Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

By iHeartRadio

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Subscribers: 5365
Reviews: 9

A Podcast Republic user
 May 15, 2021

DARYA
 Apr 3, 2021
ITS VERY BEAUTIFUL AND THANKS ALEC BALDWIN! ♡♡

Luciano
 Feb 17, 2021

M
 Jan 6, 2021

mark
 Dec 20, 2020
this pod cast is ended. I believe Alec said he move it to a radio platform. was it SIRIUS radio? I could not find it's replacement podcast today.

Description

Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin takes listeners into the lives of artists, policy makers and performers. Alec sidesteps the predictable by going inside the dressing rooms, apartments, and offices of people we want to understand better: Ira Glass, Lena Dunham, David Letterman, Barbara Streisand, Tom Yorke, Chris Rock and others. Hear what happens when an inveterate guest becomes a host.

Episode Date
Jackson Browne Gives Us Reasons to Believe
3125
When he was just out of high school, Jackson Browne moved to NYC and wrote songs for some of the biggest names of the 1960’s folk scene. Then, when he returned home to Los Angeles two years later, he began singing his own material and set his course to become one of the greatest singer-songwriters of his generation. Today, Jackson Browne’s voice is still strong and political. He talks with Alec about his new album, Downhill From Everywhere, reflections on a life of activism, and the artists he’d still love to sing with.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 27, 2021
Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal - Summer Staff Picks
3940
It’s summer, and every other week, members of the Here’s The Thing staff are selecting favorite interviews from the archives. This week, we revisit Alec’s interviews with two award-winning, dynamic actresses who happen to have a lot in common, Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Alec and Julianne Moore worked together on Still Alice (Julianne won an Academy Award for Best Actress) and 30 Rock. She spoke with Alec in 2014 about the chops she developed doing soap operas early on, her work on a string of independent movies in the 1990s, and why it’s always important to give even the most minor roles your best. Alec talked with Maggie Gyllenhaal before a live audience in 2018 at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Maggie talked about her early experiences in theater, what she’s learned about trust, and the ways her confidence has grown over her remarkable career.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 20, 2021
Ken Page and Betty Buckley Sing Their Hearts Out
3884
Musical theater legends Ken Page and Betty Buckley have a lot in common. Both grew up dreaming of performing on Broadway: Ken in St. Louis; Betty in Fort Worth. Both were in the original Broadway production of Cats, Ken as Old Deuteronomy and Betty as Grizabella, for which she won a Tony. And both were pioneers in transforming musical theater over the past several decades. One of Ken Page’s most recognizable roles was as Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and, on Broadway, he starred in the 1976 all-Black revival of Guys and Dolls and in the original cast of The Wiz and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Betty Buckley has been called “the Voice of Broadway” with and she’s also starred in TV (Eight is Enough) and films (Split, Carrie, Tender Mercies, Frantic).  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 13, 2021
Kurt Andersen on Nixon at War
2882
When Kurt Andersen started working on his new podcast, Nixon at War, he thought he knew a lot about Richard Nixon’s presidency, especially the bookend events of his 1968 campaign and his 1973 resignation. Devastating events with far-reaching consequences but unrelated - or so he thought. The surprising connections between the two are at the heart of Nixon at War. Kurt Andersen is a prize-winning novelist, historian, and public radio host (Studio 360). His most recent books -- Evil Geniuses, Fantasyland, and You Can’t Spell America Without Me, were all New York Times bestsellers. For more, visit Nixonatwar.org.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 06, 2021
Eddie Marsan and David Arquette Transcend Typecasting
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Alec talks with two very different actors. Eddie Marsan grew up in working-class London and left school at 15 to become a printer. He was discovered on a dance floor, and a patron helped him afford drama school. Marsan’s worked with the likes of Martin Scorcese, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Mike Leigh, and he often gets cast as the tough guy. It’s an image he’s ready to shed. One of his most recent roles was in the Showtime series Ray Donovan as Terry Donovan, Ray’s brother with Parkinson’s disease. David Arquette comes from a long line of entertainers. His career hit a lull two decades ago when he won a WCW World Heavyweight Championship. It seemed Hollywood scorned him due to his love of pro wrestling. A self-produced documentary, You Cannot Kill David Arquette, chronicles David Arquette’s journey to store his name and his sense of self. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 29, 2021
Mark Harris on Mike Nichols’ Incomparable Life
2832
Alec’s guest Mark Harris has written a compelling new biography about one of the most celebrated directors of all time, Mike Nichols. Drawn from more than 250 interviews, Mike Nichols: A Life tracks Nichol’s difficult childhood as a German Jewish immigrant growing up in New York City to his college years at the University of Chicago where Nichols found a community of performers, including his life-long collaborator Elaine May. In 1963, Mike Nichols and Elaine May performed more than 300 sold-out comedy shows on Broadway. Nichols then spent decades moving fluidly between directing on Broadway and in Hollywood. His movies include The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Silkwood, and Working Girl, and his plays include Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, and Monty Python’s Spamalot. Over the course of his lifetime, Mike Nichols’ won every major award in his field and, as Mark Harris movingly chronicles, it took a lifetime for Mike Nichols to learn to be happy.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 22, 2021
Andra Day Rises Up as Billie Holiday
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Andra Day tells Alec that she almost turned down the opportunity to play Billie Holiday in Lee Daniel’s The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. Day considered herself a singer, not an actress. She went on to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the part and brought her incredible voice to all the Billie Holiday’s songs in the movie. The iconic song Strange Fruit is at the heart of the film’s conflict between the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the jazz singer, and Andra Day is no stranger to activism. Her song, Rise Up, has become an anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement, and she performed it at the Biden/Harris inauguration.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 15, 2021
Indian Point Nuclear Plant is Permanently Closed
3017
On Friday, April 30, 2021, the Indian Point nuclear power plant permanently closed. Located less than 40 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River, Alec and others worked for decades to shut Indian Point down. In this episode, Alec reminisces with key leaders in the fight: Paul Gallay, Richard Webster, and Joseph Mangano. Paul Gallay is the president of Riverkeeper, an organization dedicated to the health of New York Waterways. Richard Webster is an environmental lawyer at Riverkeeper and formally the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic. Joseph Mangano is the Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 08, 2021
Ali Wentworth Makes Alec Laugh
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Ali Wentworth is a fearlessly funny actor and comedian as well as a New York Times best-selling author of three books, Ali in Wonderland, Happily Ali After, and Go Ask Ali. She played Jerry’s girlfriend Schmoopie in Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” episode, and she’s had roles in a wide range of TV and film projects including Jerry Maguire, Office Space, and It's Complicated. She’s married to George Stephanopoulos and the proud mother of two teenage daughters, Elliot and Harper. She started a podcast in the pandemic called Go Ask Ali which tackles parenting and friendships in unusual times. With Alec, Ali shares her courtship secrets, her approach to work-life balance and the dangers of taking too many sleep aids.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 01, 2021
Pandemic Stories of Work, Loss, and Reconnection
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As the United States begins to emerge from the worst of the pandemic, Alec looks back with three guests on the ways their work lives changed. As the Suffolk County medical examiner, Dr. Odette Hall’s work is always about the logistics of death. In the early days of the pandemic, that meant figuring out makeshift morgues and processes to deal with an unknown threat. Additionally, as the first Black woman in her public-facing role, Dr. Hall’s openness, humor, and compassion made her a trusted source amidst the chaos and grief. Alec also talks with his sister, Jane Baldwin-Sasso, a physical therapist who works with children and the elderly. Jane creatively faced challenges turning her hands-on work into virtual treatments. Finally, clarinetist David Gould performs with some of the world’s most celebrated ensembles. COVID brought a sudden halt to his professional life last spring, and personal losses due to COVID leave him reflective about what’s next. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 25, 2021
David Koepp on Screenwriting and Walter Murch on Editing
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Screenwriter David Koepp and film editor Walter Murch have both carved out legendary careers in film. David Koepp has written or co-written the screenplays for more than thirty films, including many Hollywood blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Spider-Man, Panic Room, Carlito’s Way, and Mission Impossible. He’s directed six films and released one novel. Walter Murch was part of American Zoetrope, the groundbreaking film production company founded in the late 1960s by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. His long collaboration with Coppola earned him his first Oscar nomination for sound editing on the 1974 classic, The Conversation, and an Oscar win for editing on Apocalypse Now. He also collaborated several times with Anthony Minghella, winning two Oscars for his work film editing and sound design for The English Patient. His most recent work is a documentary he co-wrote and edited, Coup 53, about the U.S.- and British effort to overthrow the Iranian government in 1953.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 18, 2021
Police Reform and Post-Pandemic NYC
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Alec talks with Michael Sisitzky from the New York Civil Liberties Union’s police transparency and accountability campaign as many cities around the country are considering police reform. The NYCLU is requesting police discipline records from around the state after the repeal of New York Civil Rights Law Section 50-a. The law previously shielded police personnel records. Then, Alec checks in with Kathryn Wylde, the president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, about NYC’s post-pandemic outlook. In her role, Wylde serves as a liaison between NYC business leaders and the city government. The Partnership has focused the city’s pandemic recovery efforts by supporting small businesses and advocating for policies to restore jobs and keep people from leaving New York City.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 11, 2021
Hans Zimmer Scores
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Hans Zimmer is one of the most celebrated and successful film composers of all time. He has scored more than 150 movies including Gladiator, Hannibal, Sherlock Holmes, The Last Samurai, the Thin Red Line, and many more. He won an Academy Award for Lion King and has earned 10 other nominations. His long-time collaboration with director Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar, Dunkirk, and Inception has become one of the most celebrated partnerships in movie history. Hans tells Alec, whether he’s working on animated films or live-action ones, his scores enrich a film’s emotional journey. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 04, 2021
Marlo Thomas is Still That Girl
2718
Marlo Thomas has been breaking barriers for women for more than five decades as an actress and activist. As an award-winning actress, Marlo became a household name as Ann-Marie, the lead in the television show That Girl, a woman who, in the late 60s, wanted a career more than a family. An outspoken feminist, Marlo then launched Free to Be...You and Me, which was first an album, then a book, and eventually, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning TV show for children that challenged gender norms and became a touchstone for a generation of feminists. Her best-selling books include a memoir about growing up an adored daughter of TV star Danny Thomas, and, just last year, she and her husband Phil Donahue released a book, What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life, and a podcast, Double Date, filled with marriage advice. All in all, quite a life for That Girl.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 27, 2021
The Post-Pandemic Future of Broadway and Movies
3202
Broadway and movies have both been deeply impacted during the pandemic. To get a sense of what lies ahead, Alec checks in with Robert Wankel, chairman and CEO of the Schubert Organization, and Pamela McClintock, senior film writer for the Hollywood Reporter. Broadway shuttered completely on March 12, 2020, and reopening remains a challenge due to safety issues for performers and audiences as well as capacity requirements that mean ticket sales won’t cover the show’s costs. Movie theaters face fewer safety issues with reopening at reduced capacity but the industry is now reckoning with the fact many of us have gotten used to watching even the newest of new releases from the comfort of our couches. If you love the thrill of a darkened theater and being transported, this episode will make you think about what comes next.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 20, 2021
The Rascals' Felix Cavaliere Really Sings
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Felix Cavaliere started The Rascals in 1965. Felix began playing piano at age six and listened exclusively to classical music until junior high when he first heard Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino. Rock and roll changed his life. In The Rascals, Felix sang and played organ on some of the group’s biggest hits, including It’s a Beautiful Morning, Groovin’, Good Lovin’, and People Got to Be Free. The band signed with Atlantic and, with the legendary producer Arif Mardin, The Rascals had nine hits between 1965-1968, making it big as a crossover hit on Black R&B stations and white stations. Felix took a stand in favor of civil rights, insisting The Rascals would play only if Black acts were also on the ticket, a decision that eliminated parts of the country from their touring schedule. Today, Felix lives in Nashville, and he’s still playing and producing music.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 13, 2021
Anthony Pellicano Keeps Secrets
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Anthony Pellicano has dirt on some of Hollywood’s biggest names, and even after spending 17 years in prison, he’s still not talking. For decades, he was one of Tinseltown's most sought-after private investigators. His clients ranged from Tom Cruise to Michael Jackson, from Elizabeth Taylor to Courtney Love. But a raid of his Sunset Boulevard office in 2002 turned up explosives and eventually more than 150,000 illegal wiretaps. He walked out of prison on his 75th birthday, March 22, 2019. If he’d turned state’s evidence, he could have reduced his prison time, but that’s not how a personal code works, at least not for Anthony Pellicano.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 06, 2021
William Kristol Wants Biden to Succeed
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William Kristol is one of the nation’s leading conservative voices. And, since 2016, he’s been at war with conservative elites and Trump loyalists. Kristol tells Alec he didn’t just vote for Joe Biden, he is actively rooting for his success. There is just too much at stake otherwise, particularly when so many members of the GOP keep parroting Trump’s lies about a stolen election. Kristol was the founder and editor of The Weekly Standard for more than two decades. When it closed in 2018, Kristol and a band of Never-Trumpers founded TheBulwark.com, a news site “free from the constraints of partisan loyalties or tribal prejudices.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 30, 2021
Malcolm McDowell Reminisces like Clockwork (Orange)
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British Actor Malcolm McDowell trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. While he’s had many notable stage roles, audiences likely know him best for a single, iconic character, Alex DeLarge, the anti-heroic criminal turned victim in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971, A Clockwork Orange. McDowell tells Alec how he developed Alex DeLarge’s signature look with the cricket codpiece, bowler hat, and single disorienting lower eyelash. McDowell also talks about his life-long friendship with mentor Lindsay Anderson, who directed McDowell in his debut film, if, in 1968. In his mid-70s, McDowell is still going strong, acting in film and television and enjoying roles such as a talent agent in HBO’s Entourage and a retired orchestra conductor in Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 23, 2021
Amanda Knox Navigates Labyrinths
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Amanda knows about living inside other people’s preconceptions. When she was 22 years old, she was sentenced to 26 years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit. In 2007, on a study-abroad program in Perugia, Italy, Amanda’s roommate Meredith Kurcher was raped and murdered. The police and the tabloids pinned it on “Foxy Knoxy,” calling Amanda a sex-crazed murderer. After spending almost a decade in the labyrinth of the Italian criminal justice system, Amanda was fully exonerated. Today, she lives in her hometown of Seattle and, with her husband, has a podcast called Labyrinths about the mazes we find ourselves in.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 16, 2021
Sam Wasson Chronicles Chinatown and Hollywood Legends
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From Blake Edwards and Paul Mazursky, to Audrey Hepburn and the history of Improv, Sam Wasson tackles distinctive creators and seminal moments in Hollywood history. Alec loved Sam Wasson’s latest, The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood. In this fascinating conversation, Wasson tells the story of the four men behind the 1974 film, producer Robert Evans, screenwriter Robert Towne, director Roman Polanski, and the star Jack Nicholson. Chinatown marked the end of an era for Hollywood and a turning point in each of their lives.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 09, 2021
Barry Gibb Keeps the Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive
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The Bee Gees were Barry Gibb and his younger twin brothers, Robin and Maurice. From the time they started playing together as children, they dreamed of stardom, and they certainly succeeded. The Bee Gees became among the top-selling music groups of all time. The distinctive “blood harmony” of the brothers' voices set the dance floor on fire and their prodigious talent as songwriters extended their career long past disco’s days. Now in his mid-70s, Barry is the sole survivor of the group. Barry talks to Alec about his songwriting, fame, and family. Robin died in 2012 and Maurice in 2003. Barry’s keeping the Bee Gees’ music alive and still making music. HBO recently released a documentary about the group, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? and Barry put out an album featuring Nashville greats singing Bee Gees songs called Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 02, 2021
Julie Holland Prescribes Human Connection
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In this episode, recorded several months into the pandemic, NYC-based psychiatrist Julie Holland assures Alec it’s not just him, we’re all having a hard-time. Dr. Holland says our brains are wired for connection and isolation is causing many of us to go into “fight or flight” mode where it’s harder to feel safe and loved. But there’s hope. Put down the phone, go outside, call a friend. Connect. And, for some, drugs might help, too. Holland has been deeply curious about the brain since high school and she’s a leading researcher in using psychedelics and cannabis to treat PTSD. In controlled settings, these drugs can restore a sense of being connected with others and the larger world. Holland is the author of several books including Good Chemistry, Moody Bitches, and a memoir, Weekends at Bellevue. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 23, 2021
Patton Oswalt Runs at Love
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In the glut of comedy that exists today - with hundreds of comedy clubs, sit-coms, late-night talk shows, and podcasts - Patton Oswalt has distinguished himself over his three-decade career by being a talented actor who also happens to be very funny. Patton talks to Alec about the sudden death in 2016 of his first wife, author Michelle McNamara, how it changed his relationship with their daughter. Patton says the strength of his first marriage allowed him to “run at love” when it came a second time (he married actress Meredith Salenger in late 2017). Alec and Patton also compare notes on the deep imprint their favorite TV shows growing up have had, what Patton learned about FOMO while writing for MADtv, and why Patton started all over when he started performing at comedy clubs in San Francisco in the early 90s. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 16, 2021
Katie Porter Enjoys Being a Fish Out of Water
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In 2018, U.S. Representative Katie Porter (CA-45) was the first Democrat ever to be elected in her traditionally conservative Orange County district. Prompted to run by Trump’s 2016 win, Porter quickly made a name for herself with her tough questioning of CEOs and administration officials, often using a whiteboard to lay out the facts. Katie Porter’s no-nonsense approach comes in part from her upbringing in Iowa. During the farm crisis of the 1980s, she saw first-hand how her father, a third generation farmer turned community loan officer, helped to support their neighbors. She went on to study bankruptcy law under Elizabeth Warren at Harvard Law School and become a consumer protection attorney and a law professor. A single mom to three school-age children, Katie Porter tells Alec people often have often underestimated her - at their own peril. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 09, 2021
Isabel Wilkerson on Caste and William Darity on Reparations
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Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson talks to Alec about her best-selling book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Wilkerson says America’s caste system began in 1619, when enslaved people first arrived in the Jamestown colony. Drawing comparisons between India’s millennia-long caste system and the Nazis’ subjugation of Jews in WWII, Wilkerson says white Americans developed a caste system to justify centuries of violence and discrimination against African-Americans. Wilkerson says we must understand our full history and the caste system today to become a more equitable nation. Alec then follows up on the question of reparations with William Darity, a Duke University professor of economics and co-author of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. Darity says the U.S. government owes $10 - $12 trillion in reparations to the approximately 40 million descendants of enslaved people. Darity says reparations are essential to close the persistent wealth gap between white and Black households. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 02, 2021
Mick Fleetwood Skates Back into the Charts
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Mick Fleetwood is the drummer and a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, one of the most successful rock bands of all time. Fleetwood talks to Alec about how dyslexia led him to the drumming, how supportive parents encouraged his talent and his move to London as a teenager, how his friendship with the band’s founder, guitarist Peter Green, evolved to a life-long friendship, and how Fleetwood Mac balanced the weight of their interpersonal dynamics and the band’s wild, over-the-top success. The band’s 1977 album Rumors broke through Billboard 100 again last year thanks to a Tik Tok of a man on a skateboard lipsyncing to Dreams and introduced a whole new generation to Fleetwood Mac’s beautiful, enduring music.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 26, 2021
Howard Dean Still Has Something to Say
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Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean offers a long-view take on what’s needed in this pivotal moment as Joe Biden takes office. Dean talks about vaccines, prioritizing the important while attending to the urgent, and what unity might look like for our deeply divided country. Dean has studied democracies around the world, yet much of his adult life has been rooted in Vermont where he practiced family medicine before becoming the state's longest-serving Governor from 1991 - 2003. Dean ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 Presidential race, pioneering grassroots fundraising. Then, as chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 and 2009, his 50 state strategy played a key role in Barack Obama’s 2008 win. At 72, Dean teaches foreign policy at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and is as opinionated and clear thinking as ever. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 19, 2021
Kristen Bell Chooses Her Lane
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Actor Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Frozen, Veronica Mars) has a happy marriage that requires a lot of work, and she’s good with that. She considered a life in the theater as a student at NYU, even making it to Broadway before graduation. However, on a whim, she moved to Los Angeles and has been starring in movies and TV ever since. Like her most memorable characters, Bell is plucky, relatable, and very funny. That’s her lane and she’s good with that, too. She tells Alec, at 40, she’s more comfortable than ever in her skin, more aware of her voice and what she needs to be happy, lessons she strives to model every day for her daughters, and her legions of devoted fans. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 12, 2021
Here’s The Thing Trailer
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Join award-winning actor Alec Baldwin in conversation with some of the most dynamic artists, policymakers, and performers working today. This season, Alec will talk with Kristen Bell about marriage and why generosity always wins, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean on the difference between the important and the urgent, and music legend Mick Fleetwood about why Fleetwood Mac has survived for more than half a century - just to name a few. If you like listening as much as Alec likes talking with interesting people, subscribe now and never miss an episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 05, 2021
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part 2
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Here’s The Thing is moving from WNYC to iHeartRadio. Over the past several years, Alec has talked with some of the greatest artists, musicians, actors, writers, thinkers, public policy makers, and sports figures of our time. The final two programs on WNYC highlight a compilation of some of Alec’s favorite interviews from the past several years. This penultimate WNYC episode features clips from interviews with David Letterman, Audra McDonald, Carly Simon, Robert Osborne, and Jon Robin Baitz. Join Alec as he celebrates his accomplished guests and the Here’s The Thing catalog. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 10, 2020
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part 1
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Today, Alec announces that Here’s The Thing is moving from WNYC to iHeartRadio. For nearly a decade, Alec has spoken with some of the greatest artists, musicians, actors, writers, thinkers, public policy makers, and sports figures of our time. The final two programs on WNYC highlight a compilation of some of Alec’s favorite interviews. This penultimate WNYC episode features clips from interviews with Barbra Streisand, Joe Dallesandro, Elaine Stritch, David Crosby, and William Friedkin. Join Alec as he celebrates his accomplished guests and the Here’s The Thing catalog. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 03, 2020
A Piece of New York: Real Estate in NYC
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Today, Alec plunges into the politics of real estate with two guests. The first is David Schleicher of Yale Law School, whose expertise is Land Use. He gets to the heart of gentrification and continuously surprises Alec with one idea after another through their riveting conversation. Later in the show, Alec talks with Elizabeth Kim, Gothamist Senior Editor and real estate correspondent for Gothamist, the New York-focused news website. She and Alec discuss “retail blight,” the hollowing-out of the ground-level boutiques that define New York neighborhoods. These conversations were recorded before the Coronavirus hit New York City. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 20, 2020
