Michael Stipe, James Franco, and Stephen Colbert update R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World” for 2016 — watch

Between the rise of The Donald and the loss of Harambe, it's been an apocalyptic last 12 months

According to a recent report from NASA, the American people are ill-equipped should an astroid or comet hit Earth. Not that it matters, though, as 2016 has pretty much felt like the apocalypse. Michael Stipe most definitely agrees — during his appearance on the Late Show last night, he and host Stephen Colbert performed a tweaked version of “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” dedicated to these very unkind and ugly past 12 months.

(Read: The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time)

Among the lamented tragedies: Donald Trump’s mere existence, the spread of the Zika virus, the Flint water crisis, North Carolina’s ridiculous “bathroom bill”, Harambe’s death, and the very real signs of global warming. Throughout, Stipe insisted on never finishing the chorus with “…and I feel fine,” because, well, 2016 has been bullshit and no one should feel OK about it. A clean-shaven James Franco also showed up toward the end of the performance.

Stipe also briefly chatted with Colbert about a few things. On the topic of R.E.M., he didn’t explicitly say a reunion was in the cards, but he did echo previous sentiments regarding his own individual return to music. “I saw PJ Harvey, Radiohead — you see them up there and it’s like, “Wow, I kinda wanna jump up there again.’”

Watch the performance segment up above and the interview below.



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