Joaquin Phoenix's Letterman Appearance is Instant Classic

February 12, 2009

(AP) - Joaquin Phoenix's interview with David Letterman started off odd and ended in full-blown weirdness, instantly joining Farrah Fawcett on the list of late-night appearances memorable for the wrong way.

After praising the actor, Letterman opened the interview by asking him about the beard. "It's been three years since the last time you were on the show, and I will just say right off the top here, you look different than I remember you," Letterman said. "You've got a nice beard going. ... How is that, the beard?"

"In what way?" Phoenix replied.

"Is it comfortable? Is it itchy? Are you pleased with it?" Letterman asked.

Mumbling a bit, Phoenix said, "I'm OK with it, but now you're making me feel weird about it. ... Is there something wrong?"

Letterman, leaning in, quipped, "I can't be the first one to make you feel weird about it."

The actor briefly forgot the name of his "Two Lovers" co-star, Gwyneth Paltrow, stuck gum under the edge of Letterman's "Late Show" desk and appeared to swear at bandleader Paul Shaffer for
laughing at him during Wednesday night's show.

Clips of the bearded, sunglass-wearing Phoenix were racing
around the Internet on Thursday.

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