Hunter S. Thompson on Late Night TV
Recently, David Letterman had Johnny Depp on his show to discuss The Rum Diary, which is of course based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson. During the course of the interview, Letterman mentioned that Thompson was a guest on his show a few times in the past. I found this somewhat surprising, because although I knew Thompson was notoriously outspoken, I also knew that he was unconcerned with social norms (to put it mildly). I figured that he would not have the patience or concern for the formulaic nature of a talk-show interview. After a quick search, I was able to find videos of a few of those interviews. It doesn’t take long to see that a Hunter S. Thompson appearance is far from formulaic.
The first video is a clip from what I can guess is Thompson’s first appearance on Letterman. There is some interesting dialogue on the 1988 election, and Thompson manages to work saying “I like to kill” less than two minutes into the interview. Great stuff.
These videos are part one and two an interview with Thompson later that year. This interview is a bit more casual, so Thompson seems more comfortable and really opens up. It also features a guest appearance by Carly Simon.
*My search also turned up this amazing video of his appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. As Conan explains, Thompson didn’t want to go to the studio, so he insisted on a remote segment where they “shoot guns and drink hard liquor”. (The video didn’t have embedding, so make sure to click the above link. It’s worth it.)