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Stephen Colbert sings 'Porgy and Bess' duet with Audra McDonald

March 6, 2012 |  8:00 am


Stephen Colbert isn't a TV host who lets his celebrity guests get all the attention. In true spotlight-hogging fashion, the Comedy Central satirist joins in whenever he can, having sung, danced and even created art with his on-air invitees.

On Monday's show, Colbert joined with singer/actress Audra McDonald to perform the song "Summertime" from "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," currently on Broadway. McDonald, a four-time Tony Award winner, plays Bess in the production that originated last year at the American Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts before transferring to the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York.

Before they sang, McDonald noted an interview with Colbert that the character of Bess is referred to in the musical as a "liquor guzzlin' slut." The actress added that Bess would no doubt appeal to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who is under fire for using the same epithet to describe activist Sandra Fluke.

Colbert had devoted a significant portion of Monday's show to the Limbaugh flap, presenting footage and sound bites of the commentator's use of the word.

The revival of "Porgy and Bess" on Broadway was the subject of some controversy when composer Stephen Sondheim criticized the revisions undertaken by the production's creative team. (Sondheim himself was a past guest on "The Colbert Report.")

Colbert and McDonald previously appeared together at the most recent Kennedy Center Honors in Washington. She was also a regular on ABC's "Private Practice" and can be seen in the movie "Rampart," in which she has a brief role as a woman who befriends Woody Harrelson's corrupt, racist cop in a bar.

Here is video of Monday's broadcast featuring McDonald and Colbert performing "Summertime."


The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Sign Off - Goodnight


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Photo: Stephen Colbert and Audra McDonald on Monday's broadcast of "The Colbert Report." Credit: Comedy Central