Peter Asher's Long and Winding Road
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As a singer, guitarist, producer, and manager, Peter Asher has been at the center of some of the most important music - and moments - of the rock era. In 1964, he was just 19 when his London-based duo Peter and Gordon released its first single, “A World Without Love.” It reached number 1 on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic -- and was written by his sister’s then-boyfriend, Paul McCartney. Later, after Peter and Gordon fizzled, Asher joined forces with the Beatles to launch Apple Records, where he discovered and signed folk icon James Taylor. Asher moved on from his role at Apple to become a full-time producer, working with legends like Diana Ross, Cher, and Neil Diamond, and producing multi-platinum albums with Diamond and Linda Rondstadt. More recently, Asher put all these stories into his book The Beatles A to Zed, An Alphabetical Musical Tour. He also hosts a weekly show about the band called From Me to You on Sirius XM. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 06, 2020
The Eternal Phantom: Davis Gaines
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Few actors are as deeply associated with a character as Davis Gaines is with the Phantom of the Opera. When the Kennedy Center honored Hal Prince, Phantom’s original director, they turned to Gaines to perform the musical’s signature song, “Music of the Night.” Gaines’ spine-tingling vibrato shook the risers more than two thousand times in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and eventually Broadway, where Phantom remains the longest-running show in history. Alec speaks with Gaines about how his childhood led to his prolific acting career, with 14 Broadway and off-Broadway credits to his name. Alec finds Gaines is remarkably unassuming for a Broadway leading man, but he’s got friends in high places -- including the entire Bush family, starting with the late President George H.W. Bush. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 22, 2020
Jordan Klepper Has Gone from Comedy to Farce
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Jordan Klepper is a very funny person, and Comedy Central took notice, making him one of their go-to stars: he's hosted his own late-night talk show and two excellent documentary series for the network. But with about 90 million views on YouTube and Facebook, Klepper's work as the Daily Show's Trump-rally correspondent is what turned him into a political celebrity. He's been on the beat from the beginning: Jon Stewart hired him in 2014 and he started attending the rallies right as Trump was taking off in the Republican primaries. Man-on-the-street interviews are inevitably cherry-picked, but by turning on his mic and asking questions, Klepper creates an important document of this particular segment of Donald Trump’s base. He tells Alec why he thinks interviewing rally-goers isn't "punching down" -- and he traces his own path from college Math major in Kalamazoo, through improv star in Chicago, to one of the smartest and most reliable members of that very modern profession: advocacy journalists working through the medium of comedy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 08, 2020
Take a Listen to "Tribeca Talks"
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The Tribeca Film Festival has launched a new podcast, Tribeca Talks, and we want you to know about it. Here's a conversation Alec had with director Guillermo Del Toro at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, covering Del Toro’s incredible career, the meaning behind his films, and prepping for shoots. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 03, 2020
The Art of the Art Deal
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Alec looks at the art world from two angles -- from someone in it, and from someone who has observed the world from a distance. First, writer Michael Shnayerson -- his latest book, Boom, gives an exhaustive history of how today’s art market came to be. Shnayerson writes for magazines -- including Time and Vanity Fair -- and has written seven books. He has collaborated with Harry Belafonte, written a portrait of Andrew Cuomo, and unpacked General Motors and the electric car. Art dealer Richard Feigen, Alec’s second guest, spent his entire career in the art market. His New York gallery has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of the greatest works of art, from the Renaissance to Basquiat. He was the dealer to the newly minted millionaires of 1980’s New York who bought their art -- and their cultural cache -- from Richard Feigen. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 25, 2020
Marc Kudisch Plays Questionable Men
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Marc Kudisch is a Broadway staple. With three Tony nominations, he has played such roles as The Proprietor in Assassins, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, and the sexist blowhard boss in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5. On screen, Kudisch has carved out a niche for himself working for some of the greatest directors in TV, including David Fincher in Mindhunter and Barry Sonnenfeld in The Tick. His current TV role is Dr. Gus, the intense, love-to-hate-him corporate coach in Billions. Alec talked with Kudisch right before Broadway shut down due to the coronavirus, just a couple of weeks into his starring role in Girl from the North Country. They discuss everything from the start of his acting career to Sondheim to Dungeons and Dragons. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 18, 2020
Legacies of Vietnam
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Today, Alec speaks with two colleagues he’s known for a long time, Brian Delate and Dick Hughes -- both actors whose lives were touched by the Vietnam War. Delate, Alec’s first guest, served in Vietnam after high school. He has performed on stage, in movies and on TV, and he’s also a playwright. His play, Memorial Day, tells the story of a Vietnam veteran on the verge of suicide over a Memorial Day holiday. Dick Hughes, Alec’s second guest, thought he was going to enter the priesthood as a young man, but decided to study theater. In his early 20’s, Hughes traveled to Vietnam as a conscientious objector, and ultimately opened a shelter for street children called the Shoeshine Boys Project. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 11, 2020
Alec Dives into "The Dating Market"
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Writers Kaitlyn Tiffany and Ashley Fetters may be the country’s most astute observers of modern romance. Fetters even wrote the definitive history of Tinder. Alec discovered their jointly written article, The ‘Dating Market’ Is Getting Worse, published in February, 2020, and knew he had to talk to them.  The writers talked to historians and sociologists to analyze the use of concepts like “market value” and “supply and demand” in thinking about romance. They conclude that our sense that we can measure and control the "numbers game" makes us less happy and perhaps less likely to find true love. They bring their own personal dating experiences and their deep research to a funny and fascinating Zoom conversation with Alec. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 04, 2020
Ramona Diaz Decodes the Motherland
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Filipino-American filmmaker Ramona Diaz says each of her films is a “yearning for the motherland.” She’s in a unique position, as she says, able to “decode” the Philippines for the rest of the world. Her most recent film, A Thousand Cuts, tells the story of Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa and the struggle for a free press and the crackdown on news media in the Philippines under President Duterte. In 2018, Ressa was an honoree when Time Magazine’s Person of the Year issue focused on “The Guardians and the War on Truth.” Alec sat down with director Diaz to talk about her newest film as well as her other documentaries. Diaz draws deep portraits and her subjects vary -- from well-known figures like Imelda Marcos, to women who’ve just given birth at Fabella Hospital in Manila -- the busiest maternity ward in the world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 28, 2020
Everybody Loves Stanley Tucci
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Alec and Stanley Tucci have only been on set together a couple of times, but they established a rapport deep enough to carry over into a Zoom interview more than a decade later. The two share stories from their families, discuss what they love about working with certain fellow actors, and the difference between working in Hollywood and the UK. Tucci also talks about how he gets into character for his most recent role, an 80-year-old woman in Apple TV's wonderful new animated series, Central Park. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 14, 2020
Ingrid Newkirk Was a Deputy Sheriff Before She Founded PETA
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Ingrid Newkirk is the co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA. It may be America’s best-known animal rights organization thanks to legal sophistication, scientific seriousness, and off-the-wall publicity stunts like throwing fake blood on models wearing fur, or infiltrating a KFC chicken-supplier to publicize alleged cruelty. They're also famous because a lot of big-name vegetarians have lent them a hand, including Alec, who narrated a documentary for PETA about animal abuse in traveling circuses, among other collaborations. Newkirk tells the story of her transformation from the happily carnivorous daughter of an engineer in New Delhi, to deputy sheriff in Maryland, to the nation's foremost warrior against "speciesism." Alec and Newkirk also go through all the big contemporary questions in animal rights, from hunting to animal-testing to roadside zoos, and she shares insights from her latest book about animal psychology and cognition, Animalkind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 30, 2020
Micky Dolenz on How The Monkees Went from TV Band to Real-Life Band
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Micky Dolenz was a successful child-actor, but he became a full-fledged star at 20 in 1966 as the exuberant singer and drummer of The Monkees -- or rather, as the actor playing that character. At first, the band was a creation of NBC and only existed on the show The Monkees. For the first season, much of the backing music was played by a studio band. Eventually, that changed, and The Monkees' transition from a TV band to a real band is a fascinating story of hard work, perseverance, and marketing genius. Dolenz brings all the energy and humor he showed on The Monkees to this episode of Here's the Thing, telling Alec about the dynamics among the bandmates, his years as a successful TV producer in the UK, and what it's like touring -- and recording -- as a member of The Monkees 50 years after the end of the show. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 16, 2020
On a Zoom Call with Woody Allen
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Woody Allen's new book, Apropos of Nothing, starts with a portrait of his father, a tough-guy World War One Navy veteran and onetime gunman in a firing squad. It's the first of a series of surprising, fascinating stories from a life that went from working-class Jewish Brooklyn in the 1940s to movie sets in Rome and Paris.  The book also addresses the accusation of an incident of sexual abuse leveled by Dylan Farrow.  Allen and Alec cover it all -- plus how he's doing in the age of coronavirus -- in this candid and wide-ranging interview. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 02, 2020
New York City's Post-COVID Future
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In the midst of a crisis it can be healthy to think of what comes after. In this episode of Here's the Thing, two of the most influential New Yorkers when it comes to long-term economic planning join Alec to discuss whether the current economic crisis will end quickly when businesses can reopen, or whether instead it's the start of a longer decline. Kathryn Wylde is a veteran of the urban renewal battles of the 1980s and currently the head of the city's elite business consortium, the Partnership for New York City. She worries that what makes New York special will now be associated with the spread of disease: its dense population and communal spaces like theaters, museums, bars, and vibrant workplaces. Tom Wright's organization, the influential Regional Plan Association, is reshaping its long-term vision for the city based on the potential for reduced growth -- but Wright says that New York is well positioned to get back on track thanks to its experience overcoming past crises like 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 19, 2020
In Memoriam: Wynn Handman
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Over a 70-year career, Wynn Handman added sharpness and craft to the natural talents of actors including Christopher Walken, Allison Janney, Raul Julia, Richard Gere, James Caan, Anna Deveare Smith, Joanne Woodward, and Mia Farrow. The World War II veteran studied acting on the GI bill and fell in with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1946, when the "playhouse" was still two floors of an office building west of Times Square. In this remarkable conversation, Handman tells Alec about his experiences with Meisner, Lee Strasberg, and his many students -- as well as growing up in the 1920s in a Manhattan neighborhood where the streets still had not been paved. Handman died of complications from COVID-19 on April 11, 2020. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 14, 2020
Brian De Palma on Scarface, Mission: Impossible, and the Movie He Made in College
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Brian De Palma's astonishingly diverse hits as a director include Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Raising Cain, Carlito’s Way, and Mission: Impossible. He wrote many of those screenplays, too. With his distinctive visual style and proven box office success, he's among the undeniable greats of both auteur and commercial filmmaking. In this live interview, he tells Alec about getting his start in directing as an undergrad at Columbia, and has stories from Blow Out, Scarface and Mission: Impossible. In 2019, the Hamptons International Film Festival gave De Palma its Lifetime Achievement Award; this conversation was part of the ceremony. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 05, 2020
Daryl Hall Invites Alec In
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Hall & Oates is the biggest-selling vocal duo in history. "Maneater," "Rich Girl," "You Make My Dreams Come True," and countless other hits will be beloved for generations. So Daryl Hall has long been at the top of Alec's Most Wanted list for Here's the Thing. When the conversation finally took place this past December, it was on Hall's home-turf: Daryl's House, his restaurant and music-venue in Pawling, NY. In a conversation interspersed with some classic recordings, Hall talks about his teen years in suburban Pennsylvania singing doo-wop on the streets with his friends -- a far cry from the rock-star life he was leading 15 years later. For that transition to happen, he first had to meet John Oates. That happened in 1967 when a gunfight broke out at a club they had both been performing at. Their fate was sealed: the two kept up a rigorous concert schedule until this year, when coronavirus put a temporary end to public gatherings. You can still hear their later work on this new vinyl release of their masterful album of soul standards, Our Kind of Soul.  Or tune in to AXS for Hall's hit show Live from Daryl's House. On each episode, he brings another big-name musician up to the club in Pawling and they jam together. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 21, 2020
In Memoriam: Patricia Bosworth
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Alec and Patti Bosworth became friends serving together on the board of the Actors Studio. When Bosworth died of complications from COVID-19, it wasn't just a loss to the literary and theatrical worlds; it was also personal for Alec and the rest of Bosworth's wide circle of friends and family. Not just a legendary Hollywood biographer, Bosworth also released an impossible-to-put-down memoir in two parts about her glamorous, tragic personal life and her time with the biggest names in Hollywood and the literary world. Characters range from Marlon Brando to Mario Puzo to Robert Frost. When Bosworth published the second installment of that memoir, The Men in My Life, in 2017, it was natural for her to stop by Here's the Thing to tell some of the stories in person, including her transition from Hollywood leading lady to respected journalist. We're honored to re-release that conversation today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 16, 2020
Anjelica Huston on Modeling, Movie-Making, and a Life in the Spotlight
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Anjelica Huston has lived many lives, all with grace and charisma. As the daughter of John Huston (director of The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, and more) she was movie royalty from birth. But she grew up in rural Ireland and went to high school in Swinging-Sixties London. That meant she developed a set of values far removed from Hollywood high society. Her first career was as a high-end fashion model, a favorite subject of Richard Avedon and later a muse of Halston. But she had always wanted to be a movie actress, and she spent time in the trenches, working on her craft in classes and smaller roles before her Oscar-winning turn in Prizzi's Honor. Right as she was leaving the photo studio for the movie studio, she met Jack Nicholson: "he made me laugh," she tells Alec. The couple defined Hollywood cool for almost two decades. Huston tells Alec the story of all of her transitions -- romantic, professional, and geographic. Her two wonderful memoirs are A Story Lately Told and Watch Me. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 07, 2020
Butch Walker's Awesomely Diverse Rock Résumé
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Butch Walker is one of rock and roll's biggest talents, and on May 8th, he'll be releasing his new album -- a rock opera called American Love Story. You can preview one of the songs on today's episode of Here's the Thing, taped live last month (just before coronavirus made such gatherings impossible) at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. In the 1990s, Walker got major-label contracts and radio-play as the guitarist for the "hair band" SouthGang, and later as front-man of the edgy, grunge-tinged Marvelous 3.  But Walker's career has evolved. Not only is he making beautiful solo work, but he's also become one of LA's most sought-after partners in music-making, having produced or written songs for artists ranging from P!nk to Green Day to Panic! at the Disco.  It's been a long road from his life as an 8-year-old Kiss fan in rural Georgia, and Walker has accumulated great stories along the way, including what it was like to be the first American rock band to tour (and get kicked out of) China. Thanks to Zach McNees for mixing the music in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 31, 2020
Eliza Shapiro on School Closures, the Big Picture -- and Probably Getting Coronavirus
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New York Times reporter Eliza Shapiro ranks high on the list of the most powerful people in education because "no one on the education beat is a sharper – or more effective – thorn in the side of city officials." Over the course of a lively conversation with Alec taped before the pandemic, she broke down all the major issues in education policy, from unions to charters to racial equality, and tackled Mayor Bill De Blasio's rollback of Mike Bloomberg's education reforms. But since they spoke, Shapiro has arguably become New York City parents' most important source of information about what's going on with the city's schools as they ground to a halt with the coronavirus pandemic. So we called her up yesterday and asked her what she knew and how school closures everywhere affect much more than just students' education. Plus she recounts her own likely bout with the virus! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 20, 2020
Revealing Barry Sonnenfeld
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Barry Sonnenfeld was among Hollywood's most in-demand cinematographers (Big, When Harry Met Sally, Misery) when he decided to make the switch to directing in 1991. The producers were nervous, but the proof was in the pudding: Sonnenfeld's directorial debut was The Addams Family, one of the year's most successful comedies. From there, Sonnenfeld went on to direct Get Shorty, the Men in Black series, and some brilliant TV like The Tick and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Now he's written a memoir, Barry Sonnenfeld Call Your Mother, in which he tells with humor and compassion the surprisingly harrowing story of his childhood -- and, of course, dishes on his colleagues in Hollywood. With Alec he goes beyond what's in the book about what went down on the sets of Big, Misery, Wild Wild West and Men in Black. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 10, 2020
The Luminous Kelli O'Hara
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For more than a decade, Kelli O'Hara has been at the very top of the Broadway heap. She gets called "luminous" so often that it must get really very, very tiring. It's been a remarkable journey for a kid who grew up on a farm in western Oklahoma and cut her teeth doing repertory theater in Wichita. She tells Alec her story, with a fascinating, surprising twist: she deeply loves Broadway but wants to branch out, and says she's struggled to do so. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 25, 2020
Russ Tamblyn, from DeMille to David Lynch
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Russ Tamblyn was born in Los Angeles in the middle of the Depression to a chorus girl and a Broadway "song and dance man." His father had moved his growing family west to press his luck in the talkies. Russ was a showbiz kid and found his talent young: Cecil B DeMille cast him as the young King Saul in Samson and Delilah when he was just 13 years old. Stardom came at 19 in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, where he stole scenes with his goofy enthusiasm and astonishingly acrobatic dancing. But the role that will go down in history is Riff in West Side Story. Tamblyn took a part that could have been just a young tough, and imbued it with such nuance, such balance between aggression and vulnerability, that every Riff since has been held up to him. In this funny, revealing conversation, Tamblyn tells Alec what it was like being part of the old Hollywood contract system (he was an MGM property) -- plus which major Golden Age director was "overrated," and why he didn't stay a movie star. And of course, Tamblyn recounts his return to featured roles at the request of David Lynch, who cast him as Dr. Lawrence Jacoby in Twin Peaks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 11, 2020
The Oscars Series, Day 5: For Sama, This Year's Most Powerful Documentary
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This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- and, today, with a pair of 2020 nominees. They are Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, the co-directors of For Sama, which is up for Best Documentary Feature. It's a movie pieced together from more than 500 hours of footage shot by Al-Kateab, a young mother in rebel-controlled Aleppo, Syria, as government troops closed in. For Sama is about what it's like for an ordinary, middle-class family to conceive and raise a child in a city under siege.  As the San Francisco Chronicle puts it, "For Sama is a film made with the instincts of a journalist, the passion of a revolutionary, and the beating heart of a mother." Watts, Waad, and Waad's husband, Dr. Hamza Al-Kateab, joined Alec at a live taping of Here's the Thing at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 07, 2020
The Oscars Series, Day 4: Spike Lee
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This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview, coming tomorrow, with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama.  Today, on Day 4 of our Oscars series, it's our live event with Spike Lee at the TriBeCa Film Festival.  The two movie-veterans came prepared for a serious discussion about Place in the Sun and On the Waterfront, but get distracted very quickly.  As BET put it in their roundup of the conversation, "The iconic director held nothing back."  Spike Lee's first Oscar, shockingly, came last year for his BlacKkKlansman screenplay. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 06, 2020
The Oscars Series Day 3: Julianne Moore
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This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama, coming Friday.  For Day 3 of our series, we bring you our Julianne Moore episode, in which she and Alec bond over their shared past in soap operas.  Moore won her Oscar in 2015 for playing an Alzheimer's patient in Still Alice. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 05, 2020
The Oscars Series, Day 2: Cameron Crowe
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This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama.  For our second installment, we bring you the Here's the Thing episode that may have generated our most enthusiastic listener feedback.  That's Alec's conversation with director, screenwriter, and Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe -- punctuated with great songs from Crowe's films.  Crowe won his Oscar in 2001 for his screenplay for Almost Famous.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 04, 2020
The Oscars Series, Day 1: Barbra Streisand
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This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview coming Friday with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama.  We begin, however, with a reprise of one of the HTT team's all-time favorite episodes, in which Alec enjoys a little miso soup at the home of Barbra Streisand in Malibu.  Streisand has won two Oscars:  first in 1969 for her turn as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, and then again in 1977 for her Best Original Song “Evergreen” from A Star Is Born. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 03, 2020
Kantor and Twohey: The Reporters Who Broke the Harvey Weinstein Story
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Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story. For five months -- perpetually in danger of losing the scoop -- they cultivated and cajoled sources ranging from the Weinsteins’ accountant to Ashley Judd. The article that emerged on October 5th, 2017, was a level-headed and impeccably sourced exposé, whose effects continue to be felt around the world. Their conversation with Alec covers their reporting process, and moves on to a joint wrestling with Alec’s own early knowledge of one of the Weinstein allegations, and his ongoing friendship with accused harasser James Toback. The guests ask Alec questions about the movie industry’s ethics about sex and “the casting couch.” Over a respectful and surprising half-hour, host and guests together talk through the many dilemmas posed by the #MeToo movement that Kantor and Twohey did so much to unleash. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 21, 2020
Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame
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Wynton Marsalis was on the cover of Time as the avatar of the "New Jazz Age." His central role in reviving the genre is thanks partly to his gorgeous, virtuosic trumpet-playing, and partly to his founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center. JALC established jazz at the heart of American high culture. That "officialness" turned off some jazz musicians: wasn't their music supposed to be looser, smaller? But Marsalis tells Alec that the desire to relegate jazz to small underground clubs is "ghettoizing." In front of a live audience at JALC's Rose Hall, Marsalis also goes deep with Alec about his father's influence -- and his racially fraught interactions with professors and conductors at Juilliard when he showed up from Louisiana in 1979. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 07, 2020
Julie Andrews, Revisited
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We often think of Julie Andrews as the prim nanny from Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, but her personal path may have the greatest resemblance to one of her Broadway roles: Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Andrews grew up in a family strapped for cash during the Second World War, and her initial training as an actor was in the less-than-prestigious field of vaudeville. But right before opening night of her breakout role in The Boy Friend, it was producer Cy Feuer’s advice that we have to thank, in large part, for the level of excellence Andrews has brought to musical film and theater for generations. “Forget camp,” he told her. “Get real.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 24, 2019
Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story
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Director Noah Baumbach is known for messy and realistic family dramas. The Squid and The Whale chronicles divorce within a family; Margot at the Wedding explores the relationship between two sisters; The Meyerowitz Stories tells the story of 3 adult siblings – different mothers, same father – negotiating resentment and love. And there have been plenty of comparisons between Baumbach’s own life and his movies – especially so with his most recent film, Marriage Story. Baumbach and actress Jennifer Jason Leigh divorced soon after they had a child. But Baumbach is quick to say his films are not autobiographical. They are personal, he says, and as he tells Alec, the process of turning real life into films is part of how Baumbach makes sense of things around him. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 10, 2019
Is Cristina Tzintzun Texas Democrats' Best Bet for the Senate?
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The last Democrat elected to the Senate seat Cristina Tzintzun has her sights on was Lyndon Johnson. Republican takeovers are just a fact of life in the South. And yet in some places, there's light at the end of the tunnel for beleaguered Dems. It's in the Lone Star State that they hope to reverse the trend. Texas is urbanizing, and it's getting more educated and more diverse. Tzintzun -- a political organizer who's the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an Anglo-Texan -- tells Alec that by activating those Democratic base constituencies, she can win where others have failed. It's a trail begun by Beto O’Rourke, who almost won the state’s other Senate seat back for the Democrats in 2018, but it's a perilous strategy, too, in a state as conservative as Texas. Much of Beto's team has come over to help Tzintzun, and full disclosure: Alec, too, is a supporter, and hosted a fundraiser for her in October. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 26, 2019
Errol Morris on Steve Bannon, Self-Loathing, and Life as a Private Eye
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Errol Morris’s documentaries are visually unmistakable, whether they’re about pet cemeteries or the morally bankrupt "great men" of American history. Thanks to his optical invention, the "Interrotron," Morris's subjects’ are looking straight at those of us in the movie theater and, sometimes, lying. He’s one of cinema’s most distinctive storytellers. In conversation with Alec, Morris recounts his meandering path to the top, involving deep debt, a master's degree in Philosophy, and a stint as a private investigator. "Film-making saved me," he says. Morris also responds to the heated controversy surrounding his new documentary, American Dharma, about Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, rejecting the argument that it was wrong to provide Bannon a platform for his ideas. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 12, 2019
Edward Norton on Directing – and His Directors
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Edward Norton gets into every aspect of filmmaking, even when he comes to the set as an actor. He's helped rewrite scripts, and sometimes gets intimately involved in editing, as was the case with American History X. That has led to tension with directors, but Norton tells Alec that the Hollywood press has grossly mischaracterized many of those relationships. Norton himself directed Alec recently in his new film, Motherless Brooklyn. Norton stars alongside Alec's Robert Moses character, who tries to bend New York City to his will. Their shared experience on set sparks a conversation about directing, and all the great directors Norton has worked with, including Spike Lee, David Fincher, Tony Kaye, and Miloš Forman. A "cheat sheet" of all the movies and directors Edward and Alec discussed, in order, is available at https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/heresthething/edwardandalec. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 29, 2019
Judith Light Once Told Her Agent, "No Soaps, No Sitcoms"
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Judith Light has an unequaled emotional and tonal range as an actor. She also has a shape-shifting physicality that made her entirely convincing both as the shuffling yenta Shelly Pfefferman in Transparent and as the lithe, aristocratic Hedda Gabler. But she only got to exercise those talents by saying "yes" to a lot of less intricate roles -- most famously the housewife-prostitute Karen Wolek on One Life to Live and Type-A divorcée Angela Bower on Who's the Boss. Her manager (a former Psychology professor) helped her arrive at that place of openness. After a few bad auditions, he sat her down and said, "You have an expectation that people should just be giving you stuff, and it's untenable. People feel it. You walk into a room and nobody wants to be around you." "And so," Light tells Alec, "when I walked into the audition for Who's the Boss, I was in a very different place." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 15, 2019
Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps
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Peter Bergman is the dean of soap opera actors. His portrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children from 1979 to 1989 overlapped precisely with the era when soap operas were America's great guilty pleasure. Liz Taylor made cameos alongside Bergman, mainstream publications covered Dr. Warner's many marriages, and the soaps sometimes rivaled prime time in total viewers. Madison Avenue noticed, and Bergman entered the pitchman pantheon with his cough syrup ad in 1986, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." Since 1989, the soaps have been less central to popular culture, but Bergman has played a much richer character than the debonair doctor: his last 30 years have been spent playing Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless. Jack is the mercurial head of Jabot Cosmetics, trying to triumph in love and industry over his rival Victor Newman. Alec and Bergman bond over their shared past as high school athletes who found themselves attracted to the stage, and over the joys and difficulties of daytime television. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 01, 2019
Lang Lang Plays
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Dubbed “the hottest artist on the classical music planet” by The New York Times, pianist Lang Lang has reached a level of stardom rare for classical musicians.  But his prominence is hard-won. Alec, who adores Lang Lang's charisma and talent, elicits from his guest stories of hardship during his childhood in northeastern China, and of his slow climb to the top, via Philadelphia. That's where fish-out-of-water Lang Lang showed up at the age of 15 and enrolled in public high school as well as conservatory. Throughout the interview, Lang Lang plays pieces from his latest album, Piano Book, a collection of pieces normally reserved for young learners, reinterpreted with brilliance and respect by the great master. And we at WNYC add more of our favorites from Piano Book and beyond. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 17, 2019
James Caan: Last of the Tough-Guy Movie Stars
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At the end of the 1950s, James Caan, son of a German-Jewish butcher, had been kicked out of ROTC and was too poor to finish college on his own. He started a job for his godfather unpacking meat along the docks of the Hudson River. Less than a decade later, he was starring alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, just a few years from Coppola's giving him a lead in The Godfather. In his unmistakable Queens patois, Caan tells Alec the wonderful, unlikely story of his rise to stardom. That story includes his many marriages, even more fistfights, and heretofore untold details from the sometimes-violent set of The Godfather. Plus what sort of roles Caan wanted but didn't get because of typecasting. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 03, 2019
How to Run a Small-Town Paper When Your Town Is East Hampton
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Since 2004, 1300 towns across America have lost local newspaper coverage. 2004 was also the first full year David Rattray, the third generation of his family to own the East Hampton Star, served as the paper's editor. It's a job for which Rattray gave up a very different life and career in New York City. That was a good choice: thanks in part to his stewardship, the Star thrives.  It covers East Hampton's seasonal transformation into the center of an elite New York social universe, but other than that, the venerable weekly operates much as it always has. Rattray makes sure Town Board meetings get covered and that the Fishing Report is up to date -- as did his parents, and his grandfather before them. Alec has been spending time in East Hampton for almost 40 years, so he and Rattray have much to discuss about the paper, and the changes they've witnessed in town. They also discuss the Star's long-term project to research and confront the Hamptons' slaveholding past -- a past in which Rattray's own ancestors played a part. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 27, 2019
Donna Schaper, Radical Reverend
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The Reverend Donna Schaper of New York's Judson Memorial Church leads her flock of 300 through life's sacraments like any pastor. But she has a national profile, too, appearing in print and on television to reject the idea that Christian values necessarily lead to conservative politics. She tells Alec her story of spiritual awakening, from an abusive working-class home, to parting ways from the Lutheran Church of her childhood, all the way to Judson Memorial Church, a Christian outpost in Greenwich Village that ministers to sex workers, doubters, LGBT folk, the undocumented, and Village gentry alike. Alec in return tells Donna about his own journey of faith. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 20, 2019
Matthew Landfield's Wildly Deep History of His Childhood Home
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Alec Baldwin and Matthew Landfield crossed paths one time before their Here's the Thing interview. In early 2001, Alec was shooting a movie in front of 31 Desbrosses Street in New York's Tribeca neighborhood. Matthew had grown up in the building in the 1980s, raised by a performance-artist mom and modernist-painter father. Matthew and Alec said hello as Matthew walked in to visit his parents. The bohemian scene on the block stuck with Alec over the years -- so much so that when in 2015 he was driving by and noticed that the building was gone, he researched what had happened. Online, Alec discovered Matthew's labor of love: perhaps the best, most deeply researched article ever written about a single address. The Lenape, the Dutch, the English, the factory workers, junkies, artists and bankers -- every stage of New York history had some brush with the land (or water) that is now 31 Desbrosses. Alec was transfixed, and this funny, fascinating conversation is the result. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 13, 2019
A Major Conservatory President Who Knows the Life of a Working Musician
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Six years ago the Board of the Manhattan School of Music faced a daunting decision: who would guide the school into its second century? They turned to someone with a long history with the school, James Gandre. Gandre joined MSM as an administrative assistant in the mid-1980s and rose through the ranks. But before then, he'd been auditioning for gigs as a tenor with symphonies and choirs. He continued to do so even after he began in administration. He tells Alec about his journey from small-town Wisconsin, to being an out gay man in San Francisco in the early 80s, to his long rise through the ranks at MSM -- and he shares his thoughts on the future of his venerable institution. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 06, 2019
Brian Lehrer Comes to Here's the Thing
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Brian Lehrer is a unique figure in the public life of New York City. Beyond hosting the city's defining daily talk show, he's our conscience and our conciliator. When New Yorkers want a fair mayoral debate, they often call Brian. When WNYC needed someone to help us process our own #metoo moment, we called Brian. The Peabody Awards honored The Brian Lehrer Show for "reuniting the estranged terms 'civil' and 'discourse.'" Of course, civil doesn't mean soft: he can be unsparing in his interviews because, as he tells Alec, "there's plenty that pisses me off." Alec is fan of -- and a regular caller on -- Brian's show, so who better to turn the tables? Alec interviews Brian about his path to prominence, and the two discuss their shared love of radio, and of New York. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 23, 2019
Julie Brown UPDATED: Acosta's Epstein Explanations Are "Ridiculous," "Disingenuous"
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Alexander Acosta has resigned from his position as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. That's because of the sweetheart deal he cut politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein back in 2008, when Acosta was a federal prosecutor. In the swirl of news following Epstein's re-arrest, but before the Acosta resignation, Julie Brown stepped out of Acosta's press conference to speak to Alec on the phone. We learn her reaction and that of Epstein's victims who called her up after the arrest. That conversation is at the end of an extended cut of their live conversation at the Greene Space this spring and a phone call from Alan Dershowitz addressing the accusations made against him. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 12, 2019
These Three People Say They Can Fix the Subway
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Corey Johnson wants to be the next mayor of New York, and the press seems to think he will be. His plan to fix transit is the centerpiece of his platform. Tom Wright is the CEO of the powerful Regional Plan Association. That organization imagines the future and comes up with ideas for infrastructure and bureaucracy that could meet its needs. Nicole Gelinas, a reporter and a Manhattan Institute scholar of Urban Economics, also believes in big, innovative projects. But for the past 15 years, she's been reminding New Yorkers that we will not get a transit system worthy of our great city if we cannot get costs under control, and our financial house in order. Combine these three experts with Alec's curiosity and strong opinions about all things New York, and you get a great conversation about congestion pricing, organized labor, the MTA, and future of transportation everywhere. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 09, 2019
Adam Schiff Tells All: Could Have Gone to Med School, Mom Livid
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California Congressman Adam Schiff weighs both sides of the impeachment debate and speaks out forcefully on Iran. Plus why his childhood in Massachusetts had an influence on his future career, why his his mother was so disappointed that he went to law school instead of medical school, and whether President Trump has done more to encourage or discourage aspiring progressive public servants. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 25, 2019
How Julie Brown Broke Open the Jeffrey Epstein Story
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Julie Brown of the Miami Herald conceived, reported, and wrote one of the most explosive criminal justice stories in recent memory. She revealed the shutting down of an FBI investigation that may have been on the verge of discovering the full extent of a child-sex-trafficking operation run by politically-connected billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The prosecutor allegedly behind that decision, Alex Acosta, is now President Trump's Secretary of Labor. Acosta offered Epstein a plea deal in which Epstein pleaded guilty to recruiting underage girls for sex and spent about a year in the local lockup, with work release. The deal also proactively protected from prosecution any potential co-conspirators. Brown pored over internal emails to see exactly how Acosta and other powerful law-enforcement officials made these decisions. While in New York to receive a Polk Award for her work, Brown stopped by WNYC's Greene Space to talk to Alec about her reporting, and the personal background that drove it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 11, 2019
Moby on Living Large and Falling Hard
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Moby had already put out four studio albums when Play was released in 1999. He was solidly into his 30s, playing gigs in record stores and thinking about a career-change. But Play, against all expectations, started selling. Then it started selling out. There was champagne, then vodka, then cocaine. He swung between drug-induced euphoria and thoughts of suicide. The stories of stardom he tells Alec are both funny and troubling. But Moby saw his way out of the spiral. Now a decade without drugs or alcohol, he's remarkably open about his darkness, and the weird hippie childhood that laid the groundwork for it. He and Alec sat down last month and swapped stories of sobriety and celebrity. Moby's new memoir is Then It Fell Apart. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 28, 2019
Jeff Daniels Was Supposed to Take Over the Family Lumber Business
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By 1976, college student Jeff Daniels was pretty sure he didn't want to follow his father into the Michigan lumber trade. But he wasn't sure he could make it as a working actor -- until one of the founders of Manhattan's legendary Circle Repertory Company spotted him at Eastern Michigan University. It was a short hop from Circle Rep to his screen breakthrough in Terms of Endearment, but Daniels' commitment to the stage has never waned. That commitment bore a Tony nomination this year (Daniels' third) for his magnificent performance in Aaron Sorkin's To Kill a Mockingbird adaptation on Broadway. Daniels and Alec discuss the craft required to play Atticus Finch, the very different craft required to play alongside Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber, and Daniels' unusual decision to move back to his Michigan hometown with his wife and child while building a Hollywood career. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 14, 2019
Jane Mayer on Thomas, Trump, and Twitter
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The New Yorker’s marquee investigative journalist, Jane Mayer has been a thorn in the side of three presidents, two Supreme Court justices, and, most recently, Fox News. She tells Alec stories from her investigations into Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, and talks about what drew her to the rigors of reporting. Plus she reveals details about her process, including why she often leaves victim-interviews to her co-authors. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 30, 2019
Perta: Life Just Before Rock Stardom
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The band Perta has landed a glossy magazine profile and is represented by star-making talent agents WME. They've got big labels knocking at the door, attracted by a stunningly talented frontman and a funky, catchy, original sound. But that doesn't mean they can necessarily quit their day jobs. It's a strange, exciting place to be. Perta frontman Mat Bazulka and founder/keyboardist Colin Kenrick tell the story of how one band is breaking through in a rapidly changing music world -- and share some of the band's unreleased tracks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 16, 2019
Geoffrey Horne and the Mysterious Disappearance of a Dreamboat
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Barely out of college in the mid-1950s, Geoffrey Horne was a heartthrob TV star with acting chops to rival the greatest talents of his day. In '57 David Lean gave him a breakout role in his masterpiece, Bridge on the River Kwai and Otto Preminger followed up by casting him as Philippe in Bonjour Tristesse. Full Hollywood stardom seemed inevitable -- and yet, few roles followed. Horne didn't resurface as an actor of note for 25 years, in late-70s New York, when his scene-work at the Actors Studio attracted the attention of Method master Lee Strasberg. Strasberg invited him to teach some classes and the rest is history. Horne became one of the most brilliant and sought-after teachers in the history of his craft. Alec credits Horne's commitment to emotional honesty for much of his success. But the question remains: what happened to Geoffrey Horne the movie star manqué? The teacher and student discuss that question and much more, including the set and stars of River Kwai. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 02, 2019
Sarah Kliff and the Insane Saga of American Emergency Room Bills
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America’s most famous healthcare expert was actually born in Canada! The Vox reporter and all-around policy guru explains how, in a country with entrenched interests similar to ours, progressives managed to win coverage for every Canadian. Plus she gives her take on the remarkable unity in the Democratic Party over "Medicare for All," the political realities about what can actually get done, and tells stories from her year spent reading Americans’ terrifying, infuriating emergency room bills. One of the people who sent her his bill was a man in San Francisco who was hit by a public bus, taken to a public hospital, and had insurance -- but was still on the hook for $27,660. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 19, 2019
Itzhak Perlman Cracks Wise
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The legendary violinist talks about his difficult childhood, stricken by polio in the war-torn early days of Israeli statehood -- and laughs about his early success, whisked away to the United States at 13 to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. Plus, what makes a truly great instrumentalist? What makes a great teacher? Later, his wife Toby Perlman weighs in, too, so the interview becomes a family affair, topped with a spectacular Mendelssohn performance by eight students from the Perlman Music Program. Toby founded that summer school on idyllic Shelter Island to provide a safe space for young musical geniuses to develop their talents, and themselves. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 05, 2019
Steven Lee Myers' Putin Primer
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Russia has glittering towers and a jet-set elite, but grinding rural poverty. It has one of the world’s great literary traditions, but throws dissenters in jail for a blog post. Who is Vladimir Putin, the man who created this new world power through force of will? New York Times’ correspondent Steven Lee Myers unravels some of this question for Alec. His book is The New Tsar. Myers talks to Alec about Putin’s early years, the Putin-Trump connection and how being the New York Times’ Beijing correspondent is different from -- and similar to -- being Moscow correspondent. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 19, 2019
Climate Science, Explained
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How can Earth Scientists and programmers really make predictions about the climate? What are the ethics of having kids in a warming world? How to combat the disastrous politicization of the issue? Dr. Peter deMenocal is the Dean of Science at Columbia, and a Geologist. As a research scientist, he studies how Earth's climate has changed in the past. Dr. Kate Marvel helps figure out its future by creating the world's most detailed and accurate computer climate-models. Together, they're the perfect pair to help Alec and listeners understand what scientists really understand about the climate and how -- and why there's reason for hope. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 05, 2019
The Delightful Deviant Behind "The Human Centipede"
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This episode talks about a movie whose premise might be disturbing to some. The Human Centipede wasn't in every multiplex when it came out in 2010, but the film is now firmly a part of American culture, the basis of parodies from South Park to Conan O'Brien. When it was released, the premise was so revolting that many reviewers wouldn't even summarize it. Roger Ebert declined to assign a star-rating, concluding, “It is what it is.” When Alec saw the movie for the first time, he wanted to meet its creator. Years later, this episode of Here's the Thing is the result.  Fortunately, writer-director Tom Six isn't just warped; he's also a raconteur with a twinkle in his eye. He answers Alec's fanboy questions with humor and patience, and they break down the whole Human Centipede trilogy from critical, financial, and technical standpoints. Listeners will also learn about Six's pre-Centipede career in reality television and teen comedy, and what he has coming up in 2019. Six had a role planned in his new film for Alec. Hear why Alec's wife cut that off at the pass. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 22, 2019
She Helped Create "Chaos at the Airports" after Trump's Muslim Ban
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On January 27th, 2017, Donald Trump issued the travel ban barring visitors and migrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Becca Heller, founder of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), had seen it coming. She foresaw that it would catch people in planes, turning passengers into undocumented immigrants midair. She prepared by setting up a network of volunteer lawyers who would show up at airports to help travelers being held there. On the 27th, the lawyers came, followed by thousands of protesters. The Trump administration, facing legal losses and "chaos at the airports," gave up enforcing the ban until officials could draft a new version. For a while, the good guys had won. Two years later, with a MacArthur "genius" grant under her belt, the 37-year-old Heller is strategizing about where to take refugee-advocacy next. Serious stuff, but she's still one of the funniest people ever to come on Here's the Thing. The International Refugee Assistance Project is at https://refugeerights.org/. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 08, 2019
Carly Simon Was Afraid of the Spotlight, and Still Is -- Revisited
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It’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine the 1970s without Carly Simon. After opening for Cat Stevens at LA's Troubadour in 1971, she gained near instant fame, winning a Grammy for Best New Artist that same year. The daughter of Richard L. Simon, co-founder of publishing house Simon & Schuster, she grew up surrounded by greatness. But if her childhood was peppered with celebrities, her adult life was dripping in them. By her mid-20s she’d meet Bob Dylan, duet with Mick Jagger, and marry James Taylor. Still, the shy New York native was a superstar in her own right, one who battled a stammer and a severe case of stage fright. She tells Alec Baldwin about conquering them both to become a musician who shaped an era. You can learn more about Carly's life in her 2015 memoir, Boys in the Trees. WNYC is the producer of other leading podcasts, including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, On the Media and Death, Sex & Money. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 28, 2018
Billy Joel, Revisited
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Billy Joel has sold more records than The Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna—though the “rock star thing” is something he can “take off.” Joel started playing piano when he was about four or five years old, but he admits that he doesn't remember how to read sheet music anymore. He says it’d be like reading Chinese. That doesn't stop the third best-selling solo artist of all time in the U.S. from plunking out a few tunes with Alec. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 25, 2018
Questlove Can't Take a Compliment, Revisited
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Few musicians can compete with the encyclopedic musical knowledge that Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson possesses—which is great news if you got to be a student of his at NYU. When not teaching music history, the 45-year-old drummer is directing the Grammy-Award winning group The Roots—a hip hop collective that rose from “everyone’s favorite underground secret” in the late 90s to Jimmy Fallon’s house band on The Tonight Show. Whether drumming, DJ’ing, or writing a book on food, Questlove is universally beloved. “The coolest man on late night,” according to the Rolling Stone. But there is one thing this genius of music can’t do: accept that he is one. He talks to Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin about a three year exile in London, Jimmy Fallon wooing the Roots, and how meditation saved his life. WNYC is the producer of other leading podcasts, including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, On the Media and Death, Sex & Money. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 21, 2018
Emilio Estevez Is Making Great Films, Doesn't Do Breakfast Club Reunions
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By the time Emilio Estevez was 23, he'd starred in The Outsiders, Repo Man, The Breakfast Club, and St. Elmo’s Fire. As the son of Martin Sheen, he was Hollywood royalty, and as a member of the "brat pack" group of early-80s stars, he was a hot commodity. But he started turning down big roles to become the youngest person ever to write, direct, and star in a major motion picture. Estevez tells Alec that his script for that movie was "terrible," -- but it was risky, ambitious movie-making at a time when he didn't have to take risks. Estevez occasionally returned to "just acting" after that, for beloved performances in Men at Work, The Mighty Ducks, and more -- but his heart beats for his writer/director projects like 2006’s RFK masterpiece Bobby, nominated for a Best Film Golden Globe. His latest is The Public, about a fictional occupation of the Cincinnati Public Library by the city's homeless. Alec plays the police negotiator. The two actors discuss their collaboration -- plus growing up a Sheen, Francis Ford Coppola's brutal audition process, and whether actors should participate in the fan culture surrounding cult films like The Breakfast Club. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 18, 2018
The Restaurant Whisperer
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Debra Kletter's job is to be food-guru to some of the world's most discerning palates. Once one of New York theater's most respected lighting designers, Kletter found herself in the early 1990s disillusioned by budget-cuts and shaken by the loss of a generation of colleagues to HIV. So she pursued her second calling, far from the first: figuring out where you should eat dinner. After all, as she tells Alec, "reading menus was always my happy place." Now, years into her new business (which she conducts through her website, www.eatquestnyc.com), Kletter can tell you the best injera in Harlem or the oldest-school trattoria in Rome. But her real genius is an ability to match that encyclopedic knowledge with the needs -- and personalities -- of individual clients. One of those clients is Alec Baldwin, and you can tell from their teasing that the two go way back: all the way, in fact, to the stage of Prelude to a Kiss in 1989, which Debra lit, and where the two became friends. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 04, 2018
Roger Daltrey, Founder and Lead Singer of The Who
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Roger Daltrey put The Who together while working in a sheet-metal factory. The band took many forms before settling into the guitar-smashing, mic-swinging amalgam of testosterone and sensitivity that changed the world. But even before The Who began moving toward rock-stardom, Daltrey had walked a difficult path. Born into a working-class family, he spent his infancy evacuated from Nazi-bombed London, crammed into one room of a Scottish farmhouse with his mother and many others. He returned to a shellshocked father and real privation. But he tells Alec that the environment was "rich" with love and opportunity, and eventually he found himself in a grammar school with songwriter Pete Townshend and bassist John Entwistle. The rest is Rock history -- a history Daltrey helped define. He recounts it with humor and pride on this episode of Here's the Thing, and in his new memoir, Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite, out now. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 20, 2018
Ben and Jerry Warm Up
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In the late 70s, Ben Cohen was a rootless pottery teacher, laid off when his school closed down.  Jerry Greenfield was a diligent pre-med, realizing he was never going to get into med school. They'd formed a deep friendship years earlier, as the two chubby kids in their middle-school gym class. Their joint reaction to their separate crises was to open a small ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. That decision would change the face of the industry, and give America a model for a new set of corporate values. At the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington -- just a couple miles from the site where Cohen and Greenfield set up shop in 1978 -- Alec talks to Ben and Jerry in front of a crowd that idolizes their hometown heroes, and the energy is infectious. From their Long Island childhood to the tensions surrounding Ben & Jerry's acquisition by Dutch conglomerate Unilever in 2000, the conversation is open, honest, and brimming with the deep bond these two men continue to feel, 40 years after they first put their names together on a sign in Vermont. Thanks to Vermont Public Radio for making it possible. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 06, 2018
American Alexandria: Susan Orlean on the Great LA Library Fire
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As a staff-writer at the New Yorker, Susan Orlean has embedded with fertility shamans in Bhutan and profiled a dog (a boxer named Biff). Her book The Orchid Thief inspired one of the most successful art-house movies of the past 20 years. Her latest deep dive is the burning of the Los Angeles Central Library in 1986. It is, to this day, the most damaging library-fire in U.S. history, but it's almost unknown outside of Southern California because national attention was focused on the Chernobyl meltdown. As with all Orlean's books, the nominal subject is a vehicle to tell human stories: those of the man arrested for the arson, of the cops who investigate, the librarians whose lives were changed, and the preservationists who insisted on rebuilding. It's a topic close to Alec's heart. He and Orlean discuss with warmth and enthusiasm the critical role libraries played in their respective childhoods (Alec is the son of a schoolteacher, after all), and their shared commitment today to the universal ideals of the public library. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 23, 2018
Maggie Gyllenhaal Knows What She Wants
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Maggie Gyllenhaal's in a good place right now, at least as far as work and family go. Her latest starring role is as a troubled teacher named Lisa Spinelli in The Kindergarten Teacher. It's an unsettling portrayal of, as Gyllenhaal tells Alec, the "f***ing dire" consequences of "starving a vibrant woman's mind." In the film, Lisa's mind-starvation manifests in an unhealthy, exploitative relationship with a kindergartner. It's not an easy thing to watch, and Gyllenhaal tells Alec, "I almost didn't do the movie because I thought, 'no movie is worth disturbing a child, even for a few minutes.'" But her concerns were addressed, she said yes, and the result is a performance Gyllenhaal feels really good about. In fact, she says she feels better and better about each role she takes on these days. It's from this career high that she and Alec talk about The Deuce, her college years, her alternate career in skating, and the happy joining of lives, careers, and vowels in her marriage to Peter Sarsgaard.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 09, 2018
The Dual Life of SNL's Steve Higgins
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Steve Higgins has two jobs. At 4:30 every day, 4 days a week, Steve announces The Tonight Show, sticks around to play Jimmy Fallon’s straight man, and then runs back upstairs at 30 Rock to keep working on that week’s Saturday Night Live. At SNL, he's in charge of the writers' room and, alongside Lorne Michaels, makes all the big decisions about the shape of the show, and the cast. It’s a heady life for a kid who started a sketch comedy troupe with his brothers in Des Moines after high school. Alec and Steve are real friends, and their conversation shows it, going deep into Higgins' origins as a comic, and into the inner life of Saturday Night Live. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 25, 2018
The Passion of Flynn McGarry
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After his parents divorced, 10-year-old Flynn McGarry wanted to feel useful, and maybe to reassert some control over his environment, too. So he started cooking for his mom, Meg. A passion was born. Meg began homeschooling him, allowed him to turn his bedroom into a high-end kitchen, and hosted Flynn's pop-up restaurants at their suburban California home. Massive publicity followed, and, this being the internet age, cruel online backlash. Soon, documentary filmmaker Cameron Yates got interested, and embedded with Flynn as he rose and rose over six years, to the threshold of realizing his most lofty culinary dreams -- at age 19. Cameron and Flynn joined Alec for a live event at the Hamptons International Film Festival, and the three talk candidly about life under the microscope, about the mixed blessings of precocity, and, most importantly, about the complicated relationship between Flynn and a mother who sees herself as having given up dreams of success as a filmmaker and writer to nurture her family. Cameron's film, Chef Flynn, will be in theaters November 9. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 11, 2018
The Money Man Behind America's Biggest Concerts
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Ron Delsener is a working-class kid from Queens who rode his charm and his hustle all the way to the top of the music industry. He basically created the genre of the massive outdoor concert with his epic series of free Concerts in the Park. He landed everyone: Pavarotti, Streisand, even post-breakup Simon and Garfunkel. And Delsener is still firing on all cylinders: James Bay and Hozier are among the artists he maintains relationships with today. In his wonderfully profane and discursive conversation with Alec, Delsener delivers a full dose of the old-school Queens personality that the New York Times says "radiates like a lighthouse beacon." Delsener's rockstar stories are great, his accent is great, and you'll leave the interview finally understanding what a concert promoter actually does. (Hint: it's so lucrative because it’s so high-risk.) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 28, 2018
The Hidden Trove of Musicals by Broadway's Greatest Talents
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After watching an early copy of the forthcoming documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway, Alec became fascinated by the film's quietly hilarious hero, Steve Young. As part of his job as a writer for the David Letterman Show, Steve had to scour secondhand stores for kooky music Dave would play on-air. That's how he first came across recordings of industrial musicals, a genre of theater largely unknown to anyone who didn't attend a sales conference in the 60s or 70s. An "industrial" was a fully staged production commissioned by a large company and performed solely for its salesmen, executives, or distributors. Some starred top-flight Broadway talent and were written by legendary teams like Chicago's Kander and Ebb (Go Fly a Kite for GE, 1966) or Fiddler on the Roof's Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Ford-i-fy Your Future, 1959). But many performers and composers made their living primarily doing industrials. Steve Young has dedicated his post-Letterman life to preserving what recordings remain, and to shining light and love on the artists behind these ephemeral creations. Alec and Steve dive into songs like "My Bathroom," and into the psychology of someone who would dedicate his life to saving them from obscurity. Plus they talk Letterman, and Young's own path from blue-collar New England, to Harvard, to the top of the comedy-writing heap. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 14, 2018
Spike Lee Live at Tribeca
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This affectionate, funny conversation was recorded in front of a live audience at the Tribeca Film Festival, and garnered articles in the Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, BET, and beyond. The headlines were varied: some reporters focused on Spike's 2 a.m. call from Brando, others the big reveal that De Niro turned down Do the Right Thing.  Still others were captivated by the audience-inclusive Black Panther lovefest. Come for all that, but stay for Alec's one-man reenactment of a fight with his parents, and Alec and Spike's deep, passionate conversation about On the Waterfront. Regardless of which part you love most, BET got it right: "The iconic director held nothing back." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 31, 2018
Pete Souza, Photographer to Reagan and Obama, Would Turn Down Trump
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Having followed a steep path from his working-class immigrant family in Massachusetts to the pinnacle of American photography, Pete Souza ended up working for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama -- the only Chief White House photographer to have documented two presidencies. "The odds of someone getting two calls to work at the White House are pretty slim," he tells Alec with true humility, saying both stints were "accidental." That's hard to believe: Souza's unique ability to capture the moment without sacrificing composition won him plaudits for his work on daily papers well before he joined Reagan in 1983. But even though he's an old-school news photographer, he has a decidedly new-school following, thanks to the millions around the world who followed @obamawhitehouse on Instagram, and who now follow Souza himself. As Souza found his post-White House footing as a social media star, his Instagram turned into the catharsis bruised Blue America didn't know it needed. When the travel ban was announced, Souza posted Obama with a smiling Muslim schoolgirl. And the day before this episode of Here's the Thing went live, when Trump made nice to Putin in Helsinki, Souza posted Obama sternly towering over his Russian counterpart. The Obama images, as he tells Alec, "appeal to people because of what we have now." It's an appeal he hopes to capitalize on in his new book of Trump-Obama juxtapositions, Shade. Special for Alec and WNYC, Souza gathered his favorite Obama photos that didn't make it into his book Obama, an Intimate Portrait. You can find them below if you're reading this on the web; if not, go to www.heresthething.org. President Barack Obama plays with his niece Savita during the family's vacation on Martha's Vineyard in August, 2012 (Pete Souza, the White House)   Sasha Obama leans over her father as Malia touches his head ca. 2009 (Pete Souza, the White House)   Daniel Day-Lewis at the White House: 'Lincoln' Star reads the Gettysburg Address with Obama in November 2012 (Pete Souza, the White House)   President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Norman Manley International Airport prior to departure from Kingston, Jamaica en route to Panama City, Panama in April 2015 (Pete Souza, the White House)   Obama crawls around in the Oval Office with Communications Director Jen Psaki’s daughter, Vivi, in April 2016 (Pete Souza, the White House)   Obama looks on as comedian Will Ferrell reads "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" to first-term cabinet-members. (Pete Souza, the White House)   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 17, 2018
Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Rethinking Vietnam
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The vast ambition of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary The Vietnam War has precedents, but most of them are other Burns and Novick documentaries. The two directors' collaborations -- including 1994's Baseball and 2007's The War, about WW2 -- use their titles as entry-points to the full scope of American history. Novick refers to Vietnam as "the childhood trauma that America never dealt with," and Burns blames our inability to overcome the war on a failure of empathy. "When Americans talk about Vietnam," he says, "we just talk about ourselves. [We] need to triangulate with all the other perspectives, and not just 'the enemy.' It’s finding out what the civilians felt, the Vietcong felt, but then also our allies and the civilians and the protesters all the way out to deserters and draft-dodgers. And if you do that, then the political dialectic loses its force, because you realize that more than one truth could obtain at any given moment." This drive to create a common, American, sense of purpose and identity motivates Burns's work -- a theme that runs through this lively exploration of the two artists' pasts and creative processes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 03, 2018
Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf on Lady Bird and Lady Barr
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Note: this interview was recorded before Roseanne's tweet and the subsequent cancellation of the show. Alec says he has never enjoyed being on-stage with a fellow actor more than when he performed with Laurie Metcalf in Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Her genius is on full display in the new production of Albee's Three Tall Women, currently on Broadway, for which she just won a Tony. On Here's the Thing, Metcalf and Alec discuss her evolution into an accomplished actor from her days as an aspiring German-English translator who'd never considered a career in the arts. She recounts the early days of Steppenwolf, the legendary Chicago theater company she founded with John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, whom she met while she was still in college. We learn what it was like working with Greta Gerwig on Lady Bird -- and toiling through the grueling "publicity circus train you have to get on for three months" when you're in a hit movie. And finally, Metcalf shares stories from both sets of Roseanne: her insecurity about the show's staying-power in 1989, and the political dynamic on set for the reboot alongside her Trump-supporting friend. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 19, 2018
A Fresh Look at the Death and Life of RFK
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June 5th is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. It was one of the formative events in Alec's childhood, and in the life of his father. The release of Dawn Porter's brilliant new Netflix documentary series, Bobby Kennedy for President, was timed to coincide with this difficult milestone. The movie is about his life and legacy, but its origins are in the killing and subsequent trial: lawyers for Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of the killing tried to interest Porter in a doc proclaiming his innocence. She hired an investigator to review every shred of remaining evidence, and she herself (she's a Georgetown-trained lawyer) dug deep into the serious problems with his trial. RFK, she says, would have been horrified at the witness-tampering, destruction of evidence, and abysmal defense.  But (despite Alec's lively, VERY informed questioning), Porter has no conclusion about his ultimate guilt or innocence. The balance of the film, then, shows how the man lived, and what he might have accomplished. It features never-before seen footage of Kennedy, and new interviews with civil rights heroes and Kennedy-friends Marian Wright Edelman, Harry Belafonte, Dolores Huerta, and John Lewis. Together, Alec and Porter plumb RFK's rich family life and his political evolution, and mourn the historical and personal loss of his killing. But first they trace Porter's own life from early years in her father's photography studio, to corporate power, to documentarian shining a light on one social-justice issue after another. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 05, 2018
Kubrick's Right-Hand Leading Man
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Tony Zierra’s documentary Filmworker, opening May 11, highlights the best of movie-making. It sings an unsung hero, and through him, all the unsung heroes of Hollywood. Actor Leon Vitali got his break playing the antagonist in Kubrick’s period masterpiece Barry Lyndon. For a few years afterwards his star was rising -- until suddenly his face disappeared from stage and screen. But his name didn't disappear from the credits of Kubrick's films; it merely moved down. From costar of Barry Lyndon to, in subsequent films, “Casting,” “costumes,” and “personal assistant to Mr. Kubrick." Vitali turned his life over fully to realizing the creative vision of his visionary boss. Zierra encountered him while making a documentary about Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut, and immediately pivoted to focus on him. At the Hamptons Film Festival, Alec sat down with both men for a riveting discussion about the film; about the intense, mercurial Kubrick -- and about the sacrifices necessary to make great art. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 22, 2018
Former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
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Schneiderman sat down with Alec last Thursday, just before news broke in the New Yorker that four women have accused him of, in the magazine's words, "non-consensual physical violence." In the context of these women's allegations, it is undeniably jarring to hear the former Attorney General talk about his childhood and his Trump-resistance work -- not to mention his women's-rights activism and the #metoo movement. But we felt we should put this episode out, and put it out early, so that people have access to as much of his recent thinking as possible. We hope it is a useful resource. The introduction to this story has been updated. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 08, 2018
David Crosby: Don't Call It a Comeback
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Some combination of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young played together for 50 years until 2016. The group survived even Crosby's near-total dissolution under the influence of cocaine and heroin. That was a brush with death that left him in need of a liver transplant and a new approach to life. His newfound joy is clear in this exuberant conversation with Alec. It's also behind a recent and remarkable burst of creativity: three solo albums over the past four years. Crosby's childlike gratitude for his sixty years in music is palpable, but he is candid about the struggles, too: from wrestling with Roger McGuinn over control of The Byrds, to the terrifying culmination of the 2016 breakup of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Plus, BONUS! This is the first episode of Here's the Thing's question-crowdsourcing experiment. Your questions provided moving insight into the impact David's music and story have made on fans over the years. We couldn't include all the questions, but we used a lot, and David was really into it. Stay tuned for another call for submissions soon. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 24, 2018
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin Is Not Just a Talking Head
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Jeffrey Toobin is such a TV institution as a legal commentator that it can be hard to imagine him in casual clothes, outside a news studio. But it was the real, flesh-and-blood Jeff that showed up to his interview with Alec, talking about life before CNN and the New Yorker. There's lots to discuss about what made him the man he is, both personally (his mom was Marlene Sanders, the first big female TV news star) and professionally (when he went to publish his first book, he was threatened with criminal prosecution, accused of disclosing secrets of the Iran Contra investigation). And of course Alec and his guest got into lively discussions about the Patty Hearst kidnapping and the OJ Simpson murder case. Toobin wrote the definitive books on both. Ever wonder what each of OJ's lawyers thought about his guilt or innocence? Listen and learn. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 10, 2018
Did the Moody Blues Save Alec Baldwin from a Life of Crime?
