Tom Waits: Fishing with John (TV episode) 1992

 

Fishing with John (1992)

Tom Waits as himself on a fishing trip with John Lurie. Lurie and Waits fish for red snapper in Jamaica. Tom periodically becomes grumpy. A game of cards on dry land makes Tom feel much better. Waits catches a fish and puts it in his pants.

Fishing with John is a 1991 television series conceived, directed by and starring actor and musician John Lurie, which earned a cult following. On the surface, the series resembles a standard travel or fishing show: in each episode, Lurie takes a famous guest on a fishing expedition. Since Lurie has no expert knowledge of fishing, the interest is in the interaction between Lurie and his guests, all of whom are his friends. Nothing particularly unusual actually happens, but the show is edited and narrated in a way to suggest that Lurie and his guest are involved in dramatic and even supernatural adventures.

“John’s an unusual guy. Met him in New York around the time of Rain Dogs. I did [Fishing] because of John. But once I got down there, I wanted to kill him. He knows this. It was pretty pathetic. A fishing show. High concept – the idea is that it doesn’t matter if we catch anything, which is the whole idea of fishing, anyway, getting out in the woods and being together. Just an excuse to hold something in your hand and look off into the distance and talk about life. We caught nothing, which is embarrassing. It got to the point where we bought fish from fishermen in a passing boat, which was humiliating. And I got seasick and sunstroke — I was an unhappy guy for most of it. But it turned out to be funny anyway.”
– Tom Waits (1999, Magnet Magazine)

John Lurie and Tom Waits also acted together in Jim Jarmusch’s brilliant film, Down By Law.

The entire series is available on DVD from The Criterion Collection and features a commentary track by Lurie on each episode.

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