Mariah Carey is known. But on Wednesday night’s (Dec. 7) Late Show With Stephen Colbert she was also seen as she sat down for the the show’s scientifically dubious “Colbert Questionert,” in which the host probed the recesses of her mind in order to peel back the unseen layers of the divine miss MC.
After a few minutes of idle chatter about how much better it is to chat in person than on Zoom — as the pair did during the COVID-19 pandemic — before he could even get the Questionert started, Colbert stumbled out of the gate. “Because you are the Queen of Christmas, I’ve got a couple…” he started, before Carey immediately cut him off.
“First of all, may I say I never called myself the Queen of Christmas. Can we please be clear on that?,” Carey said with authority as Colbert noted that he never called her that; Carey recently lost a legal fight over her effort to claim the “Queen of Christmas” trademark. “But others have [said], ‘the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas.’ I’m like, ‘really? I’m gonna do that?’ They can look up every interview I’ve ever done, and not to get super religious, but if anybody would be the Queen of Christmas that would be Mary?”
For the record, MC said, Christmas is for all and she just happens to really love it too. With that settled, nearly 7 minutes into the segment, Colbert finally got to the first question… which he also fumbled. “White lights or colored lights at Christmas?” he asked the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer.
“Um, I’m going to say is that politically correct in the way that you phrased that,” Carey asked with a sideways glance. A grinning Colbert was momentarily speechless about his verbal faux pas. “I’m going to… as a biracial… as a Black and biracial mix… Black, Irish,” Carey laughed while seamlessly plugging her Black Irish liquor brand.
Asked to pick between hot cocoa and eggnog, of course MC went with the cocoa… with a splash of Black Irish, naturally. As for whether she goes angel or star on her tree top, Carey said both, because the unofficial yuletide royal has four trees in her house. But when Colbert wondered when it’s time to start playing Christmas songs, the singer — who famously does not acknowledge time — said she had no idea “All I Want” would have such long legs when she wrote it more than two decades ago. So when she goes shopping, which she only does at Christmas, she said it seems like every retail outlet she hits is playing “cool” music and not classic holiday tunes.
Among her other answers: Best Sandwich (chicken parm with mozzarella cheese instead, lightly toasted), One Thing She Owns She Should Throw Out (a “hideously ugly” jacket in her closet that is multicolored, bright and sparkly), What’s the Scariest Animal? (snakes), Apples or Oranges? (oranges), What Do You Think Happens When We Die? (“the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evidence of things yet unseen.”) and Window or Aisle? (“a bed.”)
And, finally, if she only got one song to listen to for the rest of her life, she said, “Stephen Colbert’s latest hit.” When the host informed her that the last song he sang was “All I Want For Christmas” during the previous night’s monologue, Carey insisted he prove how much of her perennial holiday No. 1 he knew. But MC being MC, after Colbert busted out the first verse and chorus, the famously exacting singer joined in and sang, “You skipped a little part of the B section, but that’s all right.”
“All I Want for Christmas Is You” has already begun its now-annual journey up the Hot 100 for this Christmas season. On the chart dated Dec. 10, the 1994 single sits at No. 2, just behind Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero.” It’s peaked at No. 1 three years in a row now, dating back to its first ascension in 2019.
Check out Mariah’s answers below.