Colbert plays D&D with Matt Mercer (for charity!)

D&D continues to feature prominently in the media, likely thanks to the success of Critical Role.

Here is an interesting - and rather touching! - example of that. Matt Mercer (of Critical Role) appears on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to run a short one-shot adventure for Mr. Colbert.

It is quite sweet: not only do both men have a blast doing so, but you can see Colbert really getting emotional about his first time playing D&D again since his youth.

Additionally, I thought it was quite interesting that Colbert was clearly an old-school D&D player: you can see it clear as day in the way he interacts with the dungeon. He’s not here to emote or to look for story, nor to “game the system”; he’s just trying to survive (and throwing rocks at gargoyles).

What do you observe?


I absolutely love seeing the look of childlike wonder in Colberts face. It’s good to be reminded that you can find joy in a game despite clunky mechanics and the simplest idea of an adventure.
As a side note: I find it surprising that although he clearly has acting talents he was reluctant to roleplay his character. I’m not sure if it is just the way the game was played back in the day or if there is a lingering feeling of embarrassment he might have felt as a dorky teenager.


I couldn’t agree more! I noticed the same thing. It’s a strange reaction from an actor/comedian with a background in improv theatre and comedy. Perhaps you’re onto something!


I don’t think that’s the case. Stephen is pretttty comfy with his geekdom.


He certainly is! That’s what makes it surprising.

Maybe to keep within the time constraint (Matt did remind him that they only have 30 minutes at one point) and focus on the more important thing, finish the adventure as best as he could. He would probably act/improv more if he were a regular member of the series. But we can only guess.

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This made me smile so much. I love Matt Mercer and Colbert, and seeing them together was magical.

I also loved to see some one-on-one gameplay, since that’s how I often game with my wife in various systems.

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Seeing that D&D is becoming more of a thing, I’m curious if we’ll see this trend continue. I believe Monster of the Week has popped up on a famous podcast, and I’d love to see something like Dream Askew, Trophy, or Lovecraftesque to come up on with some big name people.

How do we see this happening is what I’d ask, and what lessons we can take from seeing these segments back to our own Actual Play recordings. What do you find useful or interesting here that we can use?

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This was fun to watch. I don’t get into actual play videos very much, just a few like When Questing Beast streams a game or Eric Vulgaris UVG campaign, but usually not 5e streams. I was into this tho! I like how Colbert played it. Maybe I should give Critical Role another shot.

Might I recommend any of the hundreds (if not thousands at this point) AP videos the Gauntlet has produced? :wink:


I will have to check some out!