Lin-Manuel Miranda dropped by The Late Show on Tuesday night (Oct. 16) to discuss the U.K.’s very different reactions to the jokes Americans don’t laugh at in Hamilton, share some details about his reprisal of the lead role in a special run of the musical in Puerto Rico and explain newly released book, Gmorning, Gnight!
Colbert opened the interview by reminding Miranda that they first met when his smash-hit Hamilton moved to Broadway in 2015. The show now runs in other cities, including London, and Miranda was eager to share the biggest difference between how American and British audiences react to some of the deep-cut jibes.
“They’re super hung up about sex — they giggle at sex stuff,” said Miranda of London audiences. In the song “Wait For It,” Aaron Burr sings, “Theodosia writes me a letter every day/ I’m keeping the bed warm while her husband is away.” While this line is met with silence in the U.S., Miranda said it gets a huge reaction in the U.K.
Miranda also mentioned his upcoming reprisal of Alexander Hamilton for 24 performances at the University of Puerto Rico in January. While Miranda hasn’t played the titular character since July of 2016, he excitedly told Colbert, “I’m getting back in the blouse.” All the money raised from those shows will be donated to art funds in Puerto Rico.
And while the new company will have six weeks to rehearse, Miranda said he’ll only be participating in a week and a half’s worth. He joked that he was trying to figure out if he remembered certain lines and dance moves while watching the play with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in August.
Miranda explained that Alexander Hamilton was born in the Caribbean and got to the U.S. after a letter he wrote that got published in The Royal Danish American Gazette following the aftermath of a hurricane. People recognized that he was smart, and sent him to the colonies to learn and bring his knowledge back, but he never returned. Around 200 years later, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, so Miranda is bringing Hamilton’s story full-circle by coming back to help after a hurricane. “We’re kind of closing Hamilton’s loop here,” he said.
Miranda closed his Late Show visit by discussing his Gmorning, Gnight! book, which hit shelves on Tuesday (Oct. 16). “You should not give someone who likes an audience, an audience in their pocket,” joked Miranda of his Twitter obsession, which birthed the content of the book.
Miranda explained to Colbert that in 2007, he began saying good morning and goodnight on Twitter to clock in and out of the world. He wrote his audience things he needed to hear in the moment, changing the pronouns and tying opening and closing tweets together. “The hug you need, you give to someone else,” remarked Colbert.
Jonny Sun, a friend Miranda made on Twitter, helped bring the book to life by adding illustrations alongside some of Miranda’s most popular posts. He closed his Late Show appearance by reading a touching set of tweets he wrote the day of chef Anthony Bourdain’s passing.
You can watch the full interview below.