On the latest at-home episode of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert paid tribute to his friend John Prine, who is currently hospitalized due to complications with the coronavirus. The late-night host shared a previously unaired performance from 2016, where he joined Prine for a duet of “That’s the Way the World Goes Round.”
“I’d like to take a moment right now to send out a personal message to a friend,” Colbert said. “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.”
He added, “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 sang a duet in 2016 that we never broadcast, but we’d like to now.”
In the clip, filmed in the Ed Sullivan Theater, Colbert asks to duet with Prine and then notes: “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.”
Prine was hospitalized earlier this week in “critical” condition. His wife has since updated fans that he is in stable condition. A rep for Prine said that the singer “remains in the ICU and is stable on the respirator,” and confirmed that the musician tested positive for the coronavirus.
“I need to clarify what I mean by ‘John is stable,’” the musician’s wife wrote on Twitter. “That is not the same as improving. 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.”