The video: Actor Joaquin Phoenix's "confused and incoherent" appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman" last year (see video) kicked off an "elaborate extended bit of performance art" that culminated in the release of Casey Affleck's new mock documentary, I'm Still Here, about Phoenix's faux quest to become a rapper. A clean-shaven Phoenix returned to Letterman's show Wednesday night to apologize, clear the air, and fend off Letterman's demands for a cut of the proceeds.
The reaction: Phoenix's whole "let's-pretend-I'm-crazy debacle" revealed "a very savvy showman in action," says Adam Sternbergh at New York magazine. Namely, David Letterman. It would be "too much to bear" if allegations are true that he was in on the joke the whole time. He probably was, "but whatever," says Jen Chaney in The Washington Post. Phoenix really tried to make his put-on a "social experiment." But even if he just entertained us for a year and a half, that's worth something, too. Here are highlights of their reunion: