New Zealand Hosts US Comedian Stephen Colbert

In a stunt hailed as a coup for the New Zealand travel industry, American comedian Stephen Colbert has screened segments from his trip here on The Late Show. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned tour guide for the talk show host, driving him from Auckland airport to a barbeque at her home, where he met Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford and scared the living daylights out of Lorde with a “snake”.

In the first of the segments, Ardern is shown picking Colbert up – in an electric vehicle, naturally – with the comedian expressing concern his presence may be eating into her “executive time”.

“I’m a woman, I multi-task, so don’t worry,” she fires back.

Ardern has appeared as a guest on Colbert’s show twice, and each time invited him to visit New Zealand.

The American, who describes himself as an admirer and personal friend of Ardern and also a keen fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, said it was something he had always wanted to do.

Some local pundits have criticised the $104,000 the Government spent to host Colbert and his crew, but Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) said it was a bargain.

It estimated that paid advertising promoting New Zealand as a destination on a network show in the prime US market over the course of a week would cost almost 50 times that amount.

“The investment versus the return is significant and we were over the moon to get the support of so many Kiwis like the Prime Minister and some other famous faces to help make it pretty special,” TNZ chief Stephen England-Hall said.

Other segments featured Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, several All Blacks rugby legends, Xena Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless and Conchord, Bret McKenzie.

Original article by AFP, Aljazeera, November 21, 2019.

Tags: Aljazeera  Bret McKenzie  Jacinda Ardern  Lucy Lawless  Peter Jackson  Stephen Colbert  Stephen England-Hall  Tourism New Zealand  

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