Stephen Colbert’s timing and delivery is always top-shelf. The Late Night host nailed it once again overnight when he unearthed a previously-unreleased performance video starring John Prine, who is recovering from a nasty COVID-19 infection.
Speaking from the comforts of home, Colbert introduced the four-year-old clip. “I’d like to take a moment right now to send out a personal message to a friend,” he explained. “Last week, our friend – and yours – the musical great John Prine was placed on a ventilator with coronavirus symptoms. My thoughts are with John and his wife, Fiona, and his family. And everybody out there touched by this virus.”
Colbert continued, “I’d like to share with you right now one of the happiest moments I’ve had on my show or any show. And that’s when John and I sung a duet in 2016 that we never broadcast, but we’d like to now. Happy enchilada, John.”
Colbert teamed up with the folk legend on a performance of “That’s the Way the World Goes Round,” which was shot at the Ed Sullivan Theater in 2016 but never aired on The Late Show.
In a prophetic opener to their performance, Colbert said to his audience, “We’ll probably do this for the Internet. Unless, you know, something terrible happens and we have to cheer up the world on the TV show.” And here we are.
Prine’s condition is “stable,” his wife Fiona tweeted on Tuesday.
“That is not the same as improving,” she noted. “There is no cure for Covid-19. He needs our prayers and love – as do the thousands of others who are critically ill. Stay at home. Wash your hands. We love you.”
Watch Prine’s duet with Colbert below.