It’s a show that’s supposed to feel lighthearted and inconsequential, but Linkin Park’s episode of Carpool Karaoke is anything but, shadowed by Chester Bennington’s death by suicide soon after its filming.
Watching it is a strange, uncomfortable experience, Chester’s beaming smile and easy banter with comedian Ken Jeong bringing little joy as we can’t help but consider the weight of the burden he was carrying with him.
For over 20 minutes Jeong and the band chuckle their way through a range of songs and anecdotes, building towards a triumphant victory lap to the sounds of ‘Numb’, but it’ll be a difficult watch for anyone who has ever felt a connection with the beloved frontman.
It’s in many ways a surprise that we’re seeing this footage now; one of the last things Chester did with the band before he took his own life, there was indecision from Apple, the band, and Chester’s widow Talinda over whether it was still appropriate to screen the episode, but it would have ultimately felt cruel to hold it back from the fans – whether they can’t get through a single viewing, or watch it on repeat.
The episode ends with by pointing people towards Linkin Park’s recently-established One More Light Fund at musicforrelief.org, which is currently raising money for residents in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean to help them recover from the enormous damage caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Linkin Park recently unveiled their fans’ touching home-made tribute to Chester Bennington, a collaborative effort by a group of the band’s most dedicated supporters from around the world, while also announcing a one-off event in Los Angeles that will bring together some of music’s biggest names to perform alongside the band in Chester’s memory.
You can watch Linkin Park’s episode of Carpool Karaoke, and one of Chester Bennington’s final appearances on camera, below.