Not all talk show interviews go well, and sometimes it can make for amazingly compelling television when an interview goes awkwardly awry — think David Letterman’s bizarre 1997 chat with an apparently medicated Farrah Fawcett, or Stephen Colbert’s cringe-inducing conversation with Casey Affleck in 2016.
During an appearance on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast, late-night veteran Conan O’Brien was asked to divulge the worst interview he ever experienced, revealing his all-time worst guest to be “Bad Lieutenant” director Abel Ferrara
“He’s a wild eccentric,” O’Brien told Shepard. “And he fled, during the show, before his segment. He ran away, got into the elevator, and was out on the street when [my producer] gave chase.”
In fact, explained O’Brien, Ferrara was apprehended and forced to come back into the studio, and had to be pushed onstage when it was time for the interview. “He caught him, led him back, 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,” quipped O’Brien.
Joking that if Ferrara wasn’t drunk then he should have been, O’Brien admitted that his memories of the interview are not fond ones. “It was entertaining, in the way that if you ate 15 cloves of garlic, you wouldn’t say it was a great experience. But you would remember it,” he explained. “It was what we call ‘compellevision.’”
Meanwhile, you can watch O’Brien’s interview with Ferrara in all its awkward glory below: