Joaquin Phoenix sits next to David Letterman

February 12th, 2009 // 102 Comments

Joaquin Phoenix stopped by The Late Show with David Letterman last night and pretty much did his best Andy Kaufman impression. He sat there silently and would mumble an occasional answer to Dave who tried to keep the conversation going. Things turned pissy when he shot down Joaquin’s offer to perform his hip-hop music on the show who then started swearing at Paul Shaffer for laughing. I don’t want to say this is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen, but Dave would’ve been better off interviewing a homeless guy who thinks the government in his shoe. Mostly because I like my crazy non-scripted.

Photos: WENN


  1. FWP

    What a douche.


    You are all retarded. This is a big giant thing he’s doin as part of a FILM ala Borat. Dumbasses.

  3. fearsarewishes


    Tim, buddy, you sound like a moron when you try to be serious about this celebrity carp.

    You lost any credibilty at all with your “deep seeded” comment. For your future reference, it is “deep seated”. I know they sound the about the same, but they are not.


  4. feararewishes

    Crap, not carp. I meant crap.

    JFC, now who sounds like a moron?

  5. missywissy

    I noticed he took the gum back from underneath the desk, and then I couldn’t help but to wonder if it’s the same gum he was chewing in the movie as well.

    He was on Letterman before a few years ago and knew what to expect, he went along with everything then, telling funny stories, being likable so people will go see his new movie then…..

    I’m wondering who is profiting from all of this???? Remember Anna Nicole Smith? Howard Stern kept her drugged up because people were interested in her because of how she was when on drugs. Look how that one ended up. He made a TON of money off of all that. Who is doing this to Joaquin????? He was fine and dandy before.

    Then there’s the Andy Kaufman theory. This could all be a hoax. What I don’t understand is how he can memorize and act out a script and not wig out during filming, but get him in a real moment and he can’t help himself.

    @31- Dave was definately telling him he would not be performing on the show. That’s why he followed with “we’ll keep you in the rolodex”.

  6. Anonymous

    David Letterman is my hero. Absolutely my hero. “And Joaquin, sorry you couldn’t be with us tonight.”

    Great moment was Phoenix sticking gum under Letterman’s desk. Act or no, what a dick.

  7. dude

    dude i would say it’s fake but honestly i don’t see the joke, what would he say “hey i fooled you into thinking that i’m kind of crazy and dont talk much”, if it was fake i feel like it would be a little more crazy, so im sayin genuine just cuz even if we’re fooled its not a very good joke

  8. zebra

    Just your typical obama libtard voter. (both he and letterman equal the mental capacity of a bag of hammers)

  9. maddy is a L7

    funy as hell.
    gotta give dave mad props for beings so cool.
    why did joaquin only take off his glasses at the end?

    i wanna see your soul joaquin!

  10. I really can’t wait to see casey’s documentary. Borat was good and it would be great to see a great actor like joaquin tackle the genre. I enjoy everything that he is in and he is such a unique presence. Although if he really wanted to be successful in the music world, he should have pursued a rock or country career.

  11. Chelle

    “What can you tell me about your days with the Unabomber?”


  12. Kim

    Um..I think Joaquin is actually mentally ill and no one is doing anything about it. Just like everyone let Britney hit rock bottom before someone helped her. It’s really upsetting.

  13. Jimmy Jim

    don’t put joaquin and britney in the same category you dumb fuck.

    joaquin actually is good at what he does. britney is not. joaquin is clearly putting on an act, its been mentioned many times even on THIS BLOG.

  14. JPRichardson

    “We will keep you in our ROLODEX”. If that’s not Dave shooting down his request to perform his musical act on the Late Show, the what is it?

    Very funny. And Joaquin is only playing a role.

  15. edamame

    The BEST part was when Dave said, “We owe an apology to Farrah Fawcett!”
    BWAH HA HA! (though Farrah actually IS fucking looney)
    And I also remember the Crispin Glover incident…he had these fugly boots on with platform heels…almost kicked Dave in the face! (wait, just how fucking old am I?!)
    I think Joaquin is brilliant, but he definitely came from a seriously fucked up family. poor kid. I was pulling for him to win an Oscar for Gladiator.

  16. JenJen

    This is really frightening. I hope he gets some help. Why on earth did he agree to be on the show?? They should not have shown this on TV.

  17. shankyouverymuch

    I’d love to know what Joaquin was saying at the very end, when he took his glasses off & was shaking hands with Dave. Maybe something like …

    “I know where you live Dave & tonight you;re going to go visit my bro Phoenix – IN HELL!”

  18. sote

    LMAO! hahahaha Joaquin is great, I love him. It looks like his acting from time to time but I’m worried that he did lost his mind. And @31 tim, he not only witnessed his brother’s death but like his brother he grew up in that creepy cult children of whatnot that affected river’s life so much. I would not blame him for being screwed up. But this is freaking hilarious hahahaha, “what do you have them on?” hahahahahah that was awesome!!! It is weird to see him like this, he always looked so shy.

  19. vanessa

    #53-It’s “deep-seated” if you’re really going to be a grammar Nazi.

    This whole act is not funny or amusing in the slightest. It’s so obvious what he is doing, you would think he and the producers would abandon the whole idea while he still has some semblance of respect as an artist. It just seems desperate and detrimental to everyone involved, at this point.

    It’s too bad, because he was a really talented actor and now he is just making himself look like an ungrateful prick.

  20. Heather

    props to dave for being able to keep it up, he’s a master

  21. shankyouverymuch

    #67 … By “Phoenix” you really meant to write ‘River’- right? … Yeah, RIVER- I thought so. :O)

  22. poorlittlerichwhiteboy

    Go away, Joaquin, you annoying, stupid rich man with your stupid appearance and your fake dumb act. You’re not entertaining anyone. The novelty was gone before it started, dude, and now you’re gonna find out what it’s really like to be living on the street because no one will ever hire you again.

  23. AirMail56

    He’s haunted by the gost of a better looking, more talented brother… who he killed…

  24. I wonder what Joaquim says to Dave when he takes his glasses off. Perhaps “thanks for playing along, this clip should go viral easily!”

  25. kate

    ^&)()Who cares! Just saw him appear on the FREE and HOT celebrities/rich men seeking affairs site ~~~ *******su g a rmingle. c o m ~~~ where you can meet many famous people and beauties. I have met my soul mate there. It is worthy of having a try.

  26. maudina

    @ 29 ; that was real funny

  27. Mitch

    This vexes me. I am vexed.

  28. me


  29. ctti

    That was pretty funny, albeit in a sad way.

    Whether he’s on drugs, crazy or just pretending, he really needs to stop this gangsta rap shit & get his ass back to acting.

  30. meknow

    FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m buying his schtick. He is a fantastic actor & is a fuckin mystery man. GO Wackuin!

  31. He is already DISINFECTED, folks?

  32. Roxi

    David letterman gave this guy what he deserves, Joaquin acted like an ass and im 99.9% sure hes on drugs, should just stay at home and smoke more crack, what a waste of space blah!

  33. RaraAvis

    Are you people nuts? The man is stoned out of his mind. Joaquin Phoenix is the new Amy Winehouse! Wish I had picked him in the pool…damm…

  34. diediedieobama

    Funniest fucking thing I’ve seen in a long time. The anti-drug people need to plaster this idiot’s image all over the place. Don’t do drugs kiddies, or you’ll end up like this asshole.

    Die Obama Die!

  35. lawrenec

    Wow~~This guy was once a vip member of It is said he is interested in dati*ng supermodels over there. Who hnows>

  36. Furo


    Mental illness is not funny folks.

    Letterman is a prick, exploiting him for a few cheap laughs. I am amazed Pheonix was even let on the show in his condition.

    Anyway, hope he pulls through, he’s a really great actor.

  37. Mephistefales

    Maybe he’s actually going method for his role in Teenwolf 3.

  38. fearsarewishes


    Vanessa, you are a stupid cunt.

    It is proper to write “deep seated” without the hyphen. Next time check before you open your mouth unless it is to suck some strange cock.

    Furthermore, I would be a “punctuation Nazi” rather than a “grammar Naxi” in this case.

    Thank you and I hope you get to sit next to Mason in third period!

  39. NY Ted

    Remember those old drug commercials that showed an egg frying…and then stated, “This is your brain on drugs”….

    Well Captain Blackbeard Joaquin is living proof that those adds were 100% CORRECT!

  40. Britt

    It’s pretty likely the only reason he came on letterman was to show that he is serious about retiring from the world of acting and wants to be left alone. Possibly showing the general public that he’s moved on from acting and is serious about not coming back for now. Give the guy a break, it’s people like him who make the world interesting.

  41. richB

    great publicity for dave. everyone is talking about it, watching the vid on utube and generating interest in the show. a lot better imho than interviewing another celeb about their new movie and hearing their normal gushing about how great it is, how so and so is sooooo amazing to work with, how they love life blah blah blah

  42. Jennifer

    Letterman, the audience, Shaffer- wtf? All were acting like jerks. You don’t kick somebody when they’re down. Phoenix clearly has PTSD or a drug problem (probably both). Yet they showed no graciousness toward an actor who has contributed good films the the world, and whose going through a rough patch and probably only doing one last interview under a contract.

    Letterman shows obvious contempt for Joaquin from the moment he shakes his hand, then first thing he does is act disgusted by his beard. If he hadn’t opened the conversation that way I doubt he’d of gotten such a disinterested Phoenix. I wouldn’t be interested in performing for immediately-jerkish Letterman, the monkeys in the audience or the idiot on the sidelines either.

  43. Mike

    Crazy or not I was entertained and in the end isn’t that the point?

  44. Joe

    i feel kind of sorry for Joaquin Phoenix because he does seem genuinely disoriented and Letterman gave him a hard time about it

  45. ms_sparks

    “The wrong son died”

    Just kidding Joaquin – we love you too.

  46. ChickenFucker

    Yes, “deep-seated” should be hyphenated!

  47. jBiGGz

    i said iit once ill say it again , “COCiNE iS A HELL OF A DRUG”~!

  48. Phoenix got OWNED by Letterman, after thinking he would pop in, be disrespectful and gain “street cred” in the process.
    Letterman saw right through him and made him look like the FOOL he is – he’ll be lucky to work AT ALL after his “rap” career is over!

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