“Last year, castmates — Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and Hugh Bonneville — come on the show, and… they left the premiere. I left them drunk. And they got here, and they got drunker. And I’ve never seen a television show like that in my life.”
Save the necessary pleasantries and a brief sentence or two about loving tequila, the above quote is how George Clooney opened up his appearance on the May 22, 2015 episode of the long-running BBC One talk show, The Graham Norton Show. It was the first thing of substance he said. And let me stress this next thing to you now, to avoid any confusion going forward: George Clooney, if only based on this one statement, is not a liar.
The background, in brief: Damon, Murray, and Hugh Bonneville (best known by American audiences as the star of Downton Abbey) were there to promote the film Monuments Men, which Clooney wrote and directed and starred in because, in addition to not being a liar, George Clooney is also infuriatingly productive and talented for a man with such symmetrical facial features. But anyway. From the moment the three of them took the stage, it was clear they were a little tipsy (think “two, maybe three glasses of wine before the entree comes” drunk), a situation that was quickly amplified when they all chugged their glasses of champagne in unison within a few minutes of sitting down. This happened again later. More than once. Kind of a lot, actually. At one point they started throwing fruit at the audience. It is a good episode, is my point.
Here are some things that happened:
- Matt Damon tells stories about getting mistaken for Mark Wahlberg.
- Matt Damon and Bill Murray tell a story about Bill zipping off to Prague on a whim.
- Bill Murray becomes quite drunk and begins a continuous giggling fit that results in tears.
- Hugh Bonneville calls an article of clothing a “wooly jumper,” which delights the drunken Bill Murray to no end, resulting in more giggling and more tears.
- And more!
The combination of all of it results in easily the most fun I can ever remember seeing people have on a talk show. And it’s not just fun for them, either. It is also a delight to watch, which I recommend you do — all four parts are embedded above and below — the next time you have a free hour and want to see charming famous people make drunken spectacles of themselves. Preferably as soon as reasonably possible, because giggly drunken Bill Murray is something you shouldn’t be denying yourself. You deserve this.
In conclusion, two takeaways: One, more talk shows should utilize the “multi-guest panel with an open bar” format, because when that sucker works, my word, does it work. And two, knowing hanging out with George Clooney and Bill Murray in Italy seems fun.