With the appearance of Joe Mauer last week on Jimmy Fallon, I was reminded of another episode of a famous Twin who appeared on late night TV. It was one of the most bizarre pairings in TV talk show history...
Harmon went on The David Letterman Show with Liberace and his old teammate Bob Allison, on Feb. 11, 1986. I distinctly remember watching that episode; what stood out was this long-winded anecdote from the Flamin' Maestro, followed by Letterman quipping "Alright, that's enough of that crap, let's move on!" Also, the show's producer got Charley Pride to sing "Mountain of Love" for Harmon over the phone, Killer's favorite song at the time.
[UPDATE: here is that episode, with thanks to
readers who alerted me to its whereabouts!]
The slugger, now 74 and battling esophageal cancer, was interviewed last fall with David Brown at Big League Stew (Yahoo).
For anyone who appreciates the soft-spoken grace of our very own "Killer" (and isn't that one of the most ill-fitting monikers in history?), this exchange with will be a treat!
DB: Did you use to go on David Letterman a lot?
HK: Used to a lot? I was on his show once [laughs].
DB: Just one?
HK: Well, I came out with other Hall of Famers to do a Top 10 deal a couple years ago, but you might remember me being on a whole show [laughs].
DB: That's right!
HK: Yep, I was on for a whole hour (in 1986). And that was the first time that ever happened. I said, "What am I gonna do with David Letterman for a whole hour?" They said, "Don't worry, we got it figured out, it'll work out fine."
DB: So what do you remember about the experience?
HK: At first, they called me to ask if I would do a segment for a special they were doing. I said, "No, I don't think I want to do that." But they kept after me and talked me into it and sent a crew out to Oregon and Idaho, where I was, and they spent a whole week out there. They did a lot of filming and they cut it down to an eight-minute segment [laughs].
HK:So it came time for the show and they called me up and said, "We're not going to have time to put you on the show." I said, "Oh, great. Well, that's good [laughs]!" So I think they were feeling sorry or guilty and, a couple of months later they called and said, "Dave Letterman wants you to do the whole show." And I said, "Oh, I don't think so. What am I going to do with David Letterman for a whole hour?" And they said, "Aw, c'mon, it'll be great." Finally, I said I'd do it.
DB: Were you more of a Johnny Carson man?
HK: Well, in those days, yeah. I didn't really know Dave Letterman, but I knew he was a real baseball fan. Of course, when I was on there, it went great. Worked out real fine.
Brown concluded by thanking Harmon for his time and commented about what a nice and kind person he appeared to be. Even after diligent search, I haven't been able to locate the video of this online, remembering that I had taped it back in the day when it aired.
Not that you should construe my doing so as overly Twin-sessive, O.K.?
In case you missed it, here's that Mauer appearance on Fallon from Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011:
Thanks for reading!
As Herb used to say: "And the count rides along..."