Video: Stephen Colbert Interrogates John Green

The Indy-based author joined everyone’s favorite false pundit on TV for a rapid-fire exchange.

Stephen Colbert, host of the ever-popular Colbert Report, met John Green on the show Monday. Green is the world’s favorite Indianapolis resident, of course, and his main purpose in visiting was to discuss a little book-turned–cinema bait, The Fault in Our Stars.

In typical Colbert fashion, many topics came up, mostly in erratic fashion—including why Green feels the need to make us all cry excessively in public and wondering aloud as to whether he thinks of the saddest things possible, throws those ideas into “the most depressing hat ever made,” and then pulls out what he gets and says, “Deal with it.” To that, Green agreed.

In all seriousness, Green says he made himself cry while writing the book. He would go into Starbucks at 7:30 in the morning, open his laptop, and start weeping because his inspiration, a close friend named Esther Earl, died due to cancer when she was 16. Here’s the full clip of the conversation:

After banter about Green’s Internet fame and how he leads projects that raise money for charities, Colbert, as is his wont, fired off the question that’s on no one’s mind: “Are you a cult leader?”

Instead of making up some fanciful cult on the spot, in which teenage nerds would follow his every instruction so long as they got to help a needy nation with its problems in the most Internet-savvy fashion possible, Green asked Colbert if he himself was a cult leader. Tables turned, sure—but the Indy-based author never answered the question. Were he that type, well, suffice it to say he’d hardly be the last of that ilk to come out of Indiana. (And it’s the last thing we need.)

What we do know is that he writes books now firmly embedded in our planet’s pop culture, and they pull on every emotional fiber a reader has to offer.