Benedict Cumberbatch sang ‘Comfortably Numb’ on stage with Pink Floyd


Benedict Cumberbatch had a rare night off this week and he decided to spend it at a Pink Floyd concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Bendy didn’t just attend a concert like a peasant though! No, he got pulled on stage (?) and he ended up… singing (?)… “Comfortably Numb.” That song is arguably Pink Floyd’s most famous song, right up there with “Another Brick In the Wall” and “Wish You Were Here.” And if I paid for a ticket to see Pink Floyd, I would want to see and hear Pink Floyd perform “Comfortably Numb.” NOT AN OTTER. Maybe I would feel differently about it if Benedict actually had a good singing voice? But he doesn’t. There’s video of his performance:

I would be so embarrassed. But I wouldn’t have agreed to it in the first place. You know why? Because I know I have an awful singing voice! I only sing when I’m alone because no one should have to hear that. Benedict should have said, “While this is a great honor, no, I can’t, I’ll sound horrible.” Or am I being unfair? Unfair is what happened to all of those people who paid for their tickets and hoped to hear David Gilmour perform the song.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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59 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch sang ‘Comfortably Numb’ on stage with Pink Floyd”

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  1. Astrid says:

    I’d be pissed. Pink Floyd tickets aren’t cheap and its a once in a lifetime concert at the Albert Hall

    • Sasha says:

      He didn’t sing the whole concert, just a part of one song. The public didn’t seem to mind,.

      • ravensdaughter says:

        Talk about a dream of a lifetime. Go Cumby!
        Still-Good thing it was about 45 seconds. He is not nearly as good at sing speaking as Shatner…

  2. mazzie says:

    How on earth did I find this man attractive?

    • hermia says:

      A question many of us are asking ourselves. Answer: it was the Sherlock curls. And the coat. And the fact he wasn’t as insufferable as he is now.

    • Bee says:

      I used to like this guy back in the day (when he seemed normal) and I could overlook his face, but he’s now just intolerable. Sherlock is the only thing that makes him even remotely relevant to me anymore and even that has gone to hell. I can only see him getting more and more problematic as time goes by as it’s become clear he’s bought into his own hype.

      • nmoley says:

        The problem is, he hasn’t moved past biopics of quirky geniuses. Talk about the utterly boring Current War… Even Doctor Strange is one ( not a biopic, of course), and it’s his only big shot at the moment.

  3. t.fanty says:

    I’ll have to take your word for it. I don’t think I can bring myself to click play and listen to it.

    • Sixer says:

      Me either!

    • Lilacflowers says:

      It is painful. First, he chews scenery, like the special snowflake he thinks he is, while delivering the verse, then he goes for high notes he has no right to hope to hit. I suspect the sound is similar to castrating a cat without sedation.

      • Louise says:

        I’m not Lord Cumby’s biggest fan but lord what an unnecessary overreaction…he seems just like any other actor-fan who gets the chance to do this. He’s doing the spoken part only and it’s not that bad off the original, which is flat. The actual singing is being done by Gilmore, who obviously invited him to begin with, and I don’t know many people who would turn that down.

      • Karrie says:

        I am a HUGE Floyd fan, and that is Gilmore you’re hearing on the high note, not Cumberbatch who is drowned out. Gilmore sounds like that on the original recording, too (subsequent versions have Waters on that part).

        You don’t have to take my word for it, Cumberbatch actually drops his mic down but you can still hear the same voice over everyone else’s.

      • Karrie says:

        Also, I still take this version over Bob Geldof and Gilmour’s any day. Geldof was awful. You are supposed to do something, Gilmour invites people to do this song with him and it’s supposed to be a production, not someone standing there with a paper…see Geldof LOL.

        And yikes I can’t edit but I do love spelling Gilmour wrong, my fault up there!

    • QQ says:

      Same, I’m really mortified at the whole premise of this article and then I see his Pics and I’m even More embarrassed about you guys being pressed about this strange duck

  4. lilacflowers says:

    Cringe. Not only was the singing bad but the delivery was just so … Cringe.

    I would be furious.

  5. Timbuktu says:

    But he left soon enough, didn’t he? I admit I’m not a Pink Floyd fan, but it sounded like that part of the song was not particularly sing-song-y anyway, so not sure a great singing voice was required. He left the more musical chorus to the pro.

  6. toni says:

    No one should try to sing Comfortably Numb but David Gilmour and Roger Waters, even Van Morrison’s version wasn’t good.

  7. Zapp Brannigan says:

    He just keeps on trying to get someone to cast him as Bowie in a biopic (Bowie performed this song with Gilmore too) plus some Dr Strange promo. Don’t think he was pulled onstage randomly either, there is a picture floating around of him with the lyrics printed out nice and neat too.

    • Tris says:

      You mean Courtney Cox wasn’t some random girl pulled out of the audience, either? American dream, shattered! (Sorry for the sarcasm, but honestly, of course it wasn’t impromptu. What’s the problem?)

    • DSA says:

      I see no issue with campaigning for a role, I’d rather lose a role to someone who campaigned fair and square through demonstration of skill and range, than lose someone who went the casting couch route… I also wish women were encouraged to openly ‘campaign’ for roles more without being vilified for being “ambitious” (not the same thing as ‘thirsty’, by the way).

    • Jules says:

      While I don’t believe there’s a Bowie pic in the works right now and that’s a bit of a stretch, I am with DSA.

      This is an incredibly competitive industry–for every 5 talented actors there’s one 1 part, if they’re lucky. Promo, brand building, campaigning are all ways to try and cut above the competition and they cause no one harm. There’s nothing wrong with not doing it, either, but I have no idea why it’s considered underhanded or thirsty when it’s an acceptable industry standard. I felt this way about the Hiddleston criticism, too–they are just trying to get ahead.

