Watch Stephen Colbert Kick Off Hobbit Week By Turning New York Into Middle Earth

If you caught last night's episode of The Colbert Report, you've already seen that he's kicked off Hobbit Week, inviting on many of the cast and crew behind The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and even redesigning the set to have the proper venue for interviewing Gandalf the Grey. Peter Jackson said it himself, as Colbert pointed out on the show: "I have never met a bigger Tolkien geek in my life." And for just the very tip of the meekness, check out the revamped opening for last night's show, in which Colbert transforms New York City into a fearsome land worthy of Middle Earth's respect:

If you look closely at the map of the United States-- excuse me, "The Realm of Middle America"-- you can see all kinds of good jokes, such as Appalachia being dubbed "The Hill of Billys" and Detroit described as "Now a debatable and desert land." But the map of New York is where the real meekness begins, with references to "The Mines of Astoria" instead of the Mines of Moria and "Smaug Street" down in lower Manhattan, where all the Wall Street traders could probably fairly be described as dragons. Some of it's New Yorker insider humor-- Williamsburg is labeled "Hipster's Deep"-- but it's hard not to take this as proof of Colbert's Tolkien geek bona fides.

We're hoping for much more detailed silliness where this came from as Colbert's Tolkien week continues. For more on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey check out our newly published review, plus a guide on whether to see it in 48 fps. The movie opens next Friday, December 14.

Katey Rich

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend