Harmony Korine Was Banned From David Letterman For Trying To Steal From Meryl Streep's Purse

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by Oliver Lyttelton
March 26, 2013 11:10 AM
6 Comments
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Maybe it's our fault for watching too many late-night talk shows in the late 1990s (to be fair this writer was in his pre-teens, and also on the wrong continent) but we'd never in a million years have thought that Harmony Korine, the one-time enfant terrible of the independent world as the writer of "Kids" and director of "Gummo" and "Julien Donkey-Boy," would be a popular figure on the late-night circuit.

But as his latest film, "Spring Breakers," becomes a surprise hit (it's already comprehensively outgrossed everything Korine's ever made up to this point), it turns out that Korine actually did frequent that circuit, appearing on David Letterman's "Late Show" three times between 1995 and 1998 as a sort of boho freakshow act, but has seemingly been the subject of an infamous ban for unknown reasons since then. But Letterman had "Spring Breakers" star James Franco on his show last night, and the cause for the ban has been unveiled. It's both surprising and exactly what you'd expect late-'90s Harmony Korine to have done to get barred from network talk shows.

Franco brought up the band, and defended the filmmaker, saying "he said he was a little out of it... I think he had a period where he was going a little off the rails, so maybe he was on something that night." And Letterman gave it away: he'd caught Korine trying to steal from Meryl Streep's purse. "I went upstairs to greet Meryl Streep," the host told Franco, "and welcome her to the show, and I knock on the door...and she was not in there. And I looked around, and she was not in there, and I found Harmony going through her purse. True story. And so I said, 'That's it, put her things back in her bag and then get out.'"

So there we have it. The mystery that we didn't know was a mystery has now been solved. And Franco may have helped repair some bridges, with Letterman saying that he'd be "more than happy" to invite Korine back at some point, though we can't help but feel that, if ever there was a time that Letterman invited indie filmmakers onto his show, that time has long since past. But if we see Korine on the show alongside Lodge Kerrigan and Charles Burnett, we'll happily eat our words. You can watch the video for yourself below, along with Korine's original appearances. [THR]


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6 Comments

  • Alan B | March 26, 2013 11:47 PMReply

    This guy is SO INTERESTING. I bet he also wears funny hats and a scraggly two-day beard. You know, to prove how INTERESTING he is.

  • wes | March 28, 2013 1:46 PM

    ^hahaha

  • Joel | March 26, 2013 5:30 PMReply

    I always liked Korine more for those Late Night appearances than for his movies. TV Gold.

  • MDL | March 26, 2013 4:56 PMReply

    Maybe he just wanted to see what was in her purse? Can't blame someone for wanting to know that.

  • hank | March 26, 2013 1:48 PMReply

    not nearly as cool a reason to get banned as "shoving Meryl Streep in the green room." which was the rumor for years.

  • RC | March 26, 2013 12:52 PMReply

    That last appearance on Letterman is pretty damn funny.

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