Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

liberal doses of visine required

Steve Zahn Pulls a Joaquin Phoenix on the Tonight Show — Is a Fake Rap Career Next on His Horizon?

Nearly six months ago now, a nation turned its lonely eyes to the Late Night With David Letterman program and asked, "What kind of drugs inspired the heavily bearded Joaquin Phoenix to go positively catatonic last night?" Well, we never did figure out if Phoenix was heavily medicated or if the whole thing was just a piece of performance art meant to draw curiosity toward Phoenix's new career as a fake rapper, but now we find ourselves posing the same questions about Steve Zahn's bizarro appearance on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien last night. The enigmatic actor, whose talents we have appreciated ever since the Reality Bites days, arrived in California fresh from a day of "picking up horse crap" on his farm in Kentucky. We're not sure if he brought any of that sweet, sweet "bluegrass" along with him on the flight, but after listening to a dazed Zahn riff on the merits of engaging in conversation with horses versus sheep, tell a story about the time he hitchhiked wearing a chicken suit, and actually say "What is happening?" out loud at one point, we're guessing the odds are pretty good he did.