It’s the episode we’ve all been dreading but won’t be able to turn away from: Tonight, Capt. Phil Harris passes away on Deadliest Catch. Son Josh Harris and friend Johnathan Hillstrand stopped by The Tonight Show Monday and shared a few memories of the beloved skipper. Josh remembered the day his father, who was always in a hurry, rushed home because he had so many things to do. “Meerkat Manor comes on, on Discovery… Life stops,” he said. “And then follows Escape to Chimp Eden. And he’s like, the first thing, ‘Look at the nuts on that monkey.’ And he’s callin’ his buddies up. ‘You gotta turn this on right now. Check out this monkey called Cozi.’ My dad was the weirdest guy you’d ever meet. He was an awesome guy.”
After Josh and Johnathan vowed to Leno that they would both quit smoking — Phil had gone from 9.5 packs of cigarettes a day to about one — Jay showed a clip from tonight’s two-hour episode. It shows Josh at his father’s bedside, telling him that just like Phil used to come and grab his hand when he was a child whenever something went wrong, that’s what he’ll do for him now. Phil then apologizes for not being a better father when Josh was growing up. And Josh tells him he was the best dad he could have been, he taught him everything he needs to know to be a man. Josh says he won’t let him out of his sight, and they exchange “I love you”s as Josh wipes a tear from Phil’s eye. I’m so glad they had that conversation. Watch the clip below.
Also after the jump, two more preview clips from Discovery. One shows the aftermath of Josh’s hotel room confrontation with his younger brother, Jake, who was dealing with an addiction and couldn’t muster the same strength for their father. (The guys told Leno Jake’s completed rehab and is doing much better.) The second clip shows the rest of the fleet hitting massive waves. (The thought crossed my mind that the storm was the Bering Sea, angry that it was losing Phil.)
UPDATE: Josh Harris spoke with EW’s Lynette Rice today. Read the interview.