The City of Absurdity David Lynch
Interviews & Articles
On Late Show with David Letterman, 1991

Introduction by David Letterman: Our next guest is the Academy Award nominated director of "The Elephant Man" and "Blue Velvet" and of course the guy responsible for "Twin Peaks" overthere at ABC. Ladys and Gentlemen please welcome to the program: David Lynch!

How are you?

Great, thanks David.

Thank you very much for being on the program. For years and years I've enjoyed your movies. They're always entertaining, really interestingly entertaining and usually in a different sense.

They're different, yeah.

Now, let's..oh hey, how did you get this help to talk backwards?

It's he talks backwards. He talked backwards in high-school.

And that's it?

That's it, yeah. I didn't know he talked backwards and I asked him to get ready to talk backwards and he said "No problem."

Did he really say 'no problem' or did he say that backwards.

He said that forwards.

Tell us now what is happening with the show. It's been on ABC now for two years and when it came on it was like one of the most talked about, most highly rated shows of all time. So where do we stand now?

Well, we've been...those popularity polls, that we've been decreasing in them steadily. There may be lots of reasons but that doesn't make any difference. Now we're sort of in trouble and we think that we have a good show and we can do well on a week night because we feel very strongly that the people who like Twin Peaks are party people. They enjoy...

What does that mean exactly?

They are not home on Saturday night...

Oh, I see they're out...

...they don't want to be home on Saturday night. And so to have the show on there would be wrong.

So which night, if you had to select one for yourself or if you could select one for yourself, what would it be?

I don't know enough about the line-up but I've heard that Wednesday at ten is a prime...(audience laughs)

(laughs) Just a hunch on your points. But, you know, the truth of it is if you stop and think about it seems like it might be the kind of show that would know, kind of have a limited run. And then would become a classic forever.

That's okay, too. If it has to end, you know, that's alright but if it doesn't have to end that's even better. And I'm asking people to write to Bob Iger, the president of ABC. And if I could I can give the address.

Oh yes, please do. I love annoying these network weasels. Even if it's not this network, let's just annoy some network weasel here tonight.

Yeah. It's very difficult to write a letter. People say:'Ok, I write a letter' but when it comes down to it, it's hard and I understand that. But if they could write a letter to Bob Iger...

Bob Iger, E I G E R?

I G E R.

I G E R.

Right. ABC Television, 77 West 66th street, New York 10023.

Okay. Do you have his phone number there?

I don't have his phone number.

Do you know this guy?

Yes, he's a real good guy.

And is he on your side?

He is. But he needs to know certain things, uh, from the people.

Yeah. You know, this is lately they've saved a lot of show's like this. Cagney and Lacy was one..ah and then, you know, several others I can't remember right now.

This is true, yeah.

But I have to believe that you're the kind of person that if this does not turn out the way you would like it to turn out, that you have several other projects right now that you're in the middle of, don't you?

I do. We have a new show, a half hour show called "On the Air" that we hope will be on the air. And I'm shooting a pilot for that soon. And I'm, when I'm finally be able to do this film I'm in try to do called Ronnie Rocket.

Ronnie Rocket?

Ronnie Rocket.

Well, tell us of Ronnie Rocket. What is that?

It's the absurd mystery of the strange forces of's..that's...

Who might be in that?

Little Mike. Micheal Anderson will be Ronnie Rocket. And Ronnie Rocket is three and a half feet tall.

Wow. And you also, in a couple of episodes on the Twin Peaks, you've appeared yourself, haven't you?

I have. I've had a great time doing it.

Shall we show the people this. Do we have any of that footage? Yes.
Do you know Ruben Arledge (sp?) over there at ABC?

No Sir, I don't.

Oh, man. If you ever meet this man ask to see his cuffling collection. That's all I'm gonna do.
Okay, so this is David Lynch now in his very own creation, and you're playing a sheriff, right?

I'm playing Agent Coopers supervisor. I'm a supervisor in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Okay, here we go, a couple of seconds from Twin Peaks, David Lynch.

(We see Gordon Cole's first appearance on the show)

That's very funny. That''s kind of a confident dumb guy with a little hearing disorder.

Very bad. Ninety-nine percent hearing loss.

What were you like as a child. Is there anything in your background that would suggest what you've arisen to here?

No sir.


No. It's

Do you have brothers and sisters?

I have a brother and a sister.

And then, what do they do?

My brother is responsible for all (starts laughing)

You're making something up now.


Yes, you are. This won't be true.

He's responsible for all the electrical wireing of the gouvernment buildings in the state of Washington.

Oh, he is not!

He is.

He installed all of the electrical wireing?

No, he's been done before he was born lot of it. But he, in the new wireing, he's responsible for.

(laughs) So if a fuse goes we call your brother.


And you said you have a...

...a sister

Yeah, what does she do?

She's a financial planner.

Oh, very good. That sounds pretty good.

Yeah, it's a good thing to do.

And you're off now to what. You're going back to California?


Oh, good for you. Have a great trip. Good luck for the program.

Thanks a million.

Good luck with your future projects and it was a great thrill to meet you finally.

It was great to see you.

David Lynch!

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© Mike Hartmann