Tim McGraw has recorded tons of hit songs over his decades-long career as a country artist — and he just proved that he can also nail it on his own take on another superstar’s classic song. Host Stephen Colbert quipped that his guest on Wednesday night (February 2) is “the star of 1883 and occasional musician.”
When McGraw sat down on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the comedian just so happened to have a microphone handy. “I know you didn’t come here to sing, you came here to act,” Colbert acknowledged. “But that part’s done.”
McGraw told a few stories from the 1883 set before switching gears to singing on the show. That included the story of “cool cat” Tom Hanks agreeing to make a guest appearance in an episode of the prequel series, followed by a separate guest appearance by his wife, Rita Wilson. McGraw explained that his family and Hanks’ family have been longtime friends, so Hanks jumped at the chance to appear on the show. “He was so sweet, he went to everybody on the set, shook hands with everybody, took pictures with everybody,” McGraw recalled of Hanks. “He couldn’t have been nicer.”
Then, accepting the mic, McGraw delivered his own rendition of “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John’s 1971 smash hit song. The “Humble and Kind” artist covered the song with a hand from Jon Batiste and Stay Human. Watch the cover here:
Colbert also asked McGraw about his 1883 costars and his family during the interview. McGraw stars alongside his wife, fellow country superstar Faith Hill, and the two work to separate their work and home lives. Working on the show is one of the ways the new empty nesters keep busy, now that their three adult daughters are out of the house (“I’m never right about anything,” McGraw said of living in a female-dominated household).
McGraw also shared a story of the time costar Sam Elliott “jabbed” him for missing a line during the second episode of the Paramount+ series:
“(Elliott) was always one of my favorite actors… and then getting to know him on set he became one of my favorite people of all time.he’s the sweetest guy in the world. But I can tell you one story. There was a shoot-out in the second episode, where we’re walking down the street, and Billy Bob Thornton’s in it. We’re walking into the saloon, we’re clearing out the saloon, we’re shooting all these bad guys, and I’m so enthralled. Because Billy Bob is one of the most fantastic actors on earth as well… So, I’m watching the shootout, and I’m so enthralled with Billy Bob’s performance, I’m watching him do his thing, and I totally forgot that I had a line with Sam. So, I just blow right by Sam and don’t stop and deliver my line. And I get to the saloon doors and I go, ‘(expletive). I had a line with Sam and I forgot it.’ So they said ‘cut,’ and everybody was perfect, so we had to do it again because I forgot my line. I walked back to Sam and I said, ‘gosh, Sam, I’m sorry, I forgot my line. I was supposed to deliver a line to you,’ and Sam goes, ‘I noticed.’ And I’m like, ‘OK,’ and then he goes, ‘well, but at least you got the squint down.’ And then I walked off, got on my mark again and go, ‘dang, he just jabbed me.’”
Watch the rest of McGraw’s interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert here: