February 12, 2009 at 12:00 PM EST

If you saw Joaquin Phoenix‘s hijinks on last night’s Late Show With David Letterman and worried that the ”retired” actor and aspiring rapper is losing his grip, take heart: People were wondering the same thing nine years and two Oscar nominations ago. Trawling through the EW archives we hit upon this item that seems like it could have been written this morning (with the words “The Yards” simply changed to “Two Lovers), but is actually from Nov. 3, 2000. An excerpt:

“And the No. 1 bizarre talk show guest is…The Yards star[Joaquin] Phoenix! On a Late Show With David Letterman appearance, the actorcame off as hilariously dazed and confused, claiming he couldn’tremember his birthday or, at one point, where he got his tattoo. Thisfollows a May spot on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in whichPhoenix was so distracted Leno requested that he ”be here in person”next time. Phoenix’s camp had no comment, but Late Show execproducer Maria Pope replies: ”He’s been on three times now. The firstcouple of times we thought there was a gas leak in the greenroom. Nowwe’ve determined, no, that’s just Joaquin.”

So here’s what’s really the most bizarre thing about last night’s shenanigans — it’s 2009: How come I can’t find either of these older interviews on YouTube? Anybody got ’em or remember them? Today’s your day to share!

More Joaquin Phoenix:
Ken Tucker: Joaquin Phoenix on ‘David Letterman’ : Huh????
Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career: An elaborate hoax?
Joaquin Phoenix’s publicist says his music act is the real deal
Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career: To believe or not to believe?


addCredit(“John Paul Filo/CBS”)

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