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Billy Bob Thornton remembers that time with Harry Dean Stanton and a busload of gynecologists

Billy Bob Thornton, Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Billy Bob Thornton was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday to talk about the Goliath season 3 premiere (October 4th on Amazon, if that’s your thing), but when you book Billy Bob Thornton, you go where the evening takes you. “Before we get into the things that we’re supposed to talk about,” began Thornton, before reminding Kimmel about a long ago time where the two spent an eventful evening at a restaurant at SXSW. Kimmel seemed a little hazy on the event, in which the unlikely gathering of the two of them, Owen Wilson, Seymour Cassel, Harry Dean Stanton, and Neil Young were kicking it together, blaming the fact that, as Kimmel noted, Woody Harrelson was also in attendance. “That’s right! Woody was with Owen!,” brightened Thornton, the memory no doubt taking on an even more mellow glow, as he related how a neighboring table of a dozen or so women asked Kimmel and Thornton to wish their friend a happy birthday.

And thereby hangs a tale, involving: Harry Dean Stanton inviting himself along to sing an extended Spanish language birthday song; the revelation that every one of the women was a gynecologist; Thornton extending a warmly received invitation to see the inside of his “rock and roll tour bus;” the fact that Thornton and all the gynecologists have kept in touch; and the in-concert presentation of an antique gynecological instrument during a recent tour with his band The Boxmasters. (“You think dentistry was bad in the old days,” marveled Thornton, leaving the rest to our Cronenbergian imagination.) And, sure, Thornton dutifully talked up legal drama Goliath, plus his love for the St. Louis Cardinals and Fargo co-star (and Kimmel’s second gust) Allison Tolman (who told her own story about Thornton fucking with an FX PR person). But, c’mon, we’re all really here for the Harry Dean Stanton-Seymour Cassel-Neil Young getting high in Austin stories.

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About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.