Phoenix Helps Views Rise

There’s nothing like a bearded, crazed-looking, nearly mute Hollywood star to drive up Web video usage.

Joaquin Phoenix’s bizarre Feb. 11 appearance on Late Show with David Letterman has generated 7.5 million views this past week, the most ever for a Late Show clip, according to CBS. The video snippet, which featured a barely coherent Phoenix claiming to Letterman that he was retiring from acting, topped previous high-trafficked Late Show clips featuring interviews with Sen. John McCain and Letterman’s Farewell to Great Moments in Presidential Speeches.

CBS said that besides drawing a curious audience to, the Phoenix interview has proven popular across the CBS Audience Network, including over 2.8 million views on YouTube as of late Friday. Over half of the Phoenix streams occurred on embedded video players on social networks and blogs, said officials.