Dolly Parton's Performance Brings Stephen Colbert to Tears—and It's Honestly Therapeutic

The one and only Dolly Parton gave an impromptu performance on The Late Show that mustered some unexpected emotion out of host Stephen Colbert. See for yourself below!

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 21, 2020 1:54 PMTags
Watch: Dolly Parton Reacts to All Those Dolly Parton Tributes

As The Late Show aptly tweeted, "@DollyParton sings 'Bury Me Beneath The Willow' and I think somebody is cutting onions."

Yes, Stephen Colbert's iconic guest Dolly Parton seemingly managed to get the late-night host to tear up during her remote appearance on the show Tuesday, Oct. 20. Can't say we blame him, though. After all, the singer was giving an impromptu performance of "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" as an example of the songs her mother would sing to her. During her performance, Colbert was spotted with his glasses off dabbing his eyes with a tissue.

Given his mix of laughter, smiles and welling eyes, it looked like even Colbert was caught off-guard by his emotional reaction to Parton's serenade. And, there's also the fact that the song is about someone asking to be buried underneath a willow tree before they kill themselves, heartbroken by a lover. 

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It wasn't long before Parton noticed her impact. As she quipped at Colbert, "I better hush before you cry yourself to death and we can't finish the show."

Meanwhile, the host acknowledged the current times. "Like a lot of Americans," he said, "I'm under a lot of stress right now, Dolly."
But, as he pointed out, "Isn't it funny that sometimes there's nothing happier than a cry?"

Can we get that phrase embroidered on a throw pillow?

If Parton's quick performance has you craving more of her beloved music, cue up "Coat of Many Colors." As she confirmed to Colbert, it's her "very favorite" song.