Leonard Cohen, Miami Vice Guest Star

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Leonard Cohen As Francois Zolan In French Twist

One of the items (#9 to be specific) in the March 3, 2007 Heck Of A Guy post, Ten Lesser Known Facts About Leonard Cohen, described Leonard Cohen’s appearance on the “French Twist” episode of Miami Vice. That section of the post is pasted below.

I have republished this information to supplement a video of that performance I discovered as a bonus of reading a thoughtful review of Cohen’s Hamilton concert.1

The singer-songwriter’s two brief scenes on the show have been extracted from the full episode and uploaded in a single, short video onto YouTube. That video can be seen at the end of today’s post.

Leonard Cohen As Zolan On Miami Vice

Leonard Cohen As Francois Zolan On Miami Vice

In 1986, Leonard Cohen, at the urging of his son, Adam, who was a fan of the show, guest-starred on Miami Vice, playing Francois Zolan, a senior executive in the French Secret Service engaged in an illegal operation to blow up Greenpeace boats. He appeared in two very short sections on the end of a telephone, speaking in French.2

As Cohen himself explained in an interview with Adrian Deevoy,3 his performance turned out to be more iconic than talented,

In truth, I had a much bigger part. I went down there and did my first scene and the assistant director rang me up and said, You were really great, truly wonderful. And I said, OK, thanks a lot. Then the casting director from New York called me up and said, You were fantastic, truly wonderful! And I said, You mean I’m fired. And he said, “Yeah, we’re cutting all your other scenes and giving them to another guy.”

  1. And Then He’ll Take Hamilton by Joshua Errett. NowToronto. May 21, 2009 []
  2. Diamonds in the Mine; Celebrating the film and television recordings of Leonard Cohen []
  3. Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy, The Q Magazine, 1991 []

0 Responses to Leonard Cohen, Miami Vice Guest Star

  1. Wow, I’ve always wanted to see Cohen in that role, but there are so many episodes…

    Thank You :)