×

Meet the BTS: Group Reenacts 1964 Beatlemania With Stephen Colbert as Ed Sullivan (Watch)

Introducing “a new bunch of moptopped heartthrobs” from “across the pond, the big one with Hawaii in the middle,” Stephen Colbert dressed BTS up as the Beatles — and put himself in Ed Sullivan drag — for a pair of black-and-white segments that lovingly recreated the look of the Fab Four’s history-making appearance on that same stage in 1964.

The “young lads from Seoul” know how to rock a Beatlesuit, as it turns out. And if you thought no one could ever beat John, Paul, George and Ringo for tightly executed synchronized choreography, seven-part harmony and winsome rapping, you may want to think again.

The cold open on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” pointed out that the K-pop phenoms’ appearance came exactly 55 years, three months and six days after the signal moment of the Beatles’ televised British invasion in February ’64. Each of the seven members was introduced in panning closeup (“Hi, my name is V, and I’m a good boy”) and identified by his nickname… which, in all seven cases, was “the cute one.”

Following an interview (something the Beatles never got on the couch-free “Ed Sullivan Show”), it was back to the land of B&W pastiche as BTS performed “Boy With Luv” in front of an unplayed Ringo-style drum kit.

With Colbert slicking his hair back and adopting Sullivan’s officious manner, certain throwback gags were aimed at an audience old enough to remember the ’60s variety show, like the fact that BTS were purportedly preceded on the show by “Cassius Clay and his spinning plates, everyone.” Later, the host promised that “we’ll be right back with the plate-spinning magic of vice president Hubert Humphrey.”

Purported audience inserts also had screaming girls and sign-bearing boys in 1964 regalia … a slight exaggeration of the wry enthusiasm with which actual modern-day Beatlemaniacs greeted the affectionate homage, if probably an understatement of just how badly BTS fans want to hold the group’s collective hand.

 

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Woodstock Festival of Arts and Music

    As Woodstock Turns 50, the Fest's 10 Most Sacred Music Moments (Watch)

    Cars were left abandoned along the New York Interstate. Electrical and speaker systems fuzzed and popped. Amps blew then went silent. The rain was endless as the mud sank deep and rank. Young children ran naked and dazed through crowds of strangers. Food was scarce. Water, unclean. Looking back, Woodstock seems a more apocalyptic, than [...]

  • 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band

    Film Review: 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas'

    Settling in to watch “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” you may have a burning question that applies to almost no other rock documentary, and that is: Who, exactly, are these guys? The ones behind the beards? If you’re old enough, of course, you probably know that ZZ Top started out, in 1969, [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Jay-Z to Acquire Ownership Stake in NFL Team (Report)

    Jay-Z will soon acquire a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team, TMZ reported on Friday. The team was not disclosed, but a source told the site the deal will happen in the “near future,” adding that the billionaire rapper “wants to continue to be a change agent for the NFL.” Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, [...]

  • Blake Shelton, Trace AdkinsCMA Music Festival

    Blake Shelton Takes a Shot at 'Old Town Road' in New Single

    Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins have just released a duet, “Hell Right,” that seems to have a beef with “Old Town Road.” But is it a light-hearted, maybe even affectionate slam — or should anyone read culture-war significance into the two country stars expressing a preference for Hank Williams Jr. over Lil Nas X, the breakout [...]

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Teddy Riley Walk of Fame

    From Blackstreet to Hollywood Blvd. as Teddy Riley Receives a Star on the Walk of Fame

    Many musical artists are responsible for hits, whether recording and writing for themselves or producing smashes for others. Teddy Riley’s got the success, having fashioned platinum-plated R&B works for, and with, Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, Doug E. Fresh and more since the mid-’80s, not to mention the music of his own slick soul [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content