Fishing with John is a 1991 television series conceived, directed by and starring actor and musician John Lurie, which earned a cult following. The guests featured are film director Jim Jarmusch, actor Matt Dillon, musician Tom Waits, actor Willem Dafoe and actor-director Dennis Hopper.
John Lurie played a mean sax before pursuing acting, starring in some of Jim Jarmusch’s best films—Stranger Than Paradise and Down By Law, among others. But it was the 1990s television show he conceived and directed which really catapulted him into a cult obsession: the strange, wonderful, and hilarious Fishing With John. The concept of the show was simple: each episode, Lurie would take one of his pals to a certain locale around the world and fish. Just real men doing real things. Those pals also just happened to be Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Willem Dafoe, Dennis Hopper, and Matt Dillon. From Maine, Jamacia, and Thailand, Lurie would travel with his guest of honor and set out to brave the elements, search new territory, and, of course, catch some fish. The result was a fantastic exploration of finding the comedy in the mundane—the pleasure of watching two men sit on a boat in the heat or freezing to death on a frozen lake heightened to the surreal, with a narrated voiceover that could double you over. Tom Waits gets cranky, Jim Jarmusch is bored, Willem Dafoe dies, Dennis Hopper is…well, Dennis Hopper, and naturally a bit of disaster ensues. —Gone Fishing: An Interview With the Legendary John Lurie By Hillary Weston
All the episodes are available on YouTube, lets have some fishing fun!
- Jim Jarmusch: Fishing for shark off the coast of Montauk, New York State. Out here, the shark is at the top of the food chain.
- Tom Waits: 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.
- Matt Dillon: Dillon and Lurie fish in San José, Costa Rica. Supernatural events ensue.
- Willem Dafoe: Ice fishing in northern Maine. Dafoe and Lurie run out of crackers and, the narrator tells us, starve to death.
- Dennis Hopper: The narrator happily reports that Lurie is still alive. Lurie and Hopper search for the mythical and elusive giant squid in Thailand, which also is apparently hunting them.
- Dennis Hopper: Part two in Thailand. The squid hypnotizes the protagonists with its “volley ball” sized eye. Deeper and deeper into Thailand, few are chosen.