Hey Macaulay Culkin, When Are You Gonna Make Another Movie?
I’d like to tell you about my favorite talk show moment of all-time.
This was five, six, seven years ago, maybe, when David Letterman had his heart surgery and CBS trotted an endless array of guests hosts out to do his show. The host on this particular night was tennis legend John McEnroe. John’s a big personality, obviously, and although he may lack certain social graces, the guy never fails to be very entertaining.
So I think John’s conceit here was, “I don’t really know how to do this, let’s take the camera outside the studio and see what’s happening around the neighborhood.” By virtue of incredibly dumb luck, McEnroe’s “Late Show” stumbled upon some sort of ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Michael Imperioli from “The Sopranos.”
“Oh, hey, Michael, how’s it going? What’s happening here?” McEnroe most likely said in that forceful brogue he’s so famous for. Imperioli yammers on about whatever the hell this ceremony is. Standing behind Michael, plain as day, is former child star Macaulay Culkin.
Macaulay Culkin is one of those poor souls who perpetually looks the way he did when he was six—the white hair, the painfully red lips, the sunken eyes that still project a strange amount of world weariness. This was before his mini-Aughts comeback, I think, and it looked like Culkin using all of his human energy to blend in with the scenery. The poor guy didn’t want to be noticed. Of course, Culkin’s worse nightmare was about to come true: John McEnroe was about to accost him on national television.
Now, this clip isn’t on YouTube, but believe me when I swear up and down that the second McEnroe spotted Culkin, he practically exploded. An obvious fan of the Home Alone franchise, John simply couldn’t contain his glee.
“HEY, IS THAT MACAULAY CULKIN BEHIND YOU, MICHAEL? MACAULAY! MACAULAY CULKIN! HOW YA DOIN’? MACAULAY?”
Culkin: deer in headlights nanoseconds before an SUV impact and certain bloody death. He managed a weak smile and a few words after the studio audience applause died down.
“HEY MACAULAY,” McEnroe shouted again. “WHEN ARE YOU GONNA MAKE ANOTHER MOVIE? WE LIKE YOU IN MOVIES!” The camera cut back to the tennis god, who had the most earnest and almost heartbroken look on his face. I’d pay eleven dollars to see you in anything! his desperate expression seemed to say.
I don’t remember what Culkin said in response, but my jaw was on the ground. In retrospect, I can see how McEnroe got his own chat show a little while later on that financial news network. It probably only failed because he wasn’t yelling at enough former child stars.