There's nothing like a late-night train wreck. Often, the most memorable late show guests are ones who misbehave or just have painfully awkward chats you have to watch through your hands. Conan O'Brien calls that "compel-ivision," and he described one of those moments on Late Night. When asked to name his worst guest, O'Brien answered immediately with director Abel Ferrara, who appeared on the show in 1996. Here's Conan with the crazy story:
Abel Ferrara was an eccentric director and, I think, brilliant guy. [He] got booked on our show and he's a wild eccentric. ... And he fled during the show, before his segment. He ran away, got on the elevator, and was out on the street running away, and Frank [segment producer] gave chase. He grabbed him, and I think he gave chase. ... Frank caught him, led him back and made him, pushing him, got him backstage. He came on camera against his will. And then, he came out, and I think started yelling at me.
Conan O'Brien shared his story on Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert. Shepard had his own bad appearance on Conan's show, due to his past drug use, but Conan said Dax's visit wouldn't even crack the top 10 of worst guests. It was nothing like the behind-the-scenes drama with the Bad Lieutenant director.
You can actually watch the televised version of Conan O'Brien and Abel Ferrara's experience in this clip:
Yeah, it's pretty awkward, but also genuinely funny -- and this is apparently after he fled, before the segment. Love watching him smoke cigarettes next to Denis Leary. What a throwback moment.
Conan O'Brien was asked if he thought the controversial director was intoxicated during the interview:
Yes. I mean, I'm sure. If not, he should have been. And I think it was entertaining. It's like if you ate 15 cloves of garlic, you wouldn't say that that as a great experience, but you'd remember it. It was what we called 'compel-ivision.'
Yes. It's a compelling interview to watch. Based on this clip, it's amazing that Abel Ferrara managed to direct so many films. Other "compel-ivision" late-night chats that come to mind include Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman, or Drew Barrymore flashing Letterman. Letterman just brought out the best/worst in his guests. There's also Sean Penn earlier this year on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. There's a smoking angle for that interview, too.
Earlier this year, Jenna Fischer had a wardrobe malfunction and did her Jimmy Kimmel Live! interview in a towel. Kimmel is now known for his fake feud with Matt Damon, which has become a long-running bit, along with Mean Tweets. But you may recall Kimmel having to pry perpetual problem Andy Dick's hand from Ivanka Trump's leg during a segment. Yikes.