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Alec is a BIG fan of Justin Hayward -- vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for The Moody Blues, pioneers of complex orchestral arrangements in rock. As he tells it, their songs were the only thing that could mellow out his rough crowd in high school. Interspersed with Alec's observations on some of his favorite musical passages, this intimate conversation ranges from the technical details of how the group created its signature orchestral sound (a mechanical wonder called the Mellotron) to Hayward's sense of alienation from his younger self. Hayward muses, "Here we are now talking about the Justin that was, from 17 years old to 30 years old, and this ghost is always with me." More revelations abound -- some melancholy, some very funny -- on this episode of Here's the Thing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 27, 2018
The Turnaround Artist: Janice Min on Magazines and #Metoo
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Daughter of a science professor and an IRS agent, a double-graduate of Columbia herself, Janice Min turned her talents in the early 2000s to the glossy magazine Us Weekly. Celebrity journalism has never been the same. In its pages, she revolutionized pop culture as well as publishing, slaking a thirst Americans didn't know they had for J-Lo, the Kardashians, and The Bachelor. Min paid legions of paparazzi and helped create the fun, intimate, gossipy tone that characterizes web content today. Then she moved to the moribund Hollywood Reporter and worked the same magic but in a different key, making it the go-to magazine for serious coverage of show business. Once Alec and she cover all that history, they turn to #metoo, Woody Allen, and how to create lasting change in Hollywood. Min's take is fascinating and genuinely surprising: think Frances McDormand with a dash of Deneuve. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 13, 2018
The Fast Times and Long Career of Cameron Crowe
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Cameron Crowe's teenage years are familiar to anyone who's seen his autobiographical Almost Famous: 16-year-old writing prodigy convinces Jan Wenner and Rolling Stone to let him tour with and profile the greatest rock musicians of his generation. But what came after is just as interesting: going undercover as a high-school student to write Fast Times at Ridgemont High; falling into the Say Anything director's chair after the two first choices turned it down; hanging out with Led Zeppelin to get their blessing of the songs in Almost Famous. Crowe and Alec are friends, and it comes through in their affectionate back-and-forth about movies, writing, family, and the bands they love. And throughout this extended interview are interspersed some great tunes that demonstrate how Crowe is a master of the "needle-drop," using music to further the story, character development, and dramatic tension of his films. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 27, 2018
Michael Wolff, Chronicler of Chaos in Trumpland
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Michael Wolff’s Trumpland tell-all, Fire and Fury, has set Washington ablaze with its terrifying (and controversial) depiction of a White House in chaos. But all the focus has been on the White House intrigue and the downfall of Steve Bannon. The man behind the book has gotten surprisingly little attention, even though it was partly Wolff's position at the top of New York media's social heap that won him Trump's trust, and access to the White House. Alec set out to do a different Michael Wolff interview. At a live event at Manhattan's Town Hall, audience-members learned about the Jewish kid from Jersey with a shoeleather reporter for a mom, who gave up on being a novelist to do big-money media deals – even as he wielded his poison pen against peers in the New York media elite. And Wolff lives up to his reputation as one of New York's best conversationalists, giving answers by turns open, cantankerous, and very, very funny. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 13, 2018
Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone: a Legacy Built on Solid Rock
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There was no such thing as serious rock journalism when Jann Wenner borrowed money to ink the first issue of Rolling Stone onto cheap newsprint in 1967. His creation changed the landscape of both music and magazines. It also put Wenner, a suburban middle-class kid, into the heart of the counterculture. He tells Alec about his complicated relationships with the greatest stars of their generation, from Dylan to Jagger to Lennon -- and about the brilliant writers like Hunter S. Thompson whom Wenner found to document their lives and times. In the 1980s, Wenner became a media mogul, too, acquiring titles like Us Weekly that brought unprecedented wealth and thrust him even further into the public eye. That exposure was a mixed blessing as he dealt with coming out of the closet and, this time with his new husband, becoming a father to young children again in his 60s. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 06, 2018
Kyle MacLachlan on 28 Years of Twin Peaks' *Blowing Your Mind*
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"The feeling of power" that comes from playing a dark, diabolical role? Kyle MacLachlan tells Alec, "I get it." "It’s not something you want to abuse, or let exist other than when that camera is rolling." The wholesome, square-jawed actor's dark side can be jarring. As Alec puts it to him, "You're the guy that could be Andie MacDowell’s boyfriend bringing a basket of puppies, and then you’re like this nightmare." David Lynch recognized the two sides of Kyle MacLachlan from the day they met in 1983, but that wasn't how MacLachlan saw himself: he tried to break out as a Hollywood romantic lead, but always found himself drawn back into the Lynchian orbit. Join MacLachlan and Alec as they stroll through Kyle's life story, from his conservative stockbroker father, through his glamorous girlfriends, to the joys of fatherhood and winemaking -- all to figure out why he's the perfect vessel for Lynch's uncanny characters. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 23, 2018
Brilliant Minds of Trash and Sewage
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New York City generates 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day. 16 million pounds of trash. Eight million pounds of recyclables. Think of the awesome engineering and effort behind making all of that "go away" without our thinking about it. Alec wanted to nerd out on those secret systems, and the conversations that resulted are fascinating and fun: you don't get into this line of work unless you have a passion for it. Pam Elardo is the Deputy Commissioner of New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, leading the city's Bureau of Wastewater Treatment. Ron Gonen was New York City's first "Recycling Czar" and now thinks about the problems of waste-management from the perspective of a businessman: he's the CEO of a major investment fund looking for the Next Big Idea in recycling. Pam and Ron walk Alec through what happens from the moment people flush the toilet or toss out their coffee-cup -- and they talk about the big-picture environmental impact of our choices. And since this is Here's the Thing, Alec also learns the incredible life stories each one brings to the job -- from Pam's persistence in the face of the sexism that discouraged women engineers of her generation, to Ron's luck stumbling into the home of a prominent environmentalist while doing housework to make ends meet for his family as a kid. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 09, 2018
Farmer Hoggett in the Slammer
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From the humane wisdom of Farmer Hoggett in Babe to the simmering evil of Captain Dudley Smith in L.A. Confidential, James Cromwell realizes his roles with unmatched emotional honesty. He brings that same openness to a wonderful, sprawling conversation with Alec: Cromwell is a natural storyteller who’s had a remarkable life in theater, TV, and the movies. The two actors swap stories about shared teachers, loves, and frustrations – and political protest. Cromwell might be the most committed activist in Hollywood: his civil disobedience has led to multiple arrests and even a stint in state prison. And throughout the interview, you can hear the explicit and implicit influences of Cromwell’s father, a major Hollywood director who split from the family when James was six. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 26, 2017
John Dean: Watergate's Legacy in the Age of Trump
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When John Dean found his conscience, America found its backbone and impeached a president. The Nixon Administration tried to undermine American democracy during the election of 1972 through now-legendary dirty tricks aimed at their Democrat opponents. They almost got away with it. Dean was Nixon’s White House Counsel, and participated in the cover-up of the Watergate break-in. Then he began cooperating with investigators, and blew the case wide-open. Dean is one of the most complicated and fascinating characters in modern American history. In a frank and funny conversation with Alec Baldwin in front of a live audience, John Dean opens up about how it all went down – and how it could go down now under Trump, who he says shares Nixon's paranoia and authoritarian instincts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 12, 2017
Alan Gilbert Is Leaving the NY Phil Even Better than He Found It
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When two people who really love something talk about what they love, the exuberance is contagious. Alec Baldwin, a New York Philharmonic board-member since 2011, and Alan Gilbert, the outgoing Music Director, both really love the Phil. When Gilbert took over in 2009, he was just 42, one of the youngest orchestra-directors in the country. He wanted to inject enough new programming to keep the institution vital, even as the most dedicated orchestra-concertgoers nationwide average 60 years old and prefer the old standbys: 29% of ticket-buyers say that more contemporary music could keep them away from the box office. But Gilbert found the perfect balance, and Baldwin invited him on to Here's the Thing to say thanks. Gilbert, the child of two Philharmonic musicians, tells Alec about what it was like to grow up to lead it -- and about the ups and downs of his eight-year tenure. Plus, the two men discuss which pieces overwhelm them with emotion, and the art of directing an orchestra: why are conductors even necessary, and what makes for a great one?  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 28, 2017
Tina Brown Was in the Room Where It Happened
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Nobody chronicled the go-go 80s like Tina Brown. Her creation, Vanity Fair, wrote that decade’s cultural history as it happened. It was also part of the story: its fashion-spreads, celebrity gossip, and serious reporting wielded real influence in America’s centers of power. But Brown herself was at the center of it all. Michael Jackson wanted a moment of her time. She did cocktails at the Kissingers'. She had everyone's ear and everyone's phone number, and she turned Vanity Fair parties into the perfect embodiment of 80s excess. She also became famous for hosting the best dinner parties in New York, and she brings that deft conversational instinct to Here’s the Thing. Alec draws out what it took to build VF, why Brown left for The New Yorker, and her personal struggles as she tried to maintain her confidence, her integrity – and her family – through it all. And since Brown worked with Harvey Weinstein on her post-New Yorker magazine project, Talk, she and Alec talk about the current crisis, too. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 14, 2017
Steve Erickson Saw Trumpism Coming
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American Weimar, novelist Steve Erickson’s 1995 essay on threats to American democracy, has always been among Alec Baldwin’s favorite pieces of writing. But last year, when all of the chickens Erickson identified came home to roost, it became clear that the piece, and its author, deserved even closer study. Erickson warned, “Democracy cannot long navigate a sea of national rage. Untempered by rationale and open-mindedness, fury eventually consumes democracy rather than nourishes it.” Today, Americans look back on the 90s as a relatively happy time, but Erickson saw our increasing polarization and our unwillingness to make tough policy choices, and he saw where those failures could lead. Erickson’s updated observations are just as fascinating, and troubling, as the original essay. His latest novel, Shadowbahn, riffs on the same American themes. In funny and moving prose, it captures a fractured people, unable to overcome our troubled past but stubbornly holding out for redemption... as one reviewer put it, “a country with hellhounds on its trail but better angels just over the horizon.”     Steve Erickson is a lot of novelists’ favorite novelist. Pynchon says he has a “rare and luminous gift;” Rick Moody says he’s in a league with Pynchon. Murakami’s a fan. David Foster Wallace (in a presumably rare lapse into cliché) deemed Erickson “the cream of the crop.” Erickson’s own novels employ a wild range of genres and narrative devices -- from the Hollywood farce Zeroville, currently being turned into a movie featuring Will Farrell, to the meditative Shadowbahn, a family roadtrip through alternate American histories, featuring Elvis’s stillborn twin brother. Erickson’s exuberant mashups feel natural and even spontaneous, but he is also a professor of Creative Writing, so in his other life he has the near-impossible task of teasing out and precisely naming the building blocks of great fiction. And he has to decide which books best model each one for his students. During Alec Baldwin’s conversation with Erickson on the latest episode of Here’s the Thing, he asked Erickson for the reading list he provides to his Creative Writing students at UC Riverside, matched to which writing-tool each one can help budding novelists master. Below (in the order in which it came), is that list.         Unreliable Narrative: Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëMixed Textual Media: Cane by Jean ToomerThe Interior Vision: To the Lighthouse by Virginia WoolfStructure: Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald & Light in August by William FaulknerVoice Driving the Narrative: Tropic of Cancer by Henry MillerLandscape as Character: The Sheltering Sky by Paul BowlesSocial Commentary Posing as Genre: The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (crime) & Ubik by Philip K Dick (science fiction)Integrity of Worldview Posing as Anarchy: V. by Thomas PynchonFiction of Ideas: Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges, Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino, & The Names by Don DeLillo   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 07, 2017
A Visit to Barbra's Place
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Barbra Streisand has had multiplatinum albums every decade going back to the 60s. She’s got Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, and a Tony. She’s as big as a star gets, and she’s gotten there not despite but because of the fact that she’s remained distinctly Barbra -- the working-class Jewish girl from Brooklyn unwilling to compromise herself or her work. That Barbra is on full display in this intimate conversation with Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin. Inside her Malibu home, the two friends range over wide conversational terrain, touching on Barbra’s childhood, how the communist government in Czechoslovakia offered up the Czech Jewish community to be extras in Yentl, and the relief of getting behind the camera after years in front of it: “you never have to raise your voice, because everybody’s finally listening.” And of course, old friends can’t meet over an empty table: food runs throughout the conversation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 17, 2017
Bernie Sanders Thinks Democrats Are Still Way Off-Course
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It was just 15 months ago that Bernie Sanders ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, but by his own telling, he’s already converted that political insurgency into a movement that’s changed what’s considered mainstream in America, from a $15 minimum wage to universal healthcare. In his new book, Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution, he distills what he’s learned into a how-to for grassroots activists. But with Hillary Clinton still on a book-tour putting part of the blame for Trump’s victory on Sanders, the self-described socialist is clearly feeling contentious, and puts plenty of blame back on Clinton and an “upper-middle-class” Democratic party, which he joined in 2015 to run for president. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 03, 2017
Burton Cummings: the Canadian Man behind "American Woman"
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For a while The Guess Who and frontman Burton Cummings were as big as it gets. And if you’re Canadian, they’re even bigger -- the first huge Canadian rock ’n roll act, paving the way for border-crossing superstars from Arcade Fire to Justin Bieber. Burton Cumming’s main songwriting collaborator in the early years of The Guess Who was Randy Bachman, the band’s guitarist. Their collaboration changed the sound of the late 60s, but their difference in temperament ended up driving Bachman out of the band. Cummings tells Here's the Thing host Alec Baldwin why -- and about how life has just gotten better since The Guess Who broke up. That's thanks to his dogs, his poetry, and a very dedicated fan-base. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 19, 2017
HBO's Sheila Nevins Makes Docs Hot
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As head of HBO Documentary Films since 1979, Sheila Nevins has exerted more influence on the medium than perhaps anyone in its history. She has overseen the production of literally hundreds of documentaries, which have won dozens of Oscars. Whether shot in a war zone or the back of a taxi, Sheila Nevins’ productions are powerful, brazen, and unflinchingly honest. But when it comes to telling her own story, truth gets trickier. As she explains to Here’s The Thing host Alec Baldwin, in her new book, You Don’t Look Your Age and Other Fairy Tales, Sheila Nevins blends fiction and reality. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 05, 2017
Brando, Robert Frost and the Other Men in Patricia Bosworth's Life
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Mark Twain once likened biographies to “the clothes and buttons of the man” saying “the biography of the man himself, cannot be written.” The quote is a favorite of Patricia Bosworth, a 1950s model-actor turned biographer known for capturing the lives of Diane Arbus, Montgomery Clift, and Marlon Brando. All three were revered and haunted by internal demons—a narrative she knows too well. Bosworth's own father, Bartley Crum, was a left-wing lawyer who famously defended the Hollywood before succumbing to his own psychological pain. It was her father's suicide, as well as her brother's six years earlier, that instilled a strong desire to seek out the stories of other tormented souls. Patricia Bosworth's latest book The Men in My Life turns that voyage inward, painting a picture of a resilient woman with a tragic story of her own. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 22, 2017
How Charles Munn is Saving the Amazon
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Charles Munn's quest to save the Amazon revolves around one theory: if people see the beauty in nature, they’ll fight to protect it. So far, he’s right. Over four decades, the American conservation biologist’s ecotourism mission has helped restore 12 million acres of tropical forests in South America, including some of the most biologically diverse protected areas on earth. Today, he does this through SouthWild. Munn talks to Here’s the Thing about bird watching in the same garden as Einstein, using ecotourism as a conservation tool, and being the only safari guide in the world with a jaguar guarantee. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 08, 2017
Audra McDonald is the "Luckiest Survivor in the World"
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Much like the staggering beauty of her voice, Audra McDonald is impossible to ignore. The only artist to sweep all four acting categories at the Tony’s, she’s the most decorated Broadway star of all time. Reviews of her award-winning performances overflow with accolades, describing her stage presence as “spellbinding,” “haunting,” and “genius.” But for the California native, things haven’t always been easy. She talks to Alec about getting into Juilliard, making it on Broadway, and the suicide attempt that helped shape who she is today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 25, 2017
Yes, Jon Anderson's Musical Adventure Isn't Over
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Many words can be used to describe singer-songwriter Jon Anderson; cautious is not one of them. Born in England in 1944, he began singing on his brother’s daily route as a milkman before falling head first for rock n’ roll. After meeting bassist Chris Squire in the late 1960s, he joined a rock group called Mabel Greer’s Toy Shop—and the two left to form a band that was later renamed Yes. Now 72, he’s sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. But for the adventurous Anderson—whose rendition of Goldfinger earned him the nickname "The Shirley Bassey of Rock and Roll," it’s still all about the music. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 11, 2017
'The Godfather’ Made Sofia Coppola Protective of Actors
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Before Sofia Coppola could talk, she was in movies, famously playing an infant in her father Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Godfather. She’d appear in the next one too, as an immigrant girl, but it was her role in The Godfather: Part III that caught the attention of the media—not in a good way. Critics claimed her novice performance “ruined” the final chapter of his series. It was a painful moment for Coppola, but one that gave her a firsthand look at the vulnerability of stars. Today she has the reputation of being “soothing” on set—a tactic that, given her multiple awards and accolades, is an effective one. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 27, 2017
Philip Galanes Lies Like a Rug
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Philip Galanes is a man of many words—which comes as no surprise to his family, who grew up listening to him read Dear Abby columns aloud. An avid reader and passionate wordsmith, he returned to his alma mater, Yale University, a few years after graduating to get his law degree. But decades into a career as an entertainment attorney, his life took a different path. Today, the brains behind the New York Times advice column Social Q's, he proffers advice on everything from ex-boyfriends to sibling rivalry. The common theme among them all: a little fibbing never hurts.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 13, 2017
Joe Jackson Suffers No Fools
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Combining three musical genres in your debut album may be risky, but Joe Jackson never cared about playing it safe. In 1979, his first LP Look Sharp! did just that—weaving pop, ska, and punk together into a sound all its own. With songs like Is She Really Going Out With Him? and Steppin Out, his pioneering sound helped usher in the New Wave era of the early 80s, and cement his place as music royalty. Currently on tour nationwide, Jackson talks with Alec Baldwin about “fake news,” the instrument he considers to be medieval torture, and the reason he can no longer watch The Grammys. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 30, 2017
Carly Simon Was Afraid of the Spotlight - and Still Is
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It’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine the 1970s without Carly Simon. After opening for Cat Stevens at LA's Troubadour in 1971, she gained near instant fame, winning a Grammy for Best New Artist that same year. The daughter of Richard L. Simon, co-founder of publishing house Simon & Schuster, she grew up surrounded by greatness. But if her childhood was peppered with celebrities, her adult life was dripping in them. By her mid-20s she’d meet Bob Dylan, duet with Mick Jagger, and marry James Taylor. Still, the shy New York native was a superstar in her own right, one who battled a stammer and a severe case of stage fright. She tells Alec Baldwin about conquering them both to become a musician who shaped an era. You can learn more about Carly's life in her 2015 memoir, Boys in the Trees.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 16, 2017
Brian Reed Thought "S-Town" Could Only Ever Be a Cult Show
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Good stories teach us about humankind, great ones change the way we see it. For many, S-Town -- a seven episode series about an eccentric Alabama horologist named John B. McLemore -- has done just that. Released on March 28, the podcast reached critical acclaim near instantly, garnering 16 million downloads in the first seven days. For Brian Reed, the host and producer behind it, the reception has been thrilling. As the world continues to devour his masterpiece, Brian talks to Alec Baldwin about the email where it all began. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 02, 2017
Tony Hendra on the Essentiality of Satire
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British-born comedian, actor, and writer Tony Hendra knows a thing or two about mocking politicians. As one of the first editors of the American humor magazine the National Lampoon, he helped perfect and popularize the type of satire that comedians still rely on to challenge the status quo. His move from the variety TV show circuit in the 60s to the parody news world in the 70s was a deliberate response to the election of Richard Nixon. As Donald Trump gives new urgency to an art form Hendra helped shape, he talks to Alec Baldwin about the monk who changed his life, the glory days of National Lampoon, and why it’s a good thing that SNL is getting under the president’s skin. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 18, 2017
Alec Baldwin in the Hot Seat
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Here’s The Thing listeners are used to hearing Alec ask the questions, but for this bonus episode, he’s the guest! To mark the publication of his new memoir, Nevertheless, Alec talk about money, drugs, career choices and family with Death, Sex & Money host Anna Sale. Stay tuned for Alec’s conversation with comedian and satirist Tony Hendra – out on Tuesday! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 17, 2017
Mark Farner: The Cussing Christian of Rock and Roll
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Grand Funk Railroad's lead vocalist talks to Alec Baldwin about his Christian faith and writing one of his greatest hits in the middle of a fight with his first wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 04, 2017
Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman Take it Slow in Work and in Love
