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Among the lesser-known victims of the government shutdown are couples who planned to have their weddings at national parks and memorials, and have had to postpone their nuptials because their chosen venues are now closed.
But not to worry, dejected brides and grooms, Stephen Colbert can help.
Noting that he promised to provide all canceled government services during the shutdown, on Thursday night’s episode of The Colbert Report, the host married Mike Cassesso and MaiLien Le, a couple who had planned to have their wedding at the Jefferson Memorial.
Even though he supports the shutdown, the couple’s inability to get married was causing a shutdown in his heart, Colbert revealed.
“I am actually an ordained minister of the American Marriage Ministries,” he said, presenting a certificate from the organization, calling the title “the most prestigious ministry certification you can get online while also being on the toilet.”
In a two-part segment he called “The 2013 Government Shutdown Wedding of the Century,” Colbert crammed an entire weekend’s worth of wedding festivities into less than 15 minutes, including brief bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Although he claimed he didn’t have time for the bachelor party stripper, the host was happy to perform as a male stripper for the bridesmaids, shimmying around in the red robe he wore for his role as minister, sporting a police hat and brandishing toy guns.
But it wasn’t all fun and games. The bride momentarily got cold feet, forcing Colbert to run backstage and give her a bridesmaid-esque pep talk.
“Listen, if Mike is not right for you, we will blow out of here and go get tattoos, just say the word,” the host told her, leading her to reveal that she’s really nervous about getting married on TV.
With that, Colbert started to get choked up, channeling his inner host-zilla: “Don’t you ruin this for me, this is my special day, OK?! I have been dieting for like 15 minutes. … You’re gonna be fine, you’re gonna be great, but it doesn’t matter because everyone’s going to be looking at me, OK?”
Le ultimately agreed to go forward with the ceremony and Colbert married the couple on his show.
The wedding also featured special appearances from Mandy Patinkin, who offered a “nondenominational Jewish blessing” for the couple, and Audra McDonald, who performed a ballad version of Billy Idol‘s “White Wedding” for the couple’s first dance, a comedically inappropriate choice.
Colbert even got national park icon Smokey the Bear to stand in for the best man, who was unavailable to attend.
Watch the full wedding celebration below.
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