John Goodman on his awkward Kristen Wiig encounter: ‘I’ll never speak to her again’

John Goodman was the big guest on today's Howard Stern Show, and the sleepy-voiced Roseanne icon was endearing, forthright and funny throughout. During the sit-down he opened up about his struggles with alcoholism, related feeling like an outsider on the Hollywood scene and, hilariously, forgot not only the name of his 10 Cloverfield Lane co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead but the title of the 1999 film he made with Martin Scorsese. Also: why he feels he let SNL down during his last guest-hosting appearance. Here are all the highlights from the chat.

His attempt at conversation with Kristen Wiig at a social gathering didn't go well.

“She was talking to somebody else, and I was just — I think she's so great, and the social barriers broke down and I interrupted the conversation. And I would just hate for somebody to do that to me. And she goes, 'yeah, I'll talk to you in a minute.' [makes sound of bomb dropping] It was like the Atom. I shrunk down to Atom size. …I really like her, and it was embarrassing, so I'll never speak to her again.”

He feels he let SNL down during his last hosting appearance (he's hosted a total of 13 times). 

“The last time I hosted was two years ago — and I felt every week of [my] 62 years. I just — I ran out of gas. I was in every sketch, I had to do all the pre-tapes, and I couldn't develop — I didn't bring much to the party, I'll say that much. I just — it's the first time I felt I let 'em down. …I ran out of gas between the dress rehearsal and the actual show. …I had a bottle of, what do they all it, the 5 Hour Energy drink, and I didn't want to do that because I didn't want to be too nervous. But I should have taken it.”

That said, he would host again in a heartbeat. “Yeah, absolutely,” he told Howard. “I love it over there.”

He feels the 1988 camping comedy The Wrong Guys co-starring Louie Anderson, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer and Tim Thomerson was one of the worst movies he ever made.

“You know, I did a movie with Belzer, with Rich Lewis, Louie Anderson…they went on a camping trip like they were Boy Scouts. …we had a premiere and we all went to see it and Belzer's face was just like a mask of horror.”

He used to have a habit of drinking on set.

“I was drunk a couple of times during [The Big] Lebowski…That's something I swore I'd never do in my life is drink at work. And then that — on Roseanne I started doing that.”

His Monuments Men co-star Bill Murray got up to the predictable hijinks while filming.

“I tried to hang with them, but [Monuments Men co-stars] Matt [Damon] and George [Clooney] would always have these conversations, and they'd go out for cocktails afterwards and I don't really drink, and I don't bring a lot to that party because they're super A-level guys. But Bill [Murray], they gave us bicycles, George bought everybody bicycles to ride, so I'd ride bikes with Bill. …We'd just go get lost, and they had to send guys in cars out to look for us, and to make sure Bill's not gonna go over any borders or cause any trouble. …We were in a small town in England, and women would approach him, so Bill would pick them up and put them over his shoulder.”

He couldn't say enough good things about his Kong: Skull Island co-star Brie Larson.

“I love her. …she is so charismatic. She would organize — she was like the only girl there, on set…every weekend she would organize stuff to do for people. We'd go look at kangaroos and she'd organize a trip to an amusement park after they closed. Just stuff for people to do. Because she's over-sensitive about people getting nervous and angry and on each other's nerves. She's incredible.”

He has not-insignificant memory problems.

On his 10 Cloverfield Lane co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead:

Goodman: “She's terrific, huh? Mary Elizabeth?”

Howard: “What's her name?”

Goodman: “Mary Elizabeth…”


“Where are the Paramount people right now?”

On Bringing Out the Dead, the 1999 film he made with Martin Scorsese:

Howard: You work with him at all, Martin Scorsese?

Goodman: Yeah, I did a movie in my old neighborhood, in Hell's Kitchen, we shot all night.

Howard: What was the movie?


Howard: You don't even remember that. What's going on with you?

Goodman: You know, I get on these caffeine jags and I'm so nervous —

Howard: You might have Alzheimer's or something. You're like me, I don't remember anything.

Goodman: Goddammit. …I remember the movie, I don't remember the title of it.

He's too afraid to go into detail about his thoughts on Donald Trump.

“I just don't get it. I mean, I can understand it, because he's a very popular figure from reality television. But, yeah — it's just, you know, I don't want any death threats.”

He thinks about retirement a lot.

Howard: “So you never think about retiring, right?”

Goodman: “Oh, christ, every day. …I'm tired.”