10:13 am EDT, December 12, 2014

Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug the Dragon on ‘Report’ – no, seriously

When Stephen casually introduced Smaug the Dragon on last night’s episode of The Colbert Report, no one expected it to be the actual dragon.

But alas, there was Smaug in all of his CGI glory (you didn’t think we meant a real dragon, did you?) “sitting” opposite Colbert on Thursday night.

Smaug appears in The Hobbit trilogy and made an appearance last night to promote the final Middle Earth film, The Battle of the Five Armies. Watch the interview below:

Given Colbert’s close relationship with director Peter Jackson, it looks like Colbert managed to nab The Hobbit’s CGI team in order to make this happen. The special effects are flawless – down to the little bits of activity that are happening “backstage” as a result of Smaug breaking into Colbert’s tiny New York studio.

In the interview, Colbert and Smaug discuss Rand Paul, other dragons who are lesser than him, and what it’s like to have lots of money. Colbert also asks the dragon several questions that you’d expect him to ask of human actors: “What was it like on set?” “Let’s play a clip!”

Naturally, Smaug, who appears to be voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch for this interview (like he is for the movie), also takes a swipe at the Sherlock star.

The interview was funny and convincing. Add this one to the collection of Colbert’s best interviews.

Colbert has just four more episodes until the Report shuts down for good. He’ll be taking over David Letterman’s Late Show seat in the second half of 2015.

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