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David Letterman Recounts the Time that Quentin Tarantino Threatened to Beat Him to Death with a Baseball Bat

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 4, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 4, 2020 |


Look: Everyone knows how great Desus and Mero are on Showtime. But does everyone know that David Letterman knows how great Desus and Mero are on Showtime? Apparently, Dave is a huge fan. The “Michael Jordan” of talk-show hosts appeared on Desus and Mero this week, and the entire show is an absolute delight. The chemistry between the three is weirdly off the charts. It’s hard to describe, but the whole show left me giddier than Pete Buttigieg being called on by a teacher in class.

Letterman, however, is not really one for spilling tea, but here he goes into detail about the feud between him and Quentin Tarantino, which dates back to earlier in Tarantino’s career. Decades ago, Tarantino was dating an attractive female celebrity. Letterman doesn’t say who, but given the timeline on this, I’m going to guess that it was Mira Sorvino. Anyway, as Letterman is apt to do, he sort of makes fun of QT to this guest on his show that may or may not have been Sorvino, like (and I’m paraphrasing): “Are you serious? You’re dating that weasel? The guy who used to work in a Blockbuster and rewind tapes, blah blah blah.” Typical Letterman patter, designed less to insult QT and more to flatter his guest.

Tarantino, however, didn’t care for it. He called up Letterman the next night and lays into him. “I’m gonna beat you to death. I’m gonna kill you. I’m coming to New York and I’m going to beat the crap out of you. How can you say that about me?” Letterman is so surprised by this that he asks his producer to get on the line, and QT repeats himself. “The guy “is full-blown clinically goofy.”

Letterman offers to fly him out, give him a bat, and let him beat his ass. Letterman literally arranges a red-eye for him to fly in so that he could do that very thing. QT, however, never shows up. But years later, when QT was on to promote Inglorious Basterds, Letterman did go up to his dressing room. “I don’t know that he owed me an apology,” Letterman said, “but I feel like I had the upper hand, so I said to him, ‘I feel like you owe me an apology.’” QT did apologize, and Letterman accepted, but then asked if he could talk about the story on the show. Tarantino declined. “He didn’t want the smoke.”

It’s a terrific story, and the reactions from Desus and Mero seal it. Stick around afterward, too, because Letterman talks about temporarily losing his hearing after eating a ghost pepper. This may be one of the best interviews I have ever seen.

Hat Tip: Vulture

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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Header Image Source: Showtime