Stephen Colbert almost, finally got vindication for his long-held theory that Taylor Swift’s 2008 track “Hey Stephen” is actually about him when the singer appeared on Tuesday’s “Late Show” to talk about the release of her re-recorded album “Fearless.”
We say almost, because it was quite clear from their interview that though Swift was insisting Colbert’s assumption was all in his head, she *was* obsessed with him — or at least for the sake of this bit they were doing.
First, Colbert cut to a Sept. 14, 2009 clip of “The Colbert Report,” during which he showed himself receiving a signed copy of the original “Fearless” from Swift, signed “Love, Taylor.”
“L-O-V-E-. That means she’s my soulmate,” Colbert said at the time. “You need more proof? I hope you do! Just look at Track 4, it’s called ‘Hey Stephen.’ Alright, that’s got to be about me. How many Stephens could there be out there?”
On last night’s “Late Show,” Colbert said, “I stand by that theory. ‘Hey Stephen’ has got to be about me. Just like ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ has got to be about Lucille Ball flying in an airplane with all her jewelry. To believe anything else, you’d have to be high on acid. Well, I’m so happy that ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ is finally here, because it sends an empowering message. And also because it gives us a chance to finally clear the air about this whole ‘Hey Stephen’ business.”
Then Taylor showed up to burst his bubble.
“No, Stephen, I mean, I first recorded that sound in 2008. I think I was like 18?” Swift said.
“Yeah, I was also a younger age,” Colbert said.
“Yeah, I mean you were probably about 44 years, 179 days old, give or take several hours,” the “Hey Stephen” singer said.
“Wow, that is shockingly specific,” Colbert replied.
“I mean, like I said, I’m a big fan,” Taylor said.
The singer went on to prove just how big a fan, while continuing to deny she wrote “Hey Stephen” about this Stephen.
“Yeah, I signed [the CD] to you, Stephen with a ‘ph.’ I sent it to ‘The Colbert Report,’ 513 W. 54th St., New York, NY, 10019, 2nd floor office, facing the street.”
OK, that level of knowledge about where his old office used to be had Colbert asking once more, “Are you sure ‘Hey Stephen’ isn’t about me?”
Again, Swift insists it’s not and shows Colbert the mood board she created while writing the song — which just so happens to be covered in photos of him and one picture of a slice of pizza.
“Really, and this is not vanity, it just really seems like the song is about me,” Colbert says.
“Don’t flatter yourself,” Swift says. “‘Hey Stephen’ is not about you anymore than my album ‘1989’ is about that year you spent waiting tables on the lunch shift at Scoozi, an Italian restaurant in the River North area of Chicago that, by the way, serves a really incredible slice of pizza.”
Yeah, no, that really put Colbert’s theory into high gear, but Taylor shot him down once more, revealing that “Hey Stephen” is actually about Stephen King.
“That seems like a you thing for you to sort of process,” Taylor said, before telling him Colbert that she did write one song about him, “Shake It Off!”
Watch the full interview above.