A show of hands if you think Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films was miscast. No one? Well then, here’s precisely the audition video for you: country-rocker Willie Nelson — who, incidentally, just turned 80 today, Apr. 30 — making a “smokin'” pitch for the franchise’s famous wizardly role.
(WATCH: Rare Photos for Willie Nelson’s 80th)
It seems Nelson pulled it together while visiting TBS’s Conan, donning cape, pointy hat and clutching an angel-topped staff, then doing his level best to clinch iconic lines from the books like “You shall not pass…an unlit joint, man — that’s just not cool” and “That giant flaming eye is just freakin’ me the f*** out” and “Balrogs are a**holes.” He even takes the time to croon that old Middle-earth standard, “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Orcs.”
And hey look, isn’t that Micah Nelson dueting with Nelson as Bilbo? Watch out Martin Freeman — can you sing and play guitar like that?
Nelson adds that he’d “also be a great Magneto,” you know, in case Bryan Singer’s watching.
Actor Ian “Gandalf” McKellen’s response to being (potentially) upstaged by the famous singer?