42. Fishing With John

FISHING WITH JOHN is one of Criterion’s odder picks; it’s a six episode TV series instead of a movie, and it’s not particularly important or filmed particularly well. It is, however, hilarious. That is, it’s hilarious if you share actor and musician John Lurie’s dry sense of humor, which I guess is why it was recommended to me.  In each episode, John takes a special celebrity guest fishing in some unlikely location. He hunts for sharks with Jim Jarmusch, explores Jamaica with Tom Waits, ice fishes with Willem Dafoe (my favorite), and brings Dennis Hopper to Thailand to chase after the mystical giant squid. No one seems to know much about fishing, and just like the real fishing shows being satirized, nothing all that interesting ever happens. It’s mostly the voice-over that takes these dull excursions and turns them into comedy. For example, did you know that the giant squid can hypnotize most mammals? I certainly didn’t.


  1. I love this very short lived show. I laughed so hard! Did you listen to any of the commentaries. Those are good too. Especially on the Dennis Hopper and Tom Waits ones. I don’t think Waits ever forgave Lurie. I should look into that.

    1. No, I haven’t listened to the commentaries! I’ll definitely need to go back and do that. I think I heard the same about Tom Waits. So sad that it ruined a friendship, but so funny to watch.

      Thank you for all the comments!

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