For the countless hours I have spent watching videos of teenage Harmony Korine on the internet, some of my favorite moments have come from his uncomfortably wonderful appearances on David Letterman. And last month, when we learned that Drag City would be re-releasing Korine’s 1998 novel A Crack Up at the Race Riots, we recalled the episode in which he went on the show to promote his new work:
A scruffy, sweatshirt-clad Korine went on Late Night with David Letterman to promote the book, in one of his many odd and hilarious visits to the show. When Letterman asked Korine how much the book sold for, Korine answered: "Uh…I don’t know…regular book price? I can’t imagine why anyone would buy a book nowadays." Letterman asked if Korine would go out and buy the book himself, to which he responded, "Um…I’d probably read an older book." Letterman also told a very jittery Korine to "go to the hotel immediately and take a long hot shower."
You can watch the rest of that one HERE, an adorably weird one from 1995 HERE, and his 1997 appearance HERE. And although it seemed Letterman enjoyed having Harmony on the show—giving America a taste of this 20-year-old absurdist creature telling jokes with no punch line and jabbering on in his nonsensical way—he hasn’t been allowed back on since. And last night, James Franco went on the show to promote Spring Breakers, of course, and was not only looking unusually adorable, but questioned his host about his good pal Harmony’s ban from the show.
Franco recalls that the "legend"—and by legend he means what Harmony told him—that back about ten years ago, he signed in for the show but never went on air, to which he claims was because he pushed Meryl Streep backstage. Apparently Harmony was not so sane at the time and was probably "on something" because duh. But Letterman went on to say that actually he, "went upstairs to greet Meryl Streep and welcome her to the show," when he "looked around, and she was not in there, and I found your friend [Harmony] going through her purse," he said to Franco, "and so I said, ‘That’s it, put her things back in her bag and then get out of here.’"
Sounds about right to me.