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Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman are famous for creating iconic TV characters on two beloved sitcoms, "Will & Grace" and "Parks and Recreation." But they also have a life together off screen. They've been married since 2003, and Playboy magazine compared their comic chemistry to "that of a hyper-sexualized Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara." They talk to Here's the Thing host Alec Baldwin about struggling to launch their careers, why it took them so long to kiss, and how jigsaw puzzles, audio books, and carpentry keep their marriage strong. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 21, 2017
Vogue's Grace Coddington Doesn't Want To Think Much About What She Wears
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These days, legendary fashion editor Grace Coddington tends to wear black—her way of remaining a “blank slate” at the fashion shoots she runs. But it wasn’t long ago that she herself was the vessel for the clothes. Born in the north of Wales in 1941, Coddington began modeling in London at age 18 and landed on the cover of British Vogue in 1962. Following a serious car crash that left one eyelid damaged, she was offered the position of junior fashion editor at British Vogue in 1968. After she rose up the ranks of the fashion world, Calvin Klein hired her as his design director in New York in 1987. But Coddington missed magazines. So she phoned her former colleague, Anna Wintour, then the new editor-in-chief of U.S. Vogue, who promptly appointed her its creative director. Over the next 30 years, Coddington would go on to help shape it into the most powerful fashion publication in the world before leaving in January 2016 to pursue her own projects. But despite her air-tight confident image, Grace Coddington is still the shy girl who, “rigid with nerves,” failed all her exams in high school. She talks to Alec Baldwin about the current state of fashion in America, the up and coming model she’s most excited to watch, and why dressing men makes her nervous. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 06, 2017
Scott Chaskey is America's Favorite Farmer
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Farmer, poet, and pioneer of the community farming movement, Scott Chaskey is the kind of progressive thinker that doesn't come around often. Weaving together his passion for farming and prose, the 66-year-old has penned multiple books on the community farming movement, creating a road-map for Americans who want to live off the land as a community. He talks to Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin about deciding to “eat consciously,” watching his love for the earth go global, and the food his kids hid from him when they were little.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 21, 2017
Thelma Schoonmaker: Martin Scorsese's Secret Weapon
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Thelma Schoonmaker—with a face and demeanor like your favorite grade school teacher—may be the last person you’d imagine to helm the epic violence of Martin Scorsese’s films. Yet this earnest, soft spoken woman has edited every single movie he’s done since Raging Bull. The two’s relationship is considered one of the most successful working marriages in movie history, earning Schoonmaker three Academy Awards and seven nominations. But filmmaking wasn’t always the plan. She talks to Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin about Scorsese’s pet peeves, what it’s like to “create” violence, and the woman she credits with giving her the “greatest life in the world.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 07, 2017
John Turturro’s Mind at Work
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It’s hard to imagine John Turturro—an award-winning actor, director, and writer—feeling inadequate. But even today, the big-hearted 59-year-old says he’s “still learning” his craft. Raised by Italian working-class parents in Park Slope, Brooklyn, he majored in theatre at the State University of New York at New Paltz before winning a scholarship to the Yale School of Drama. In 1989 he soared to fame as Pino in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and has been steadily solidifying his role as a Hollywood superstar ever since. While balancing a kaleidoscope of roles, he’s managed to both write and direct his own movies—most recently the reimagining of a French film from the 70s. He talks to Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin about meeting his wife at Yale, playing James Gandolfini’s part in HBO’s The Night Of, and the crisis that almost convinced him to go to medical school.  Check out video of Alec's conversation with John Turturro on Spike Lee and 'Do the Right Thing'. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 24, 2017
The Wonderful Life of Debbie Reynolds
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Last month, as our listeners know, Debbie Reynolds died on December 28th – one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died, on December 27th. Alec talked to Debbie Reynolds over three years ago for Here’s The Thing. We always hoped he would sit down with Carrie too – perhaps with her mother. Sadly, this will never happen. But as a tribute to both women, we are giving listeners a chance to relisten to Alec’s conversation with Debbie Reynolds – a woman with over 6 decades of experience in show business. She talks to Alec about her big break in Singing in the Rain. “I slept in my dressing room,” recalls Reynolds. “I didn't take any days off because I’d practice on Saturday and Sunday.”  Reynolds went on to appear in Tammy and the Bachelor, The Unsinkable Molly Brown—and more recently, Mother. Reynolds talks about working with different directors and says she’s not one to hold a grudge, but warns that she does have a memory like an elephant. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 17, 2017
Questlove Can't Take a Compliment
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Few musicians can compete with the encyclopedic musical knowledge that Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson possesses—which is great news if you got to be a student of his at NYU. When not teaching music history, the 45-year-old drummer is directing the Grammy-Award winning group The Roots—a hip hop collective that rose from “everyone’s favorite underground secret” in the late 90s to Jimmy Fallon’s house band on The Tonight Show. Whether drumming, DJ’ing, or writing a book on food, Questlove is universally beloved. “The coolest man on late night,” according to the Rolling Stone. But there is one thing this genius of music can’t do: accept that he is one. He talks to Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin about a three year exile in London, Jimmy Fallon wooing the Roots, and how meditation saved his life. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 03, 2017
Patti Smith Never Wanted to Be Famous
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Patti Smith defined punk rock in 1978 with her hit song Because the Night, but the New Jersey native was never looking for fame. A lover of poetry, art, and creative expression, it was the desire to “do something great” that motivated her to move to New York at age 20—that, and hunger. The oldest daughter of a waitress and factory worker, she knew how to survive on little money. Making a lot of it, she says, was never part of her journey. But an astounding journey it’s been—one that’s sent her touring around the world, writing award-winning books, and marrying a musician with whom she had two kids. She talks to Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin about singing poetry with The Beats, getting saved from a bad date by Robert Mapplethorpe, and her love for 7/11’s glazed doughnuts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 27, 2016
Robbie Robertson Learned Music on an Indian Reservation
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At age 15, Robbie Robertson packed up his guitar and took a train from Canada to the Mississippi Delta—or as he calls it, the “holy land of rock n’ roll.” Inspired by his Mohawk relatives' musical talents, Robertson was determined to make his own mark on the music scene—and did. After playing backup for Bob Dylan’s 1966 world tour, he joined forces with other talented musicians to form a group humbly crowned: “The Band.” Operating out of a big pink house in New York, the lyrical genius and his band mates penned classics like The Weight—still considered a masterpiece today. As his new autobiography Testimony hits the shelves, Robertson talks to Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin about the Indian reservation where he first learned music, the makeshift basement studio where he wrote it, and the final performance that nearly got Martin Scorsese fired. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 20, 2016
Eric Fanning Says Combat a Last Resort
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Eric Fanning didn’t think there was a place for him in a "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" military, but today he’s Secretary of the US Army. He is the first openly gay leader of the armed forces. Fanning was raised in Michigan in a military family and had a life-long interest in government and politics. He earned an Ivy League education and worked in policy think tanks. But over the years, attitudes changed. And the military changed too. Fanning’s job as Secretary of the Army is like a real life game of Risk. When Russia or North Korea flexes its muscles, Fanning makes sure that US troops are ready to move to conflict borders. He ensures that those same soldiers have the tanks and body armor and weapons they need when they hit the ground in Afghanistan or Iraq. Fanning tells Alec there is a myth that the military is the first to want to go in and fight. In fact, says Fanning, it’s the opposite, because the military knows what this actually entails. Combat should be a last resort. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 06, 2016
Sandra Bernhard: Post-Modern Entertainer
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Born in Flint, Michigan, Sandra Bernhard was raised in a conservative Jewish family. She spent 8 months on a kibbutz out of high school, then moved to LA in 1974 at age 19 and enrolled in beauty school. She started performing in comedy clubs at night. And for many, Sandra Bernhard is a stand-up comedian – after all, she soon attracted the likes of Paul Mooney, who became a mentor. But she's also done film and TV. As she tells Alec in this episode of Here’s The Thing, Bernhard doesn’t prefer one form over the other, but says “everything feeds off the other." Bernhard talks with Alec about her 1983 breakout role in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy -- and what it was like to perform opposite Jerry Lewis. Bernhard says she never wanted to settle for “just telling jokes.” She always wanted more. A bigger stage. A wider audience. She has a home on stage, but Bernhard is the first to admit that she finds manual labor – like cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry – freeing. “It’s meditative,” she tells Alec, who concurs. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 22, 2016
Michael Stipe on R.E.M. and Fear of Collage
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In the 1980s, Athens, Georgia, rock band R.E.M. was the epitome of the artful "alternative" band— producing a string of beautiful, if occasionally inscrutable albums, and slowly evolving over time. But then came Out of Time, the band's true arrival as global rock stars, riding largely on the strength of “Losing My Religion,” which was in constant rotation on TV and radio throughout 1991. It was the moment the band snapped into crisp pop focus—and lead singer Michael Stipe stepped with somewhat more gusto into his role as frontman. Stipe led the band through twenty more years of bold experimentation, massive success, and the occasional misstep—but never insincerity. R.E.M. disbanded in 2011, and, for the last five years, Stipe has channeled his new time and energy into photography, teaching, and politics. And while his songs will almost certainly last in the cultural memory for a very long time, Stipe himself has even broader ambitions. Like living until he’s a hundred and twenty, for starters. He talks to host Alec Baldwin about his long-term plans, as well as more immediate concerns, like voting.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 08, 2016
Gordon Lightfoot on Dylan, Neil Young, and Stompin' Tom Connors
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Over the course of a career that has lasted more than half a century, Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot has achieved global stardom and exceptional influence. Bob Dylan’s a fan—he's said, “I can’t think of any [Lightfoot songs] I don’t like.” These songs—“Beautiful,” “Sundown,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” and many others—have been treasured by generations of popular musicians and listeners around the world. But Gordon Lightfoot was just one of many aspirants who moved to Toronto in the early 1960s to try their hand in the burgeoning folk music scene there. Lightfoot tells host Alec Baldwin about fitting a feeling to a melody, why he owes his first hit record to an exec's girlfriend, and how he wrote "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by pulling lines straight from the newspaper.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 25, 2016
Radio Host Bob Garfield on Trump and Telemarketing
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Each week, more than 400 radio stations across the country air "On The Media," a program that takes a hard look at the boldfaced names in the headlines—and the smaller names in the bylines. The program has won many awards for its role as a watchdog for journalistic accountability—including a Peabody, the highest honor in broadcast journalism. Recent episodes have investigated why it's difficult to report on prison strikes, shamed the editorializing of infamous “sting operation” videographer James O’Keefe, and pondered ExxonMobil's climate change research. The show's co-host, Bob Garfield, brings a skeptic's ear for opinion and an insider's knowledge of how the spin factory works: for 25 years, he keenly dissected commercials for Ad Age magazine. He tells host Alec Baldwin that, despite his mellifluous voice, he wasn't a shoe-in for radio, and explains why his outrage at telemarketers mirrors his indignation at being fed political bull.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 11, 2016
Starbucks' Howard Schultz Doesn't Sleep—But Don't Blame the Coffee
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Howard Schultz wasn't born into business. A Brooklyn boy whose father worked menial jobs to support the family, Schultz thought his way out would be through sport. That is, however, until he broke his jaw on the football field at 18 (an injury from which Schultz is still recovering). For the next three years, he made cold calls, a job he hated but which ultimately taught him about how to sell himself. He soon connected those selling chops with a small Seattle coffee roastery called Starbucks. He hoped to expand the chain to 100 stores; Starbucks now has 25,000 locations across the globe. Howard Schultz—who has been at the helm as CEO for most of the company's history—tells host Alec Baldwin that at the core of that success is a desire to build the kind of socially enlightened, employee-focused business that his father was never able to work for. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 27, 2016
Elliott Gould: Mash Notes on a Long Career
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Elliott Gould has lived a life in show business. He was just 12 when he started singing and dancing in a vaudeville routine in 1951. Dancing has been a fixture: Gould says he tangoed with his mother to "I Get Ideas" at his own bar mitzvah, perhaps hinting at the career-long mix of serious artistry and arch comedy (with a bit of outré sexual antics thrown in) that was to come. His breakout role came in the 1969 romp "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," but Gould says it was his dancer's mind—a fixation on repetition to perfection—that ultimately caught the awareness of director Robert Altman. The two achieved mutual career standouts with films like "M*A*S*H," "The Long Goodbye," and "California Split." The latter is a film about the dark side of gambling—Gould's own struggle with gambling addiction would later add a subtle depth to his role in the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise. Gould told host Alec Baldwin about all this and more at the TCM Classic Film Festival this past April, and opened up about his relationships with Donald Sutherland, his first girlfriend (and, for a time, wife) Barbra Streisand, Ginger Rogers, Jack Nicholson, Ben Affleck, and many others. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 13, 2016
Iris Smyles Is Trying to Be a Human Again
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In Iris Smyles' new book "Dating Tips for the Unemployed," the main character 'Iris Smyles' embarks on a personal journey (modeled on Homer's "Odyssey") that involves plenty of emotional shipwrecks and failures to launch. The source material is closely drawn from the author's own off-center life. Smyles tells host Alec Baldwin about her preternaturally early interest in classic literature, details how and why she indulged her self-destructive streak, and explains why the five years she lived like a typing monk were the best of her life. "Who wants to be moderate at anything?" says Smyles, "That's so boring."   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 30, 2016
Kevin Kline Takes a Bow, Several Times
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Kevin Kline is one of the most acclaimed entertainers working today. So how did the kid from St. Louis end up with an Oscar, two Tony awards, and a career that has intersected with those of Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, John Cleese, and Kenneth Branagh, to name just a few? He says that, at Juilliard, the answer came in the form of a pair of tights and lots of dance practice, as well as a merciless culling of his midwestern elocution. Kline's career accelerated early: a cross-country tour with the soon-to-be renowned acting company founded by the great John Houseman led to Tony-decorated roles (three years apart) in "On the Twentieth Century" and "The Pirates of Penzance." His first film role soon followed, opposite Streep in "Sophie's Choice." Kline's stage and screen stock hasn't dipped since. He recently spoke with Alec Baldwin in front of a live audience at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, where he assessed some of his many marquee performances, and demonstrated the most important thing he learned at Juilliard: how to do a theatrical bow from every era since the Renaissance.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 16, 2016
Nuclear Safety Isn't Just About Who Has the Codes
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Gregory Jaczko didn't grow up aspiring to work on the country's central nuclear energy oversight body, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He had a freshly-minted Ph.D. in physics when he received a fellowship to learn about the political process in Washington, D.C. While there, he worked with Senators Ed Markey and Harry Reid, apprenticeships that prepared him for the contentious work of navigating nuclear industry interests—or pursuing countervailing aims. In fact, Jaczko says that when he was appointed to the NRC, he "arrived with a 'scarlet N'" (for "nuclear") because Markey and Reid have combative histories with the nuclear industry and lobby. Questions about Jaczko's leadership style dogged his tenure, including allegations of angry outbursts and abusive behavior. These resulted in a series of high-profile Congressional hearings; though a later investigation cleared him of wrongdoing, Jaczko resigned before the end of his term. But he tells host Alec Baldwin that after President Obama made him the youngest chairman in the history of the Commission, his primary aim was ensuring safety at the nation's aging and decaying nuclear energy sites—especially in the wake of the 2011 reactor disaster in Fukushima, Japan.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 02, 2016
Viggo Mortensen, From Warrior King to Captain Fantastic
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Viggo Mortensen became a global star as a valiant crusading king in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. But then he deftly complicated this virtuous image with a series of dark, dense character studies for the director David Cronenberg. And his latest role is perhaps his most complex yet. In "Captain Fantastic," Mortensen plays a father who raises his six children in the wilderness—then reassesses his convictions as this bucolic fantasy collapses. The fame that came with his "Lord of the Rings" role also gave Mortensen the freedom to exercise his wider artistic imagination: he's a distinguished author, poet, painter, and publisher. Mortensen tells host Alec Baldwin how he got his acting start in school playing the ass-end of a dragon, and explains how his eleven-year-old son convinced him to say yes to the role that would make him famous.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 19, 2016
Michael Eisner Wants a Good Movie to End Quickly
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Michael Eisner started out in show business the same way everybody else does: by taking tickets at the studio door. But most ticket takers don't end up as epochal media magnates. Eisner rose to prominence at ABC as a protege of Barry Diller, helping to take the television network to the top of the ratings with programs like Roots and Happy Days. He jumped (also with Diller) to Paramount Pictures, and during his eight year stint as president and CEO, the studio produced hit film after hit film, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saturday Night Fever, Beverly Hills Cop, and many more. Eisner then spent the next two decades leading The Walt Disney Company, reinvigorating the animation studio with experiments like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and dozens of musical successes, starting with The Little Mermaid. But it wasn't just cartoons: Eisner vastly expanded the company's signature amusement parks, and spearheaded numerous media acquisitions, with Disney eventually absorbing ABC, ESPN, and launching cruise lines and sports teams. Eisner continues to experiment with new ideas and formats; his production company makes, among other things, a Netflix cartoon for adults about an alcoholic horse. Eisner walks host Alec Baldwin through his expansive film career, and explains how he views risk and reward.     Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 05, 2016
Joe Dallesandro Thought Warhol Made Soup
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Joe Dallesandro became famous as a shaggy-haired blond Adonis in the iconoclastic and transgressive Andy Warhol-produced films Flesh, Trash, and Heat, in which he helped to rewrite the rules for onscreen sexuality. He's name-checked in "Walk on the Wild Side," Lou Reed's most famous song, and that's Joe's pair of jeans on the cover of the 1971 Rolling Stones record Sticky Fingers. But, as he tells host Alec Baldwin, Dallesandro just wanted to run a pizza place. That was before a series of left turns brought him to the attention of one of the twentieth century's most influential taste makers — even if "Little Joe" didn't have a clue who Andy Warhol was at the time.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 21, 2016
Netflix's 'Making a Murderer' Makes a Star
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The massively popular Netflix series Making a Murderer explores the circumstances surrounding a homicide in small-town Wisconsin, and highlights the ways the criminal justice system failed defendants Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Defense attorney Dean Strang became the show's unlikely hero, and internet obsessives turned him into a moral crusader and even a sex symbol. While Strang was wholly unprepared for his sudden popularity, he tells host Alec Baldwin he's glad the show is giving viewers a taste of how American justice really works outside of Hollywood tropes, and talks about what he thinks the Avery case really hinges on. Listen to Alec Baldwin's conversation with Making a Murderer writers and directors Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 07, 2016
Michael Pollan Tried to Blow Up a Woodchuck
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Michael Pollan says that every writer has a "final question," an irreducible topic to which all their work tends. For Pollan, that topic has always been nature — specifically, the ways in which the natural world and humans have co-evolved to mutual benefit. So it's funny to hear Pollan talk about his failed attempt at incinerating an animal that was giving his garden a hard time. He tells host Alec Baldwin how this experience disabused him of the pastoral notions of nature found in Emerson and Thoreau, and goes on to talk about drunk elephants, his new Netflix series Cooked, the failed Bloomberg soda ban, and psychedelic drugs.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 24, 2016
Anthony Weiner on Term Limits and Text Messages
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This interview was conducted in April 2016, prior to new reports that Anthony Weiner continued to be involved in explicit text and digital message exchanges. Anthony Weiner is charismatic, full of ideas, quick on his feet — he's a natural politician. These personal strengths were well suited to governance during his stint in the New York City Council, and as a U.S. Representative in Washington. But his personal flaws became very public, and very visible, during a series of well-publicized sexting scandals. The professional fallout was swift in both instances: Weiner resigned his House seat, and later suspended his candidacy in the 2013 race for mayor of New York City. He talks to host Alec Baldwin about the ways in which an elected official has to publicly atone for private misconduct, and considers his next professional move.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 10, 2016
Ellie Kemper Gets Brain Freeze with Alec Baldwin
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Ellie Kemper leapt into pop culture consciousness in 2009 when she joined the cast of "The Office" during the show's fifth season. Her portrayal of earnest, perky receptionist Erin Hannon introduced viewers to Kemper's strongest weapon as an actress: her own effervescent personality. And Kemper's bright disposition is now front and center in the Tina Fey-created Netflix series "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."  "I am naturally cheerful and sunny — not manic," Kemper tells host Alec Baldwin. "I think for an actress, I'm the most normal I've ever met." She's also hysterically funny, and talks about her formative experiences learning improv comedy from Jon Hamm; her newfound love of Dick Cavett; and why a set of bathroom fixtures recently brought her to tears. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 26, 2016
Mary Brosnahan on Homelessness in New York
