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Stephen Colbert and J.J. Abrams led a parade through Times Square last night

By Clayton Guse

J.J. Abrams was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night, and while the Star Wars director provided no hints as to what the saga’s ninth chapter will hold, he did give the audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater a delightful surprise.

During his appearance, Abrams plugged The Play That Goes Wrong, a Broadway show that he co-produced. After inviting the late-night host to attend a performance following the TV show taping, Colbert asked if he could bring a friend. “You can bring as many people as you want,” Abrams replied, and Colbert asked the entire audience if they’d like to join. 

What followed was an impromptu parade down Broadway to the Lyceum Theatre on 45th Street. Colbert and Abrams led a group of 100-plus audience members through Times Square (where Colbert tweaked the Naked Cowboy’s nipple) and into the theater. The whole thing was streamed live on The Late Show’s Facebook page and gave viewers around the world a taste of the congested, tourist-ridden hellhole that is the Crossroads of the World. 

At this point, Star Wars fanatics have gotten used to Abrams’ tight-lipped manner when it comes to the details of the space opera. He did note that the script for Episode IX has been completed but did not offer any more details. Instead, he managed to deflect to the play, which he helped bring to the Great White Way last year. 

While it was an adorable, hokey stunt, the entire procession looked to be a logistical nightmare. In the Facebook stream, producers are seen clearing bystanders from the parade’s route, and when they reached the theater, one voice can be heard asking, “Who's gonna be by the door checking wristbands?” Another voice replied, “That's not us.”

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