      @Zapp Brannigan–Gilmore keeps lyric sheets handy for himself and the people he asks to do the Doctor part; it’s a regular feature. He also has them taped to the floor, although I am not sure when they started. Maybe after he forgot the lyrics at a big concert and it was everywhere. 😀

      • DSA says:

        Exactly. If it’s done openly and transparently, there’s nothing ‘underhanded’ about it. It’s the power-lunching and backdoor lobbying people should worried about.

        Why do we vilify and mock people for demonstrating their skills in a public space, but then turn a blind eye when someone gets suspiciously cast for a role when they’ve never proven anything to deserve? I’ve actually seen directors make lame excuses/damage control (for casting decisions they can’t justify) and literally alter scripts (during later stages of production) to ‘accommodate’ underperforming actors—who were suspiciously cast to begin with. Hell, I’ve even seen entire casts directed to perform badly so a particular actor can look good by comparison. Openly demonstrating you can play James Bond or David Bowie is nothing dirty.

        Jeah, I’m a bitter person—bitter as hell, but at least I’m a bitter person who still knows how to think straight and logically tell who’s playing dirty and who isn’t…

    • Dani says:

      Bowie just barely died. I think they need to cool it with the biopics. And, I doubt his fam would allow it so soon. And, even then, Cumby is the worst choice. The absolute worst.

      • hermia says:

        @DANI +1000000

      • Kay says:

        From Channing Tatum to Jared Leto, there are a ton of worse choices. Annoying has nothing on sending condoms to coworkers.

        I agree it’s too soon, and if they do have one, it will either be sanitized or upset his family at this point.

      • hermia says:

        They would choose a Brit anyway, not an American actor. But I bet DB’s family will never allow it to happen, not until any of them are alive. They may do another Velvet Goldmine, without actually using Bowie’s name. Whatever happens, Cumberbatch is too ugly to play Bowie. No amount of make up could turn that horsey face into the genuine beauty that Bowie was. They could use special effects or better still: another actor.

      • Kay says:

        You can’t help what you’re born with, so I’ll just say I never found Bowie beautiful at all. If they cast anyone for him eventually, it should be an unknown.

        I do feel it’s too soon for his family to have to deal with a biopic that should, if it’s a true one, cover things like his far-too-young groupies and his stint as a white supremacist. Not into deifying the dead. He turned out well, got it together, but he’s got some really horrid stuff in his past you can’t hand wave away.

      • DSA says:

        FWIW, if this is some form of creative PR, it’s probably DS-related (nothing to do with Bowie).

        “I’m a surgeon, I’ll anesthetise your pain to the point of numbness.” Get it? Groooan. LOL.

        We don’t need no thought control.

        Love the Eric Prydz remix.

  8. Felice. says:

    He’s drunk lol

  9. Spiderpig says:


  10. BritAfrica says:

    Making us all comfortably numb!

  11. bread says:

    Yikes. I couldn’t even listen to all 45 seconds of that first clip. It was like a drunk uncle at a wedding.

  12. Cee says:

    Oh wow, he needs to tone it down.

  13. Wilma says:

    It doesn’t sound that different from the way it usually sounds actually.

    • Tris says:

      I just posted the same thing downthread. Sounded just like normal, only with the kind of cool addition of Sherlock Holmes singing part of it. I think it’s cool.

  14. Tris says:

    But but but.. he sounded fine! Just like it normally does, in fact. What are you all on about?

  15. sa says:

    I disagree that he should have said no. If I Pink Floyd invites you to sing with them, you do it!

    It may have been unfair to the concert goers, who came to hear Pink Floyd, but any criticism for that has to be directed at Pink Floyd for inviting him to sing with them. Why should we expect someone to turn down what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity?

  16. Joanie says:

    He actually sounds pretty good! His voice has the right tone for that song.

  17. Donna says:

    That’s one of my top five favourite songs ever and I wouldn’t have been bothered. He’s only singing in the verse parts, which aren’t very melodic to begin with. David Gilmour is singing the chorus, which is the best part anyway, IMO.

  18. MI6 says:

    I thought it was kind of awesome, actually…
    Bendy owns his smugness. I love it.

    • Jenna says:

      i liked that he just seemed into it. excited, whatever. he’s living lol

    • Bonzo says:

      Poor Benny hasn’t gotten out much since becoming a family man. He needed a night off apparently.

      He’s still gives Tom a run for his money as Britain’s biggest dork.

  19. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    As my kids would say, meh. I love that song but I can’t get worked up about it. It was just the semi-spoken-word part that’s the voice of Pink’s manager and just the first verse. They took over after that.

    In the era of “please welcome to the stage” I’m a little sad to see Pink Floyd feeling the need to do it too, but I don’t blame Cumberbatch for it. Just a sign of the times.

    • Green Girl says:

      This is where I am. If I’m ever asked to sing on stage at a certain performer’s concerts, I will step on everyone’s toes on my way to the stage!

  20. saywhatyousee says:

    I don’t think he did so bad, either. If Waters isn’t there, they need a guest vocalist to sing the verse anyway. Gilmour still sounds so amazing on the chorus!

  21. slh121 says:

    Unlike many here, I liked his approach to the material. One of the notes he sang was a little off, but I give the man credit for going for it. He’s not a rock singer but gave it his best. I watched the version that Bowie did-he didn’t even try to sing the part that Ben did.
    He’s living life to the fullest. Good for him.

  22. Ally8 says:

    Apparently, Pink Floyd has referenced Doctor Strange in the past (e.g. on one of their album covers), so this might be a bit of “synergy” cross-promotion, as well as mutual appreciation.