Longtime late-night talkshow host David Letterman claims that he received a threatening phone call from esteemed director Quentin Tarantino.
The television personality made a recent appearance on Showtime’s Desus & Mero. On the show, he recounted a time when he joked about Tarantino’s then-girlfriend that did not sit well with the filmmaker.
“I’m pretending that I’m stunned that this glorious movie star is dating this little ‘squirrelly guy,’” said the 72-year-old, mocking Tarantino’s persona. Letterman went on to claim that the infuriated director responded by giving him a call two days after he made the jokes on television.
Letterman said that his assistant was the first one to pick up the call who asked Tarantino what the call was about. “‘And he said, ‘Oh, nothing, just to say hello,’” as if the director was just casually checking in.
But according to Letterman, the call from the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director completely took a turn when he answered. An infuriated Tarantino allegedly started “screaming”: “‘I’m gonna beat you to death, I’m gonna kill you, I’m coming to New York, I’m gonna beat the crap out of you — how can you say that about me?’”
This prompted the then-late-night host to add his producer to the call and witness the entire heated exchange. Despite the director’s screaming fit, the comedian said he tried to keep his cool by joking that his team would fly Tarantino out for the showdown.
The argument was resolved years later when Tarantino appeared as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman. According to the comedian, the director apologized minutes before the show started.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.