Two Differing Perspectives On Johnny Depp’s Letterman Appearance Last Night

02.22.13 21 Comments

Last night Johnny Depp was the featured guest on Letterman’s show. Did you see him, by chance? Because he was dressed like I imagine someone on SNL — or maybe just John Mayer — would dress if they were doing a Johnny Depp impression. I love the guy, both as a performer and what little I know of him personally, but it was so outrageously over the top and, well, a little sad. Just way too many bracelets, chains, scarves, etc. I mean, he even had scarves hanging out of his freakin’ pockets. You’re Johnny Freakin’ Depp, man — you don’t have to try so goddamn hard.

Right on cue — and probably inspired by Depp’s appearance on the show last night — the Onion released a video today titled “Johnny Depp Now Completely Made Of Scarves And Bracelets.” Its tagline: “New photos show that the aging heartthrob has transitioned gracefully into a handsome mass of fabric and ornate bangles.”


On the flip side, Letterman staff writer Bill Scheft wrote something he posted to his Tumblr today praising Depp as his “new favorite big-time celebrity.”

He writes:

I won’t go running to his movies, even though I think he is a uniquely gifted actor. And even though I have always marveled at the way he stops traffic on 53rd and Broadway as no one not named Bieber can, that is just pure movie star appeal that a dozen people are born with.

Up to yesterday, his greatest quality to me was how much he enjoys talking to Dave. I always marveled at that. You know how when a friend of yours has a child it is the end of regular adult conversation for God knows how long? Same thing with being a giant star. You cannot have a normal exchange, as much as you may want to. And you may not. But you watch Johnny Depp with Dave. And Dave with him. I cannot think of anyone else like that. There are a hundred effective men and women you can slot in that chair to his right, but he’s the only one who comes to mind when I think of just a guy who is just trying to connect in the moment.

And until last night, that’s what I loved about Johnny Depp. And then I saw him bring out his friend, singer/songwriter Bill Carter, to share home base with him and Dave, then recede in the next act to play some haunting slide guitar, perched on a stool in the well-defined background. Then, when that was done, I watched him smile and shake every hand in the band, the crew, other staffers on the show, and all the way out through the stage door, onto 53rd Street, where hundreds of screaming faces reminded him of who they think he is. Who they want him to be.

I don’t know if you’ve ever said, aloud or to yourself, about what you would be like if you were a huge star. Of how different you would be. How you would treat people near and far. I know I have. Many times, each time with varying degrees of self-assurance. Now that I have seen Johnny Depp on enough occasions, I know to laugh at such musings on my own magnanimity. My own awesome humility.

So is Johnny Depp evolving into the caricature of a big Hollywood star, or is he the model for the perfect big Hollywood star. You decide. Here’s part one of his turn on Letterman last night…

And here’s part two…

Here’s part three…

And here’s part four, where Depp performs with Bill Cater and the Blame…

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