Stephen Colbert's mashup of Severance and The Office is hilarious

Stephen Colbert’s mashup of Severance and The Office is hilarious


"Stephen C." annoys Irving B. at Lumon Industries in "Severance" parody.
Photo: Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert created a parody Thursday night of the psychological thriller Severance on Apple TV+. The segment’s a must-see for fans of the show, or for fans of nouveu-comedy classic The Office, which figures into the mashup heavily.

I just called Severance a psychological thriller. In his lead-in to the video, which you can watch below, Colbert was probably more accurate.

Severance is easily one of the top dystopian workplace sci-fi mystery black comedy psychological thrillers I’ve ever seen,” he deadpanned, getting a laugh.

Colbert’s teases Apple with Severance parody brilliantly mashed up with The Office

Colbert’s introduction of the parody video didn’t just tease (and praise) Severance. He teased Apple, too, though he’s said to be a fan of Cupertino’s wares.

“It’s one of the most critically acclaimed shows of the year and it’s even been nominated for 14 Emmys,” he said of the show. “Which means Apple now has almost as many nominations as types of cords. What is Thunderbolt?! Is that one of the new shows? Stop it with the ports!”

Watch it even if you’ve never seen Severance

Colbert’s intro also does a good job of describing the award-winning show and its plot. You should watch the video even if you haven’t seen Severance but are curious about it. Cult of Mac‘s critic has had good things to say about it.

Colbert describes the creepy company, Lumon Industries, and the brain surgery it offers employees so they can completely separate their awareness of the their work and personal lives.

Then he throws in several other weird details, like Lumon’s rewards for good behavior and how a severed employee in the office is known as an “innie” and their persona outside of work is their “outtie.”

So yeah, there are belly-button jokes.

And it’s all true what Colbert says about the show, except maybe the part about how he was supposed to be in it. Thing is, all his footage ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Lost ‘Stephen C.’ footage found

Luckily, though, The Late Show supposedly recovered the footage. And that’s the video Colbert offers. In it, “Stephen C.” reports for work at Lumon and soon suspects that his “outtie” may actually be Steve Carrell from The Office. And if he’s Carrell, John Turturro’s character, Irving B., must actually be Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), right?

In the video, Irving B. definitely disagrees with that premise, even as the video morphs into a parody of The Office, with Stephen C. confiding to the camera about his colleagues with a knowing smirk in a familiar-looking shot.

And the colleagues are one of the best things about the video. It was made with the cooperation of the folks behind Severance, like director and executive producer Ben Stiller and a few cast members, who appear with Colbert (Turturro plus Adam Scott  as Mark S. and Tramell Tillman as Mr. Milchick). Watch it below.

You can watch season one of Severance on Apple TV+. And you should, because the show will return in all its disorienting creepiness for a second season before too long.

Apple TV+ is available by subscription for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial, or via any tier of the Apple One subscription bundle.


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