Watch Michael Stipe Join Stephen Colbert and James Franco for ‘It’s the End of the Year As We Know It’
Feeling less than positive about the way things went in 2016? Take comfort in knowing that former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe and Stephen Colbert is right there with you.
Stipe stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Dec. 15, and with 2017 rapidly approaching, Colbert took the opportunity to set up a couple of mics for a reworking of the R.E.M. classic "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" — performed here, naturally, as "It's the End of the Year as We Know It."
The major difference, aside from the fact that Colbert took lead vocals and the duo were standing in front of a green screen flashing quick visual recaps of all the (mostly fairly unappealing) things that happened this year, was that — much to the audience's mirth — Stipe refused to add the song's signature tag, mutely expressing his disdain for 2016 instead of singing "I feel fine."
Fellow Late Show guest James Franco joined in partway through the song, which serves as a reminder of just how much headline news we go through in the space of a calendar year — and may help you get a chuckle out of some of 2016's darker moments. Check the whole performance out via the above video embed.
Stipe also sat for an interview with Colbert, discussing topics ranging from his bushy beard — he says he's "going for Zeus" rather than the "skid row Santa" he's occasionally accused of looking like this time of year — and the possibility of an R.E.M. reunion, which he seemed to welcome noncommittally by saying, "I saw PJ Harvey, Radiohead — you see them up there and it’s like, wow, I kinda wanna jump up there again." Watch the interview below.
Watch Stephen Colbert Interview Michael Stipe
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