Watch Stephen Colbert Pit Gandalf Against Dumbledore on ‘The Late Show’

     April 23, 2016


One of the many joys of being a nerd is defending your favorites in battles with friends. Though some can get extremely heated due to their broad natures (Star Trek vs Star Wars, DC vs Marvel), the most fun is usually had in the nuances of particular characters. Stephen Colbert has brought this idea to The Late Show, pitting pop culture icons against one another, but his latest entry may be the best.

In April 22nd’s “Friday Night Fights,” Colbert sets up J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gandalf the Grey (played by Ian McKellen in the movies) and J.K. Rowling’s Albus Dumbledore (played mostly by Michael Gambon, but also Richard Harris briefly at the start of the franchise). But in a twist, he also adds a second fighter to each side — Optimus Prime, paired with Gandalf, and Voltron, paired with Dumbledore. Check out the video below, where Colbert gets into the fighters’ stats before getting into an all-out nerd brawl with guest Thomas Lennon from The Odd Couple:

So there are a lot of fantastic quote to sort out from these two. Colbert points out that Voltron “is not just one partner but 5 partners,” and defames Gandalf as “basically a hobo.” The two then debate over whether this is Gandalf the Grey or the White (because of course there’s a huge difference), while it’s also mentioned that Optimus Prime has a Class-A license and “has survived 4 films with Michael Bay.”

On the other side, Lennon decries Dumbledore as being “basically a bureaucrat,” even though he possesses the Elder Wand. Colbert also sees it as a plus that Dumbledore lets school children fight for him, and “he’ll send Weasley children just to clog Optimus Prime’s intake values.” Plus, he points out that Optimus Prime is “the size of Voltron’s leg.”

The debate rages on! You can vote in Colbert’s poll here, although I’ve already created one for Collider readers below. Defend your choice in the comments!