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Mary Brosnahan recalls a trip she took to Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the height of The Troubles: she was 16, raised in a Detroit suburb, but here she saw soldiers deployed with rifles right in the city center. The trip politicized the young Brosnahan, even though the seed didn't sprout right away. She had wanted a career in the film industry, but a stint doing presidential advance work for Michael Dukakis reactivated the political animal, and conversations she had with homeless neighbors near Cooper Union suggested a focus. She took a job with Coalition for the Homeless, and quickly became its chief operating officer. In the more than twenty years since, she's been a tireless advocate for New York's homeless — a population that now surpasses 60,000. Brosnahan sketches the history of the chronic urban problem for host Alec Baldwin, and offers insight into what she's learned at the helm of a New York institution.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 12, 2016
Cary Fukunaga Wanted to Be a Snowboarder
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Director Cary Fukunaga was born half-Japanese, half-Swedish. His works travel wide cultural distances, as well. He's told an immigrant story (Sin Nombre), created authentic British period drama (Jane Eyre), and explored gothic noir (True Detective). His latest film, Beasts of No Nation, travels to an African country of no name. And while he's got a great eye for the specifics of his locations, Fukunaga also studies the emotional landscapes of complicated characters. He tells host Alec Baldwin that he enjoys the conflict between the appearance of normalcy and a darker underlying reality. WNYC wants to get to know you better! Take our survey Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 29, 2016
Steven Donziger: Oil and Its Aftermath
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In 1993, tens of thousands of native Ecuadorians filed a civil suit against oil giant Texaco, alleging that the corporation's activity in the country's north-east Lago Agrio oil fields resulted in the poisoning of drinking water, land toxicity, and biological defects and cancers among local communities. A young Harvard-trained lawyer named Steven Donziger first visited Ecuador in 1993 as part of the plaintiffs' legal team. After decades of litigation — still ongoing — Donziger has ultimately become the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' primary American legal counsel, as well as an outspoken critic of the legal tactics employed by Texaco (which was absorbed by Chevron in 2001). In 2011, Donziger won in Ecuador, resulting in a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron. But a federal judge in New York ruled that the judgment could not be enforced due to what he described as the “dishonest and corrupt” measures of Donziger’s team. Donziger is currently appealing that decision.         Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 15, 2016
MSF's Joanne Liu Still Believes War Has Rules
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Joanne Liu is the the International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), a non-governmental organization that administers humanitarian medical aid and assistance to war- and disaster-ridden areas. They don't just treat victims of bomb blasts or famine; MSF also makes public pronouncements about the political forces exacerbating oppressive conditions for innocent civilians. MSF's resolve to work in the world's most dangerous places has been tested lately. Last October, a U.S.-led airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan, devastated a non-partisan hospital run by the organization, and killed dozens of people. And this February, at least seven people were killed after another airstrike hit an MSF-supported hospital in Syria's Idlib province. Despite the blows her organization has incurred over the last year, Liu tells host Alec Baldwin she still believes that wars have rules about the treatment of non-combatants and civilians, and articulates MSF's role in addressing protracted political conflicts that compound injury to innocent people.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 01, 2016
Molly Ringwald: 'These Films No Longer Belong to Me'
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For movie fans who came of age in the 1980s, Molly Ringwald is the definitive "it" girl. As the creative inspiration for director John Hughes, Ringwald was the de facto center of generationally-significant films like 'The Breakfast Club,' 'Sixteen Candles,' and 'Pretty in Pink' (written by Hughes and directed by Howard Deutch). Her red hair and sardonic wit became cultural icons all their own, and made Ringwald one of the greatest teen stars in film history. But she tells host Alec Baldwin that these films, as important as they are to a whole generation of movie fans, are passing moments in her growth as an artist and an actor: she's written two books, acted in numerous films and television shows, and released a jazz record, 'Except Sometimes,' in 2013.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 16, 2016
Still Plenty of Fight in Mickey Rourke
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Mickey Rourke started boxing as a young man as a way to cope with a rough home and a rough neighborhood. He was undefeated as an amateur in the ring, before coming to New York to study at The Actors Studio. Working with renowned acting coach Sandra Seacat, Rourke found success on the screen in the 1980s, starring in The Pope of Greenwich Village, Body Heat, Angel Heart and others. But there was a string of disappointments, too — and a reputation for being a pugnacious collaborator — and Rourke disappeared from Hollywood for much of the 90s and early 2000s. He resurfaced in the acclaimed 2009 drama The Wrestler, and was nominated for an Academy Award. Rourke tells host Alec Baldwin about how he learned to throw punches in his childhood, and why boxing is still the source of his pride and his renewed on-set discipline.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 02, 2016
The Making of 'Making a Murderer'
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In 1985, Steven Avery was convicted and imprisoned for sexual assault in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. He served nearly two decades of his sentence before being exonerated on the basis of new forensic evidence. Shortly after launching a multimillion dollar lawsuit seeking compensation for his wrongful detention, Avery was arrested and convicted for a horrific local murder. The ten-part Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer examines both cases, and asks whether and in what ways the criminal justice system has failed Avery over the last thirty years. The series, written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, has caused an uproar, and the case is undergoing new public scrutiny based on the film's interviews and narrative heft. The filmmakers tell host Alec Baldwin why the current case against Avery is inconclusive, why they're disappointed in public statements from officials familiar with the case, and how a decade of collaboration has changed them as professionals and partners.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 19, 2016
Dustin Hoffman and Edie Falco
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In anticipation of a new season of Here's The Thing, we're looking back at some of our favorite interviews from 2015.  The Graduate. Midnight Cowboy. Lenny. That's just the beginning of Dustin Hoffman's legendary Hollywood career. Over the last five decades, he's stretched and contorted himself into dozens of defining roles, earning recognition as one of the most talented actors in cinema history. Hoffman tells host Alec Baldwin that he savors each new opportunity like it's the first, and recalls his salad days when he was mis-cast, underestimated, and, on at least one notable occasion, sick on a co-star's shoe.  Edie Falco says she is nothing like Carmela Soprano. Nor does she have much in common with Nurse Jackie. But Falco made these characters two of the most identifiable and human women in television history. She has an armful of Emmys, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards—and a cadre of dedicated fans—to prove it. Along the way, she's battled cancer, raised two children on her own, and is a recovering alcoholic. She credits her multiple successes to good luck, great mentors, and says there's no predicting which way her career could have gone—or will go yet.     Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 12, 2016
Sarah Jessica Parker and Ian Schrager
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It's a new year — and soon, a new season of Here's The Thing. So today we're looking back at two of our favorite interviews from 2015. After shooting the pilot for Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker told HBO she didn't want to go through with the project. But after the first day’s taping, she says, she "didn't want to be anywhere else." Parker is now indelibly linked with her character Carrie Bradshaw—one of the most prominent women in the history of television.  Ian Schrager is in the hospitality business. Hotels or nightclubs, uptown or downtown, Miami or Manhattan, Schrager defines luxury and leisure. In 1977, he co-founded Studio 54, which quickly became the epitome of the disco era's cultural mores. It was Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Cher, and as Schrager recalls, "serious, sweaty dancing." Today, Schrager says nightclubs are a young person's business; he's long since reinvented himself as one of the pioneers of the boutique hotel.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 05, 2016
A Classical Icon Who Has a Lot to Say for L.A.
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The London Philharmonia is one of the world's great performing ensembles; over its seventy year history, it has engaged conductors as distinguished as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Arturo Toscanini, Richard Strauss and others. Today, Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen holds the baton. He has, of course, absorbed the great traditions of the Old World, but found fresh inspiration in a somewhat unlikely setting: Tinseltown. Salonen spent almost twenty years at the helm of the Los Angeles Philharmonic before landing in London. "It was incredibly helpful to be away from the European, arrogant intellectual canon," Salonen says. "Of course when I started out, I had some residue of that 'culture as medicine' thing. Which is vile." As if all of this wasn't enough to keep busy, now Salonen is also the Composer-In-Residence at the New York Philharmonic. He joins host Alec Baldwin to talk about his passion for composing; the psychological difference between conducting and composing; and why he has a complicated relationship with Italian opera.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 22, 2015
Jimmy Fallon Will Never Make Fun of You
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When Jimmy Fallon landed a spot on Saturday Night Live in 1998, he told executive producer and comedy kingmaker Lorne Michaels, "I'm going to make you proud." Six years later, Fallon departed as a audience favorite, the show's go-to impressions guy, and the co-host (with Tina Fey) of SNL's "news" unit, Weekend Update. But he became famous without "working blue," and has always wanted everybody to be in on the joke. It's a trait that makes him a perfect television personality. Now, he occupies the most coveted seat in the business, as the host of The Tonight Show. He tells Here's The Thing host Alec Baldwin that he got his start in Saugerties, New York, practicing the stuff that every comic needs in their toolkit: impressions, musical numbers, and...a troll routine.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 08, 2015
Andrew Berman and Rob Snyder on Preserving What Matters
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Growth comes with costs. On this episode of Here's The Thing, Alec Baldwin talks to two individuals who are protecting places that are most vulnerable to development and destruction. Andrew Berman has been called one of the most powerful people in New York real estate, but not because he's a deep-pocketed developer. Berman is the Executive Director of The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, where he advocates for the protection and conservation of historically important buildings and sites, including cultural touchstones like the Stonewall Inn. Rob Synder works with thousands of individuals living on islands off the coast of Maine. His organization Island Institute develops community alliances, economic programs, and sustainability initiatives to ensure that island culture remains vibrant, and that local resources remain intact as climate changes and development encroaches. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 24, 2015
Dan Rather Tells Alec Baldwin the 'Truth'
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Dan Rather was the host and anchor of CBS Evening News for more than twenty years. He resigned the post in the wake of an investigation into then-President George W. Bush's Vietnam-era military service. A new film starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, 'Truth,' explores that period and the outstanding questions raised by Rather's journalistic inquiry. Host Alec Baldwin spoke with Rather at a recent screening of the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival, where they discussed Rather's days as a White House correspondent, recent attempts to re-assess Nixon, and the state of news today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 27, 2015
Carol Burnett
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Carol Burnett's stage and screen career is one of the great showbiz success stories. From her early days on Broadway, to the 11-season run of The Carol Burnett Show, to her luminous big-screen turn as Miss Hannigan in Annie: Burnett's numerous Emmy and Golden Globe awards and nominations speak to her plasticity, her genius -- and her hilarity. Carol Burnett sits down with Alec Baldwin to talk about the unlikely origin of her show, recall her roster of A-list friends, and to explain how nudists dance. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 13, 2015
William Friedkin Paid Off the MTA to Make 'The French Connection'
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William Friedkin is the director of more than twenty films, among them "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection." For the latter, Friedkin won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Director, based on the film's stunning action sequences and incandescent appearances by Roy Scheider and Gene Hackman. "I would like to tell you it was all my genius," Friedkin tells host Alec Baldwin at the Turner Classic Film Festival, "but I had nothing to do with casting the two leads in that picture." Friedkin goes on to explain why he doesn't audition actors, how knowing a Sicilian helps with location scouting, and why learning to play tennis killed his career. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 29, 2015
Andy Warhol Really Did Like Campbell's Soup
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Andy Warhol gained fame and notoriety as the godfather of Pop Art. His electric-colored screen prints of Coca Colas, Marilyn Monroes, and electric chairs are iconic pieces, despite their iconoclastic origins. But there's more to Warhol than Day-Glo portraiture: he was an author, commentator, filmmaker, sculptor, and socialite. Host Alec Baldwin talks to Eric Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, about the hyper-inventive multimedia star, and learns about the surprisingly deep emotional basis for Warhol's obsession with Campbell's Soup. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 15, 2015
Julie Taymor, Before and After 'Lion King'
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"The Lion King" is now the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time. Julie Taymor hadn't seen the Disney film when she was approached to direct the project, but she had spent years studying the masks, mythology, and ancient ritual drama of indigenous peoples in Indonesia. She tells host Alec Baldwin how she incorporates theater's primal magic into her many stage and screen projects: from the Beatles-soundtracked cosmic narrative of "Across the Universe;" to the elemental brutality of "Titus;" to her recent hallucinatory production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 01, 2015
Penn Jillette's Marathon Life in Magic
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At 6'6" tall, Penn Jillette is a huge character. He's got a huge frame, a huge personality, and huge appetites. It's a trait that has occasionally gotten him into trouble; he weighed, until a recent diet change, more than 350 pounds. But his gregarious energy mostly expands to fill every moment of free time with professional success. He's an inventor, an entrepreneur, a podcast host, a TV show creator, a Twitter celebrity, a comedian. And for more than forty years, he's been the talking half of stage magic duo Penn & Teller. He talks to host Alec Baldwin about his lifelong atheism, what it's like to perform the same trick for four decades, and why he's committed to debunking nonsense. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 18, 2015
Paul Simon
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Paul Simon is one of the great American entertainers—a mantle he's worn since he started singing harmony with grade-school friend Art Garfunkel in a duo called Tom & Jerry. In the following six decades, Simon has written dozens of classic songs. His partnership with Garfunkel produced numerous hits like "The Sound of Silence," "America," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." And Simon's solo career has been equally fruitful, as an engine of eclectic pop music (the gospel of "Loves Me Like a Rock," or the imported reggae of "Mother and Child Reunion"), and also as an ambassador of global sounds (the 1986 album Graceland, and 1990's The Rhythm of the Saints). He talks to host Alec Baldwin about how he has—and hasn't—changed after all these years.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 04, 2015
David Remnick on Liebling, Dylan, and Glasnost
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David Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker magazine. It's a title he's held since 1998, and one that requires a tireless attention to detail, and an endless awareness of current news, trends, and ideas. In short, he keeps himself busy. Under Remnick's leadership, the magazine has addressed national events like September 11 and the ensuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; he has also transformed the publication into a nimble digital enterprise amidst a cratering media landscape. "We come out every week, and now we come out every second," he tells Alec Baldwin. Remnick has six books and numerous anthology credits to his name, and has worked with some of the leading literary lights of the last two decades. In this wide-ranging conversation, he talks about some of those relationships, about his early career — including four years in Perestroika-era Moscow — and about his lifelong love affair with the music and ideas of Bob Dylan. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 21, 2015
Open Road Edition: Billy Joel's Life On and Off the Road
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Billy Joel has sold more records than The Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna—though the “rock star thing” is something he can “take off.” Joel started playing piano when he was about four or five years old. He admits that he doesn't remember how to read sheet music anymore, saying it’d be like reading Chinese. That doesn't stop the third best-selling solo artist of all time in the U.S. from plunking out a few tunes with Alec. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 09, 2015
Alec Baldwin Dives to the Gulf Floor with Antonia Juhasz
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BP recently settled civil lawsuits over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the tune of more than 18 billion dollars. But it's not the end of the story for the worst marine spill in U.S. history. Journalist and author Antonia Juhasz recently took a submersible to the floor of the Gulf of Mexico — closer to the BP Macondo well-head than anyone had gotten since it was sealed five years ago. Her story in the June issue of Harper's Magazine details what she didn't see down there — any vibrant sea life — as well as what she did see: a huge carpet of oil 3,000 square miles in size. And evidence indicates that companies are preparing to resume drilling in the region. Juhasz has been monitoring energy companies for over a decade, and has seen how routine spills have become, but as she explains to host Alec Baldwin, she still feels shock and anger over the ongoing impacts of these spills on the environment.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 07, 2015
John Guare and Lisa Dwan Talk Theater with Alec Baldwin
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Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 23, 2015
What Dustin Hoffman Learned from Bob Fosse, Gene Hackman, and Kobe Bryant
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The Graduate. Midnight Cowboy. Lenny. That's just the beginning of Dustin Hoffman's legendary Hollywood career. Over the last five decades, he's stretched and contorted himself into dozens of defining roles, earning recognition as one of the most talented actors in cinema history. Hoffman tells host Alec Baldwin that he savors each new opportunity like it's the first, and recalls his salad days when he was mis-cast, underestimated, and, on at least one notable occasion, sick on a co-star's shoe.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 09, 2015
Gay Talese Tells Alec Baldwin About Sinatra's Cold
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When Gay Talese couldn't land an interview with Frank Sinatra, he wrote the profile instead by talking to Sinatra's tailor, stylist, valet, and other secondary characters in the pop star's world. The resulting piece for Esquire magazine, "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold," is a classic of New Journalism, which Talese helped pioneer. "I wanted to be a storyteller," he tells host Alec Baldwin. "I used my imagination to penetrate the personalities, the private lives, of other people." For more than six decades, those people have included mafia crime bosses, civil activists, literati, prizefighters—and innumerable "normal" characters, with their own secret desires, triumphs, and failings. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 26, 2015
For Ian Schrager, Studio 54 Was Just the Start
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Ian Schrager is in the hospitality business. Hotels or nightclubs, uptown or downtown, Miami or Manhattan, Schrager defines luxury and leisure. When he and his late business partner Steve Rubell opened Studio 54 in 1977, the club quickly became the epitome of the disco era's cultural mores. It was Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Cher, and as Schrager recalls, "serious, sweaty dancing." Today, Schrager says nightclubs are a young person's business; he's long since reinvented himself as one of the inventors of the boutique hotel. The aim, he tells host Alec Baldwin, is essentially the same: make people comfortable, and change their expectations. At 68, Schrager shows no sign of slowing down; his heroes are Giorgio Armani and Clint Eastwood—passionate people who are inspired by work they love.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 12, 2015
Edie Falco: Don't Hold the Door for Me
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Edie Falco says she is nothing like Carmela Soprano. Nor does she have much in common with Nurse Jackie. But Falco made these characters two of the most identifiable and human women in television history. She has an armful of Emmys, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards—and a cadre of dedicated fans—to prove it. Along the way, she's battled cancer, raised two children on her own, and is a recovering alcoholic. But Falco doesn't want your sympathy; she tells host Alec Baldwin that her greatest professional accomplishment is creating a fun, respectful atmosphere on-set. She credits her multiple successes to good luck, great mentors, and says there's no predicting which way her career could have gone—or will go yet.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 28, 2015
Lawrence Wright on Religion, ISIS, and Scientology
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Lawrence Wright is an author, screenwriter, playwright, and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2006 book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Most recently, filmmaker Alex Gibney directed an HBO documentary based on Wright's reporting in Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Unbelief. Much of Wright's work is about how religious belief animates personal action and political conflict. He has documented the Jonestown massacre, explored allegations of Satan worship, profiled brimstone-tinged gospel preachers, and, of course, tracked the histories of al-Qaeda and the Church of Scientology. Regarding the latter, he isn't necessarily sympathetic to the Church's claims, but he understands its appeal. "People don't go into it because it's a cult, they go into it because they're looking for something," says Wright. "It's like going into therapy; people do benefit from it." "But it's one thing to get into it, it's another thing to get out of it."  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 14, 2015
Alec Baldwin and David Blaine Do Magic
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David Blaine begins his visit to Here's The Thing by pushing an ice pick through his hand. He tells host Alec Baldwin that he began training his brain to overcome pain at a young age. Blaine grew up in Brooklyn, an only child with a single mother. He spent many afternoons at the local library and he channeled his isolation and loneliness into an early fascination with magic. Today, Blaine is an acclaimed street magician and sleight of hand artist, and also performs staggering feats of endurance: He has balanced on a 100-foot pillar for 35 hours; hung in a transparent box for 44 days; held his breath for more than 17 minutes at a time. He calls it magic, but says his work is mostly about mental toughness. "Anything I do, anybody could do... It's playing with that line of how far can you push yourself before you crack, live in front of an audience, that I'm intrigued by." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 31, 2015
Roz Chast Draws—and Talks to—Alec Baldwin
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Roz Chast's cartoons exude warmth and whimsy, but often share more in common with the dark humor of cartoonists like Charles Addams or Gahan Wilson than they do with "Peanuts." When she broke into a regular gig as a cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine in the 1970s, she had already cultivated the eccentricities that became the hallmark of her work. As proof, an adult Chast drew a cartoon that shows a young girl with her head stuck in the "Big Book of Horrible Rare Diseases." It's labeled "Me, Age 9." Chast has illustrated more than 800 cartoons for The New Yorker, as well as a number of books. Most recently, she published Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, a sharply-observed memoir of her parents at the ends of their lives. In this episode of Here's The Thing, Roz Chast talks to Alec Baldwin about life with her parents, growing up in New York, and her neurotic pet birds.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 17, 2015
