BTS pays homage to the Beatles on ‘The Late Show,’ channeling the legendary group’s U.S. debut


BTS channels the Beatles on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” (Scott Kowalchyk/CBS) By Bethonie Butler Bethonie Butler Reporter covering television and pop culture Email Bio Follow May 16 at 11:26 AM On Wednesday night, as Stephen Colbert prepared to welcome the wildly popular South Korean boy band BTS, he noted that the K-pop phenoms are “the first group since the Beatles to earn three No. 1 albums in less than a year.”

When BTS performed a few minutes later, it took the Beatles comparison to heart, channeling the legendary band’s 1964 performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” an event that marked the Fab Four’s American debut.

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Colbert offered his own tribute to a beloved predecessor: Ed Sullivan, who hosted his variety show across several decades from the very theater where Colbert helms his late-night show. The theater, of course, now bears Sullivan’s name.

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The Late Show” leaned into BTS’s homage, switching to black-and-white hues. Colbert surfaced post-commercial break with slicked-back hair and the pruned diction of a 1960s TV personality

“And now for the performance you’ve been waiting for,” Colbert began. “These fabulous young lads from Seoul — really impressed all of us here — performing their song ‘Boy With Luv,’ from their EP ‘Map of the Soul: Persona,’ ladies and gentlemen, BTS.”

[ What to know about BTS ]

The show flashed to hysterical young men and women in the audience, sporting sleek ’60s hairstyles and vintage fashion. Onstage, the members of BTS — in tailored black suits — began to sing their airy hit in front of a drum emblazoned with the group’s name

Earlier that day, band member and rapper RM told “Good Morning America” that all of the members were “fanboys of the Beatles.” And despite outnumbering the Fab Four (there are seven members of BTS), the K-pop group pulled off a performance that honored both the British band’s legacy and their own historic rise to global fame

bts paying homage to the beatles in the same theater where beatlemania started back in 1964 is making me feel so many things 🇰🇷☺️ pic.twitter.com/NlB9PdZJLh

— Joon Lee (@joonlee) May 16, 2019 Enjoyed the BTSColbert” performance

What's interesting is that it, on paper, was the most gimmicky US performance they've done

And yet – the camera work & direction focused so intently on their artistry & talent. It was a serious, tasteful glimpse at why they're so popular

— Brian Cantor (@cantorpedia) May 16, 2019 If the “Late Show” performance doesn’t convince you of the group’s charms, Colbert’s interview with the K-pop stars just might

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