Is Francis Ford Coppola the Best Director Ever?

Francis Ford Coppola stopped by to promote his latest film, "Tetro," and told Howard to stop picking on his nephew, Mark "The Cope" Coppola, who had been a DJ at KROCK at one point: "Of all the relatives, he's the sweetest one."

Howard said he actually liked Mark and quickly turned the tables, asking if Francis ever benefitted from the so-called "casting couch." Francis balked, claiming he met his wife very early in his career: "I never even went out with an actress." Howard asked Francis about his brother, August, the Coppola family's early star, so Francis explained that he grew up in August's shadow: "He's a brilliant guy. He's a professor, a dean."

Howard declared that Francis had one-upped August by becoming the greatest director ever - just based on the strength of the first two "Godfather" movies - but Francis disputed the title, citing "The Seven Samurai" and "Raging Bull" as two films that rival his best work.

The Godfather

At Howard's request, Francis briefly discussed his other pursuits, like winemaking and screenwriting (Howard noted that Francis' writing credits included, among a few of his own films, "Patton") and broke down his "Godfather" compensation package: $75,000 and 6% of the net. Francis said he was almost kicked off "The Godfather" set several times: "The rumor was that I was getting fired every week. They didn't like my casting...even Brando was considered poison at the time...a lot of his style [was] trying to remember a line." Francis added that he got nearly the same amount of grief for casting Vincent Gallo in "Tetro."