Stephen Colbert Honors Ric Ocasek

September 17, 2019

News broke on September 15th that Ric Ocasek, frontman and founder of the pop/new wave band The Cars, had passed away at the age of 75. Since then there has been an outpouring of tributes and thanks from fans and artists alike.

Among those fans is late-night host Stephen Colbert, who credits The Cars as "the soundtrack of my high school."

Colbert remembers visiting New York City as a college student and his first celebrity sighting ever was none other than Ric Ocasek.“I was down in Greenwich Village, getting a cup of coffee, sitting on the sidewalk and Ric f**king Ocasek walked by,” Colbert said. “And I went, ‘I have to move here. Ric Ocasek lives here!'”

Colbert's fandom comes from his love for the band's self-titled debut album The Cars. “It is packed with hits like peanuts in a Snickers Bar. I think that and My Aim is True by Elvis Costello — some of the greatest debut pop albums of all time,” he said. “1978, Ric Ocasek was already 34 years-old when their first album came out. He had put in the hours.”

Colbert even had the pleasure of bringing Ocasek on his previous show The Colbert Report for a cameo in one of their comedy sketches. “I couldn’t believe it when Ric Ocasek came on. I got to meet one of my greatest musical heroes and then he started doing bits on the show. We would send him out to do like commando raids for us.”

After playing a clip from one such bit featuring Ocasek, Colbert expressed his deep gratitude. “Thank you so much for all your music,” he said. “Thank you for playing with our stupid show and ‘Let’s Go.'”