Fans went to work after Taylor Swift dropped mysterious numbers, New York references, song names and more ‘Easter eggs’ during her interview with Stephen Colbert. They came to one conclusion.
Fans are convinced that Taylor Swift dropped “Easter eggs” left and right during her interview with Stephen Colbert that aired on April 13. From cryptic numbers to tongue-in-cheek references to throwback songs, fans don’t think the 31-year-old pop star was simply being quirky during her Tuesday night appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert that seemed more like a planned skit than an interview. Fans think these supposed clues added up to one conclusion, too, which we’ll reveal after breaking down all these Easter eggs.
— kelsea (taylor’s version) 💛💛 (@kelsealovestay) April 14, 2021
The interview begins with Stephen cheekily asking if Taylor’s song, “Hey Stephen,” is about the late night television host. It was a relevant question, since the singer just re-recorded the song (along with all of the other tracks on her 2008 album Fearless) for Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which came out on April 9. Taylor dropped what appeared to be her first clue when she replied, “No, Stephen…I mean I first recorded that song in 2008. I think I was like 18…I mean, you were probably about 44 years, 179 days old, give and or take several hours.”
Taylor Swift talking to Stephen Colbert about all the easter eggs and numerology she’d be dropping during her interview pic.twitter.com/MOJnvxT4LP
— this is (ji)me fearlessly trying 🇵🇪 (@brandnewjmn) April 14, 2021
Stephen said that’s “shockingly specific,” to which Taylor said in a deadpan voice, “Like i said, I’m a big fan.” So much so, the singer revealed that she sent a signed CD to Stephen’s office: “513 West 54th Street, New York, New York, 10019 2nd Floor Office, Facing the street.” Another clue?
The next major clue appeared to be her Stephen-inspired mood board, which Taylor joked that she made for “three days” to get her back “in the same headspace” that she was in while writing “Hey Stephen” in 2008. Taylor stressed that the mood board wasn’t just plastered with various photos of the talk show host over the years by pointing out the giant pizza in the corner. Fans had a lot to say about the pizza, which we’ll get to.
Taylor then started making references to 1989, her album from 2014. “‘Hey Stephen’ is not about you, anymore than my album 1989 is about that year you spent waiting tables on the lunch shift at Scoozi, an Italian restaurant in the river north area of Chicago, that by the way serves a really incredible slice of pizza,” Taylor said. Again with the pizza! With that said, a fan — among others — pointed out that “there are 5 pieces of pepperoni on the pizza and 1989 is her fifth album.” The pizza also appeared to be “New York-style,” another fan pointed, and one of Taylor’s 1989 songs is called “Welcome To New York.”
the way taylor swift pointed on pizza with 5 pepperoni, plus the fact that pizza has become a staple food in New York City.
5 pepperoni = 5th album which is “1989.”
— CHRISTIAN 💙💙💙💙💙 (@cowboylikesnake) April 14, 2021
Taylor assured that this is simply common knowledge for anyone who “frequently checks” Stephen’s Wikipedia page, and told him, “You Need To Calm Down.” Yup — another 1989 Easter egg! She then jokingly revealed who “Hey Stephen” is really about: horror author Stephen King. “The Dark Tower series changed my life, plus The Shining, The Stand, and don’t even get me started on his short stories…absolutely luminescent,” she said. Well, one fan did their research and tweeted that the author’s short story collection called Dark Visions (similar in name to Dark Tower) came out in 1989.
wait a min… the short stories taylor mentioned is dark visions by stephen king came out in 1989… TAYLOR SWIFT WHEN I CATCH YOU- pic.twitter.com/M6zYPooreP
— mylinh⸆⸉ (@everlores_) April 14, 2021
Taylor then said that if she had really wrote the song about Stephen (the Colbert one), it would’ve went like, “Hey Stephen I love you on the TV, and all the stuff you did on The Daily Show and that time you were on Law & Order, your 5’11”, your middle name is Tyrone. Social security number is 33035.” Again with the numbers — fans pointed out the social security number adds up to 14, as you can see in the tweet below.
so taylor swift said these specific things on stephen colbert:
2008, 18, 44 years, 179 days, 513, 54, new york, 1989, scoozi chicago, stephen king, dark tower, the shining, the stand, 511, shake it off, 33035 and YNTCD
3+3+0+3+5 = 14
may 14th is a friday
yntcd is track 14 💙 pic.twitter.com/qjrFSMA3H1
— benjy 💛💛 (@cowboylikebenjy) April 14, 2021
Taylor left fans with one last apparent clue: another song name from 1989. “Take the feeling that you’re feeling and just ‘Shake It Off,’ right? But that song is about you.” On top of all this, Taylor was wearing a cardigan for the interview (the name of her hit 2020 song from folklore).
Of course, this led fans to believe that Taylor’s next re-recorded album will be 1989 — they just don’t know when, if true. “Not Normal People (swifties): taylor is releasing 1989 in may bc there was a seagull on the poster and she said 33035179 which adds up to 31 which is 13 backwards and 31 days from now is may 14,” one fan teased. Many others seemed to think that Taylor’s next project is arriving May 14th as well, but there were all kinds of theories on Twitter (we shared some popular ones above). One fan combined all the Easter eggs in one tweet, which you can see below:
specific things taylor said on stephen colbert:
2008, 18, 44 years 179 days, 513, 54, new york, new york, 1989, scoozi’s chicago, you need to calm down, stephen king, dark tower, the shining, the stand, 511, 33035, shake it off
do what you will with this info. #TaylorSwift
— julianne (@swiftzys) April 14, 2021
Taylor is on a mission to re-record her first six albums, after leaving her masters behind when she parted ways with Big Machine Records (formerly owned by Scott Borchetta) in 2018. Taylor currently does not own all her music, despite writing and recording the dozens of songs herself; Taylor’s lawyer, Donald Passman, alleged that Scott “never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others,” per a statement given to HollywoodLife in July of 2019.
“For years, I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Taylor explained in a Tumblr post in June of 2019. She added, “Instead, I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in.” Taylor’s nemesis, Scooter Braun, went on to acquire the rights to her masters that summer after his Ithaca Holdings LLC company acquired Big Machine Label Group from Scott. Scooter then sold the recording rights to Taylor’s first six albums to an investment firm called Shamrock Capital in Nov. 2020, according to The New York Times. Amid all this music drama, fans have rallied alongside Taylor and sworn to only listen to her re-recorded albums (which is exactly why they’re so excited for the new 1989 to drop, whenever it does).