Career

Five things Stephen Colbert has taught us about our own Prime Minister

The American TV show host's cheeky approach revealed sides to our PM we'd never seen.

You think you know someone then Stephen Colbert shows up and you realise you don't. Or at least you didn't know them as well as you thought you did.
That's how we feel about things with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern right now, anyway.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert aired the first part of its week-long series exploring New Zealand on Tuesday, and it taught us more than a few things about our Prime Minister that we didn't know.
The series came about after Colbert visited New Zealand in October to make good on a promise to Ardern. When Ardern had first appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in New York in 2018 she'd invited him to visit and he'd said he would but he didn't. In September this year Ardern made a second appearance on the show and reissued the invitation. This time Colbert did follow through after saying he would come.
This is what we learned about our PM from Colbert, who considers himself a personal friend of Ardern's:
Ardern on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in September this year.

Jacinda's screen saver features a grumpy Neve

When Mike Tindall accidentally revealed his phone screensaver to be an adorable image of his wife, Zara Tindall, and their daughters Mia and Lena (in a video that his friend uploaded to Youtube) the internet went nuts.
We similarly went nuts when we clapped eyes on Ardern's screensaver, unwittingly revealed by Colbert as he tries to hack into our Prime Minister's phone.
Could that adorable image of a very grumpy-looking baby be Neve? We say yes and we love that the mother-of-one has gone with that grumpy face.

Jacinda Ardern auditioned for Lord of the Rings and didn’t get cast

Who knew? Well, Stephen Colbert did. He asked Ardern if it was true and she confirmed it was. Reassuring to know that even top performers like our PM don't get every job they apply for.

Our Prime Minister can hold a tune

Colbert challenges Ardern to a James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke"-like segment and together the pair belt out several bars from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Ardern is not bad. She can definitely hold a tune, at any rate.

Our Prime Minister is cyber safe

At our workplace we have courses on how to stay cyber safe - do not write your passwords on a sticky note and leave them stuck to your computer, that type of thing.
Our Prime Minister needs no such lessons. Colbert slyly asks her when Neve's birthday is and then punches the numbers into her phone, in the hopes of cracking her password. "Oh, it's not that then," he notes. His attempt disables her phone.

Jacinda Ardern likes Watties tomato sauce

She wouldn't really be Kiwi if she didn't, to be frank.
Colbert joins Ardern, partner Clarke Gayford and music legend Lorde for a backyard barbecue at the PM's place after he interviews her and he's treated to sausages wrapped in white bread, a true Kiwi classic. The meal is made complete with a bottle of Watties tomato sauce and we feel proud.
We can also attest, from previous visits to Jacinda Ardern's home to interview her for other stories, that our Prime Minister wears jandals. Kiwi through and through.