Yes, 'It's the End of the Year As We Know It'

By Christian Holub
Updated December 16, 2016 at 12:53 PM EST
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The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

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The year 2016 was packed end-to-end with political insanity, wacky memes, and unexpected events, to the point that when you lay out everything that happened this year, you’ll probably find you already forgot a lot.

Luckily, Stephen Colbert summed it up on Thursday’s Late Show, and he got some help from Michael Stipe. The duo used the opportunity to create a 2016-specific parody of a classic R.E.M. hit, “It’s the End of the World As We Know It.”

“It’s the End of the Year As We Know It” kicked off with Zika, Harambe, and the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, and then got steadily more complicated as it listed this year’s many controversies. Stipe stood by mostly silently as Colbert sang lyrics about election memes and the rise of the alt-right. Eventually, however, he chimed in to sing the chorus, and he wasn’t the only one. Another of the night’s guests, James Franco, joined in for the climax.

Watch the clip below.

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