“Who doesn’t love David Alan Grier?,” Stephen Colbert asked at the close of his interview with David Alan Grier. Sorry, that’s Sir David Alan Grier, as Colbert inaccurately described his guest. After all, even a notable American actor and “national treasure” (as Colbert noted, accurately this time) doesn’t just get handed a knighthood alongside his very first Tony Award win. Still, the title just sort of feels right for the venerable stage, screen, and TV star, who adopted an appropriately superior air while attempting to get Colbert to put some respect on his newly-minted Tony-winning name.
“I know, Steve, it’s probably difficult for you, sitting next to a Tony winner like myself,” the Best Featured Actor Tony winner big-timed his host. “It’s probably a ridiculous question,” Grier continued, shrugging in regal condescension, “But have you ever won a Tony?” Colbert, parrying in practiced faux humility, had to admit that he had not, merely putting up his 11 Emmys, 2 Grammys, and 3 Peabody Awards for balance. “I don’t know if you’re aware of this,” Grier trailed off in deadpan one-upmanship, “But the Tony Award is the most difficult award to...” To the audience tittering that followed, Grier, showing that Broadway poise, sought Colbert’s assurance that this would all be edited out of The Late Show broadcast, which, sure thing.
Grier, shown onstage joyfully telling his fellow Tony nominees, “Tough bananas, I won!,” during his typically hilarious acceptance speech, also goofed on his A Soldier’s Play co-star Jerry O’Connell for another Tony night goof, gone potentially, disastrously wrong. Telling Colbert that O’Connell had unsuccessfully jinxed him by proclaiming, “You’re going to win a Tony for this,” every single day from the first table read of the 2020 production of Charles Fuller’s play, Grier noted that O’Connell sent out a gleeful “I told you so” tweet after his win. That along with Grier’s actual cellphone number, which, somehow, O’Connell had included to his (checks Twitter) 133 thousand followers.
Grier, sitting through the three-hour Tonys broadcast after his show-opening win, could only speculate on the amount of abuse, spam, and inevitable trolling his poor voicemail was receiving until he got home. Thankfully (and, it’s got to be said, unexpectedly), the four-time Tony nominee wincingly checked his messages before bed, and teared up as he told Colbert that O’Connell’s goof had, instead, garnered a whole lot of unexpected love from the general public. “I thought this was going to be the cruelest listen-back,” Grier told Colbert, with genuine humility this time, “It was all love.” Even from some guy named Tony from Maine who, in Grier’s telling, used his access to Grier’s private line to blurt an emotional, “I was gonna call you to talk shit, but I love you man!” Because, seriously, who doesn’t love David Alan Grier?