Ben Stiller hopped into the wayback machine on The Late Show on Thursday night (Nov. 15) to talk about his 2008 performance with the Beastie Boys at a Rock the Vote concert and the unlikely reboot of his long-lost teenage punk band.
The 52-year-old comedian and actor explained that during a set of Beastie Boys concerts in Ohio a decade ago, he came on stage dressed as member Ad-Rock during the rapper’s “Root Down” verse. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life,” said Stiller. “First of all, the Beastie Boys — you know, they’re iconic — and then to be on stage and to have to do a verse, and then be in front of people and perform…crazy, like a weird dream.”
His brief time on stage with the legendary rap trio wasn’t his first experience performing music, though. Back in high school, Stiller played drums in a band called Capital Punishment. “We never actually played in front of people,” explained Stiller, “We played once, but we recorded an album.”
He told Colbert that the guitarist had become a professor of Czech literature at the University of London and the bassist secured a job as the chief judge of the Arizona State Court of Appeals.
“Wow,” joked The Late Show host, “You’ve achieved nothing compared to these men.”
Despite having full careers, Stiller and his bandmates recently reunited to record an EP, This Is Capital Punishment, soon after the independent label Capture Tracks reissued the quartet’s original album. The band’s new release, limited to 1,500 physical copies, drops on Nov. 23. Stiller also discussed his upcoming Showtime limited series, Escape at Dannemora, an eight-part miniseries chronicling the real-life, headline-grabbing prison escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York in 2015.
Check out Stiller’s Late Show chat below.