Don Johnson was not just the handsome star of “Nash Bridges,” he was also among those who created the 1990s CBS cop series. With whom, you ask? Well, Carlton Cuse of “Lost,” for one, but also technically (or more like “on a technicality”) Hunter S. Thompson.
Yes, the founder of gonzo journalism himself.
On the show’s IMDb page, Hunter S. Thompson is credited with writing two episodes and even appearing in one as a restaurant piano player. But on Tuesday, Johnson said his pal earned residuals on the procedural simply by being (high) in the room where the basic concept came together.
That initial idea, however, was a “terrible” one, Johnson told Seth Meyers on “Late Night,” where he was promoting new NBC sitcom “Kenan.”
You see, Thompson and Johnson were neighbors in Aspen, Colorado. “Gratefully, I was just out of mortar range,” Johnson said, referring to Thompson’s affinity for blowing up stuff on or beyond his property.
Meyers understandably assumed Thompson was a not a “great neighbor” to have.
“Actually, he was a fabulous neighbor,” the friendly Johnson countered. “Whenever I was out of town — you wouldn’t know this about Hunter — but he loved animals. And if I had a sick animal and I was out of town, he would come over and sleep in the stall with my animal, or wherever they were. And he’d bring a few animals of his own for company.”
Totally normal behavior.
“One time, we were sitting over at his house and probably some illegal substances were around,” Johnson recalled. “He was complaining about how he didn’t have any money and I said, ‘Well, look, I’ve got this commitment on CBS for 22 episodes. Let’s just come up with something.'”
“We did come up with something: It was terrible,” Johnson continued. “But he was there! He was in the room! So he got to get a royalty. I took the germ of the idea that Hunter and I did and we turned it into ‘Nash Bridges.'”
Six seasons (1996-2001) of residual checks can buy a whole bunch of backyard bombs.
Watch the video above.