US celeb surprises at Jacinda talk


A US comedian has addressed world leaders in a very unique way after appearing at an event held by New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern.

US comedian Stephen Colbert addressed world leaders at a virtual meeting on the Asia-Pacific’s future Thursday, after New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern invited him to bring some levity to an event dominated by pandemic responses and climate change.

Prime Minister Ardern is hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit online, and lined up leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australia’s Scott Morrison to talk to business executives.

She also asked Colbert, who is a renowned Kiwi-phile and fan of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movies, to inject some humour into the meeting.

“I’m a big fan of this beautiful country at the bottom of the Pacific,” Colbert said, going on to address the online delegates in New Zealand slang accompanied by subtitles.

“I was stoked (thrilled) when Jacinda, the head sheila (prime minister), called me on the blower (phone),” he said.

“I thought: sweet as (great). That would be pretty choice (excellent). Then nek minnit (next minute), here I am.”

Colbert has repeatedly referenced his affection for New Zealand on “The Late Show” and visited the country in 2019, later airing a string of stories about his travels.

During his visit, Colbert did carpool karaoke with Ardern, attended a barbecue with singer Lorde and interviewed Jackson.

Speaking at the summit, Ms Ardern said she is proud of the actions taken by APEC to combat climate change and that it’s important that the Asia Pacific region doesn’t use the Covid-19 recovery as an excuse to ignore the problem.

She hailed her recent Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the UK, which she claims contains the most ambitious trade and environment provisions her country has ever negotiated.

“I was proud to announce the Agreement in Principle on a free-trade agreement with the United Kingdown last month that creates new opportunities for our businesses,” Ms Ardern said.

“It was also our first to include specific commitments on climate change with provisions towards eliminating subsidies on fossil fuels.”

Originally published as ‘Stoked’ Stephen Colbert livens up APEC after Jacinda Ardern invite