While David Letterman’s brand of old-school talk show humor may not garner him the type of audience held by the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon or, heck, even Jay Leno, that doesn’t mean that his no-nonsense approach to interviews doesn’t occasionally strike gold when the proper guest sits down.
Such was the case with Crispin Glover, Joaquin Phoenix and certainly writer/director Harmony Korine. According to The Hollywood Reporter, between 1997-1998, the eccentric Spring Breakers director appeared three times on Letterman’s program, each time displaying a disheveled, stoner-like demeanor complete with stories containing multiple random tangents.
Then, after Korine came into the studio for a scheduled fourth appearance, he was promptly banned from ever appearing on the show again. The reason why was left to speculation.
That is, until last night when Korine’s friend/leading man James Franco — in the studio to promote Spring Breakers — pressed the notoriously private host for a reason. After explaining that Korine was—at that time—“going a little off the rails” and perhaps “on something that night,” Letterman finally revealed what happened during the show.
Apparently, Letterman had caught Korine sifting through the purse of Meryl Streep, who was also on the program.
“I went upstairs to greet Meryl Streep and welcome her to the show,” Letterman recalled. “I knock on the door…and she was not in there. And I looked around, and she was not in there, and I found Harmony going through her purse…And so I said, ‘That’s it, put her things back in her bag and then get out.’”
After some encouraging words from Franco, however, Letterman said he would willing to have Korine back on show in the near future.
Watch video of the interview below.