure-hording dragon Smaug. In the town, which floats on an icy lake, the little folk strike a shaky alliance with Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) and have to hang out there for a bit.
Watch this new 'Hobbit' clip which depicts the dwarves and the people of Laketown:
Townspeople are seen a lot during these Laketown sequences, so keep your eyes peeled to see if you can spot the Colberts Where's Waldo-style. Stephen having the most famous mug is the easiest to spot — just look for the eye-patch-sporting townie. (As far as we can tell, the Colberts do not appear in the above clip.)
Jackson likes to hide easter egg cameos in his films. Brett McKenzie of "Flight of the Conchords" appeared in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" along with last year's "Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Jackson himself also appears in every one of his "LOTR" flicks, showing his range in such roles as an angry innkeeper and an angry buccanneer.
Colbert has had a lot of fun with "The Hobbit"/"LOTR" franchises over the years. He schooled Franco in an epit Tolkien trivia showdown in 2011 (see it here at the 3:50 mark). Then Franco, seeking to reclaim his name earlier this year, came back on Colbert's show for more — only to be smacked down by the late night host for the second time in a row:
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" breathes its fire in theaters on Dec. 13.
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