President Obama may have been a little late for the Kennedy Center Honors, but that didn’t stop the attendees from enjoying the celebration — or Stephen Colbert from having a little fun at his expense.
As Obama took his seat in the Kennedy Center during an intermission, sitting alongside first lady Michelle Obama and honorees Carole King, Rita Moreno, Seiji Ozawa, Cicely Tyson and George Lucas, event host Colbert couldn’t resist a joke.
Apparently reading an announcement, Colbert asked if the owner of a green-and-white helicopter with “MARINE1” tags could please take note: “You left your lights on.”
The president, of course, was delayed by his Oval Office speech on terrorism, which was televised live at 8 p.m. ET.
Sunday’s Kennedy Center Honors were filled with moments both light and moving.
Aretha Franklin paid tribute to King with a performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” the King-penned song that Franklin had a hit with in 1967.
Lucas was honored with a “Star Wars” tribute complete with lasers, not to mention toasts by Carrie Fisher, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese.
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard performed “My Funny Valentine” for Tyson.
Lin-Manuel Miranda praised Moreno as a pioneer: “She takes the stage, she commands attention, she speaks for us and she tells the truth,” he said.
Obama may have made it, but one group of honorees — the Eagles — couldn’t come, citing singer Glenn Frey’s health issues.
In early November, the band released a statement that Frey “has had a recurrence of previous intestinal issues, which will require major surgery and a lengthy recovery period.”
The 2015 Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS on December 29.