George Stephanopoulos
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George Stephanopoulos was only 35 when he left his post as a senior advisor to President Clinton, his rolodex full of contacts and his head full of political insights. He didn't know what he wanted to do next, but he knew he was wrung out from his time inside the D.C. bubble. "White House years are dog years, multiplied," he says. "I knew that in order to feel my age again, I had to start a different career." Today, Stephanopoulos is the chief anchor for ABC News, a co-anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, as well as the host of ABC's political interview show This Week. In this episode of Here's The Thing, he talks to Alec Baldwin about another prominent TV host, Brian Williams; the prospect of a Bush-Clinton presidential race in 2016; and how he's learned to be himself on national television.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 03, 2015
Bryan Stevenson Wants 'Equal Justice'
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From 1877 to 1950, nearly 4,000 black people were lynched in the United States. Bryan Stevenson says these stories aren't part of the collective historical memory of most Americans, but they should be. Stevenson is the founder and director of the Equal Justice Institute, an Alabama-based non-profit that fights for retrials, death-sentence reversals, and exoneration in the face of racially-charged legal practices and policies. The Equal Justice Institute's report about lynching, recently detailed in The New York Times, is one piece of Stevenson's work focused on "confronting the legacy of racial terror"—a legacy that is directly observable today in the record numbers of incarcerated black men and boys. In this episode of Here's The Thing, Stevenson tells host Alec Baldwin that he believes the history of slavery and violence needs to be radically acknowledged and addressed if Americans are to achieve the promise of an equal society. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 16, 2015
Sarah Jessica Parker
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After shooting the pilot for Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker told HBO she didn't want to go through with the project. But after the first day’s taping, she says, she "didn't want to be anywhere else." Parker is now indelibly associated with Carrie Bradshaw—one of the most prominent women in the history of television. She tells Here’s The Thing’s Alec Baldwin that she was surprised to be considered for the part. Sarah Jessica has a fully-formed casting philosophy: she confesses to Alec that she tends to overcompensate when a co-star brings less than ideal energy to a part. "You know what they won't bring," she says. "And you end up projecting onto the other person what you wish they were bringing into the scene, and you become a bad actor." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 02, 2015
John Eterno and David Kennedy on Nuanced Policing
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The massive protests after the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City strained relationships among police departments, the neighborhoods they serve, and political leaders. Then, in late December, the assassination of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos further escalated the rhetoric and what was at stake. This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec Baldwin talks to two people with years of street experience. Both have compelling visions for improving the broken relationship between police and communities. John Eterno is a retired captain in the NYPD who once defended “stop and frisk” policies. Today he teaches criminal justice at Molloy College and worries about how many more people were singled out for aggressive police scrutiny during the Bloomberg administration. Eterno advocates for a more individually autonomous, accountable, and, above all, transparent police force. David Kennedy is the architect of Operation Ceasefire, a community-based approach to de-escalating inner city gang violence. Over the last three decades, his work has transformed relationships between law enforcement and communities in cities across the country, including South Central Los Angeles and Boston. Now, he’s working in New York City. Kennedy believes that the influence of families, friends, and neighbors has a greater impact on lowering crime than handcuffs, firearms, and courtrooms. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 19, 2015
Julie Andrews
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We often think of Julie Andrews as the prim nanny from Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, but her personal path may have the greatest resemblance to one of her Broadway roles: Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Andrews says she grew up “on the wrong side of the tracks” in a family strapped for cash during wartime, and her initial training as an actor was in the less than prestigious field of vaudeville. But right before opening night of her breakout role in The Boy Friend, it was producer Cy Feuer’s advice that we have to thank, in large part, for the level of excellence Andrews has brought to musical film and theater for generations. “Forget camp,” he told her. “Get real.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 05, 2015
John McEnroe
2847
John McEnroe is one of the most accomplished tennis players of all time, but he lives just as vividly in the public imagination for his volcanic interactions with line judges and umpires. It’s no surprise, then, that McEnroe wants line judges out of the game entirely (”they’ve already proven they can’t see anything”). To revive the sport from what he calls its current status as an elitist cult, tennis needs more than just the introduction of instant replay. And as McEnroe works to cultivate new talent with his tennis academy on Randall’s Island, he’s also focused on keeping his own six kids happy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 22, 2014
Julianne Moore
3320
Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore are members of a select club. For them, names like "Edge," "Search," "Days," and "World Turns" mean something. They came of age at a time when soap operas were a big deal, and as they tell it, soaps provided an opportunity for some of their best raw acting. Now Moore, who has performed in everything from independent films to widely-released big budget classics like Boogie Nights and Jurassic Park, stars alongside Baldwin in the acclaimed drama, Still Alice. She plays a linguistics professor who starts forgetting her words as Alzheimer's sets in. This isn’t the first time the two have shared the screen—Moore’s also famous for her cameos as Baldwin’s high school sweetheart in 30 Rock. Hear two actors reveal why they do what they do, and how the decisions they’ve made have gotten them where they are today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 08, 2014
Ira Glass
2694
Alec Baldwin sits down with Ira Glass to compare notes on interviewing, the afterlife, and how to find one’s voice – with a microphone or a camera lens. Now the veritable kingmaker of public radio, Glass has revolutionized nonfiction storytelling by using a voice that's personable, modest, and emotionally engaged. In this extensive interview, Glass lays it all out: politics (he's a Democrat; finds the left insufferable), religion (went through Hebrew school; done with it), fact-checking (you can never be too careful), and that dog who went as him for Halloween. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 24, 2014
Jerry Seinfeld
3627
Jerry Seinfeld was just 27 when he first appeared on Johnny Carson in 1981. And he stood out. His material wasn't about his upbringing or personal relationships. It was about our universal experience of small things. His unique comedy style eventually led him to create his namesake show with Larry David. After Seinfeld ran for nine seasons, he decided to go back to stand-up, and to his audience. As he explains to Alec, Seinfeld feels uniquely connected to his fans: “You have this relationship with the audience that is private between you and them.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 02, 2014
Debbie Reynolds and Robert Osborne
3711
Debbie Reynolds has been in show business for over six decades. She talks to Alec about her big break in Singin' in the Rain. “I slept in my dressing room,” recalls Reynolds. “I didn't take any days off because I’d practice on Saturday and Sunday.” As host of Turner Classic Movies, Robert Osborne plays the role of ambassador to a bygone era. We hear the journey he took to get there—which could have been a classic movie itself. It all started when, as kid in a small town, he frequented the cinema and “fell in love with the movie business.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 19, 2014
Fred Armisen and Paula Pell
3661
Fred Armisen’s career has followed an unpredictable trajectory. Armisen spent nearly a decade drumming with Trenchmouth, a punk rock band remembered for its spirited cacophony. When he got tired of carrying his own equipment, Armisen picked up a video camera and began creating improvised characters. Fred relates stories from his years in the Los Angeles comedy club scene, drumming for the Blue Man Group, and working on SNL, where he met his idol, Steve Martin. And it’s true: Armisen really does love Portland. Paula Pell was having the time of her life singing and dancing at a Florida theme park when she got a phone call from SNL creator Lorne Michaels. She moved to New York, and two decades later, Pell was the show’s head writer. She says she’s still baffled by her charmed life. Pell calls herself “Nanny SNL,” because of her lengthy tenure on the show, but she says having a good night at SNL makes you feel 20 again. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 05, 2014
Chris Columbus and Stephen Daldry
3707
Chris Columbus has brought to the screen some of the biggest American family films in the last 20 years: Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, and Mrs. Doubtfire. He also produced and directed the first two Harry Potter films and produced the third as well. Despite this success, Columbus admits that he “always, to this day, [feels] like [he’s] gonna walk on a movie and get fired.” He reveals to Alec what it was like working with brilliant improvisers like John Candy and Robin Williams—and casting Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. The first time acclaimed director Stephen Daldry was expected to shout “Action!” he thought it was a joke. Alec met with Stephen Daldry in 2011, weeks before his intimate, post-9/11 drama, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, opened. Daldry’s work is precise and intimate, but in conversation with Alec he was passionate about a wide variety of topics, including communal living, the virtues of mass transit, and the Olympics. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 21, 2014
Judd Apatow and Eric Fischl
3718
Judd Apatow’s films—The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Funny People—feature emotionally immature men forced to grow up after confronting sex, responsibility, and death. Of all Apatow’s movies, This is 40 may be his most personal; it stars his wife, Leslie Mann, their two daughters, and one of his long-time heroes, Albert Brooks. Apatow thinks of each movie he makes as a letter, telling him something he needs to know about how better to live life. Eric Fischl became known in the 1980s art scene for work that explores issues of sexuality and power and what it means to become a man. Alec talks to Fischl about his memoir, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas, where the painter writes candidly about his youth, the art world, his own struggles with depression and substance abuse, and his thoughts about the creative process. Fischl started as an abstract painter, but as he explains to Alec, once he began to work with figures, he realized he was “doing the work that [he] was supposed to do, that [he] was built for.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 07, 2014
Robert Lustig and Martin Horn
3722
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UC San Francisco, studied brain tumors in children and began to see a connection between sugar and childhood medical problems, addiction, and lethargy. According to Lustig, sugar is as addictive as cocaine, heroin and crack, and is producing the fattest, least-healthy Americans yet. Former New York City Commissioner of Correction and Probation, Martin Horn has held every job imaginable in corrections: from debating the fairness of a state’s sentencing guidelines to fixing leaky water pipes in aging facilities. Horn tells Alec that his opinion toward inmates was formed from his early years as a parole officer: “every one of them was just a normal, ordinary guy … who had made bad judgments.” Though, nowadays Martin Horn has moved on: "It was a fascinating career. I am absolutely glad I’m done."  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 17, 2014
Rosie O'Donnell
3715
Rosie’s childhood dream of performing on Broadway alongside Bette Midler never materialized. Instead, at 16 she delivered her first stand-up routine to an appreciative Long Island crowd. She tells Alec that she stole most of her jokes that night. A decade later, the comedian broke into television as an unbeatable Star Search contestant. A multi-talented actress, author, activist and television personality, “The Queen of Nice,” has embraced motherhood, adopting five children. Whether advocating the rights of gay parents or speaking out on political issues, Rosie O’Donnell has never been afraid to speak her mind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 03, 2014
Andrew Luck and Dwight Gooden
3716
In 2012, Andrew Luck was in his final year at Stanford University when he learned he was the top NFL draft pick. Luck, a self-proclaimed nerd, talks with Alec about going from being an unknown high school football hero to replacing his childhood idol, Peyton Manning. Off the field, Luck is passionate about travel, architecture and movies. Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden earned the Rookie of the Year Award in 1984. He was 19 years old with a blistering fastball and a notoriously deceptive curve ball. His outstanding first three years in Major League Baseball were soon replaced by very public battles with alcohol and cocaine which continued for much of his professional career. At 40, Gooden served ten months in a state prison for drug-related charges. That was a decade ago. More recently he published a book, Doc: A Memoir. Gooden watches football now and hasn't touched a baseball or a drink in years.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 17, 2014
Patti LuPone and Jon Robin Baitz and Stacy Keach
3706
Patti LuPone was only four years old when she realized she belonged on stage, and she started by entertaining family members in her Long Island living room. LuPone won her second Tony Award for Evita, which she initially described as merely “noise from Britain.” Although she has enjoyed tremendous, long-term success, she talks candidly to Alec about blows to her career and ego. Jon Robin Baitz is a playwright who admits that writing plays is tricky. He’s a snob for Broadway, where the cachet and laughs are bigger. But deep down, this award-winning playwright considers it a privilege to be working in American theater at all. Alec speaks to Baitz about his Broadway debut play, Other Desert Cities, that came from a place of despair and loss—and his own personal experience writing for television in Hollywood. Stacy Keach’s dad was an actor, director and a producer. He had hoped his son would be a lawyer. Keach eventually wore down his parents, abandoned his major of political science and economics to pursue acting. Keach started with Shakespeare, which took him from a festival in Oregon to studying classical theater in England. Today, Keach teaches acting via Skype and his only true regret is not experiencing more of the great outdoors. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 03, 2014
Peter Frampton and Thom Yorke
3707
Grammy-winning guitarist Peter Frampton says, “Sound is very inspirational to me." And it always has been—Frampton started playing guitar before he was 8 years old. He talks about his musical roots in England, playing in bands like The Preachers and The Herd. At age 14 he was playing at a recording session produced by Bill Wyman, who he says is “sort of like my mentor, my older brother.” Just eleven years later, Frampton was on stage in San Francisco, recording Frampton Comes Alive—one of the biggest-selling live albums of all times. Frampton also talks about the challenges of his extraordinary achievement: “I don’t think anybody can be ready for that kind of success.” Thom Yorke, Radiohead and Atoms for Peace frontman, admits that, even after over 25 years in the business, performing is “either wicked fun or really awful.” He talks with Alec about his pre-show ritual—"I stand on my head for a bit"—and how he and his bandmates have been able to stick together since they were teenagers.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 20, 2014
Lena Dunham and Elaine Stritch
3706
Dunham, the creator of HBO’s GIRLS, says when she was younger, she thought she’d be a "Gender and Women’s Studies teacher who showed movies at the occasional film festival." Instead she's trying to figure out what to wear to shoot the cover of Rolling Stone. Dunham talks with Alec about getting a dog and her first date with her boyfriend Jack Antonoff. She’s not ready for children—yet—but they are on her mind: “I was raised to think that the two most important things you could do in your life were to have a passionate, generous relationship to your work and to raise children.” In 2013, Alec sat down with the late stage and screen veteran who, among many famous roles, played his mother Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock. Stritch spoke to Alec about her transition from the Sacred Heart Convent and finishing school to finding herself in the New York theater classes sitting between Walter Matthau and Marlon Brando. She performed for nearly 70 years and throughout career, Stritch comments, "I was the funny kind of offbeat girl. I was never the romantic lead.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 06, 2014
Billy Joel, Revisited
3752
Billy Joel has sold more records than The Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna—though the “rock star thing” is something he can “take off.” Joel started playing piano when he was about four or five years old, but he admits that he doesn't remember how to read sheet music anymore. He says it’d be like reading Chinese. That doesn't stop the third best-selling solo artist of all time in the U.S. from plunking out a few tunes with Alec. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 28, 2013
Jerry Seinfeld
3183
This week Alec sits down with comedian Jerry Seinfeld who debuted on HBO in 1981, the same year he first appeared on Johnny Carson. Jerry Seinfeld was 27 years old. Seinfeld's material stood out. It wasn't about his upbringing or personal relationships. It was about our universal experience of small things. Eight years after his HBO debut, he and Larry David created a weekly series that changed both their lives. After Seinfeld ran for nine seasons, Seinfeld went back to stand-up, and to his audience. As he explains to Alec, Seinfeld feels uniquely connected to his fans: “You have this relationship with the audience that is private between you and them. Critics want to write, people want to talk. We have our own thing that nobody can break … once you build that it can't be broken by outside forces.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 14, 2013
James Toback
2803
James Toback and Alec joined forces to make the documentary Seduced and Abandoned, which began as a story about raising money for a film. However, it soon became a study of the tension between art and commerce and how difficult it has become to secure financing for independent films.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 30, 2013
Chris Columbus
3340
Chris Columbus has brought to the screen some of the biggest American family films in the last 20 years: Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, and Mrs. Doubtfire. He also produced and directed the first two Harry Potter films and produced the third as well. Despite this success, Columbus admits that he “always, to this day, [feels] like [he’s] gonna walk on a movie and get fired.” He reveals to Alec what it was like working with brilliant improvisers like John Candy and Robin Williams—and casting Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 16, 2013
Danny Bennett
2448
Danny Bennett has spent the past thirty years managing the career of his dad, Tony Bennett and has produced a film following his father's life entitled The Zen of Bennett. It was Danny who helped bring his dad’s music to a younger generation, through appearances on SNL, The Simpsons, and Late Night with Conan O’Brian—and the series of Duets albums, which feature Tony Bennett singing with the likes of Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand and Amy Winehouse. Duets II debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making Tony Bennett—at 85 years old—the oldest living artist to do so. As Danny says, “I don’t just handle a career, I manage a legacy.” Last year Danny produced a film called The Zen of Bennett, which followed his dad throughout the recording of the Duets II album. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 02, 2013
Dan Mathews
3002
Dan Mathews is in favor of going naked instead of wearing fur. That makes sense considering he is Senior Vice President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He sits down with Alec to discuss his battles (and victories) with the fashion industry and he explains why PETA actually owns stock in Kentucky Fried Chicken. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 19, 2013
Eric Fischl
3426
Eric Fischl became known in the 1980s art scene for work that explores issues of sexuality and power and what it means to become a man. Alec talks to Fischl about his memoir, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas, where the painter writes candidly about his youth, the art world, his own struggles with depression and substance abuse, and his thoughts about the creative process. Fischl started as an abstract painter, but as he explains to Alec, once he began to work with figures, he realized he was “doing the work that [he] was supposed to do, that [he] was built for.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 05, 2013
Dwight Gooden
3082
Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden earned the Rookie of the Year Award in 1984. He was 19 years old with a blistering fastball and a notoriously deceptive curve ball. His outstanding first three years in Major League Baseball were soon replaced by very public battles with alcohol and cocaine which continued for much of his professional career. At 40, Gooden served ten months in a state prison for drug-related charges. That was a decade ago. More recently he published a book, Doc: A Memoir. Gooden watches football now and hasn't touched a baseball or a drink in years.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 22, 2013
Josh Fox
3586
Josh Fox didn't set out to be a documentary filmmaker. And in 2008, when Fox was canvasing for Barack Obama, hydraulic fracturing meant nothing to him. Things changed when Fox’s parents were offered nearly $100,000 to lease their Pennsylvania land for drilling rights. After seeing people light their contaminated well water on fire, Fox made a film called Gasland, which explores the impact of hydraulic fracturing on everyday Americans. It showcased at Sundance in 2010. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 08, 2013
Rosie O'Donnell
3189
This week, Alec sits down with Rosie O’Donnell who says she “never wanted to be a talk show host … I wanted to be on Broadway…I wanted to be a Bette Midler backup singer, one of the Harlettes.” And for over three decades, Rosie has done a lot of things – she’s been a standup comic, a Star Search contestant, an actress, a talk show host, a philanthropist, an activist, a magazine editor, a blogger, a Broadway and television producer, and above all, a mom to five. The latest child, Rosie tells Alec, "rebirthed" her. On changes in the acceptance of gay actors during the arc of her long career now, she says, "To think that in my lifetime, in my career, that you can be an out performer/actor playing against type – Neil Patrick Harris playing a womanizer on that show, being out and married with twin boys – and it doesn't hurt your career. It doesn't do anything. So in a way it's the most beautifully astounding, inspirational thing that I can think about in my 51 years of living." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 24, 2013
David Simon
3013
David Simon cut his teeth as a crime reporter for The Baltimore Sun. When the newspaper industry began to collapse, Simon started writing for television. The Wire was born, and Simon hasn't gone back. Simon has a much larger platform now for sharing his strong opinions on the U.S. war on drugs, but he admits he still misses reporting.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 10, 2013
Stacy Keach
2830
Stacy Keach’s dad was an actor, director and a producer. He had hoped his son would be a lawyer. Keach eventually wore down his parents, abandoned his major of political science and economics to pursue acting. Keach started with Shakespeare, which took him from a festival in Oregon to studying classical theater in England. Today, Keach teaches acting via Skype and his only true regret is not experiencing more of the great outdoors. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 27, 2013
Elaine Stritch
2817
In 2013, Alec sat down with the late stage and screen veteran who, among many famous roles, played his mother Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock. Stritch spoke to Alec about her transition from the Sacred Heart Convent and finishing school to finding herself in the New York theater classes sitting between Walter Matthau and Marlon Brando. She performed for nearly 70 years and throughout career, Stritch comments, "I was the funny kind of offbeat girl. I was never the romantic lead.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 13, 2013
Martin Horn
2803
Former New York City Commissioner of Correction and Probation, Martin Horn has held every job imaginable in corrections: from debating the fairness of a state’s sentencing guidelines to fixing leaky water pipes in aging facilities. Horn tells Alec that his opinion toward inmates was formed from his early years as a parole officer: “every one of them was just a normal, ordinary guy … who had made bad judgments.” Though, nowadays Martin Horn has moved on: "It was a fascinating career. I am absolutely glad I’m done."  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 29, 2013
Debbie Reynolds
2944
Debbie Reynolds has been in show business for over six decades. She talks to Alec about her big break in Singing in the Rain. “I slept in my dressing room,” recalls Reynolds. “I didn't take any days off because I’d practice on Saturday and Sunday.” Reynolds went on to appear in Tammy and the Bachelor, The Unsinkable Molly Brown—and more recently, Mother. Reynolds talks about working with different directors and says she’s not one to hold a grudge, but warns that she does have a memory like an elephant. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 15, 2013
Thom Yorke
3345
Thom Yorke, Radiohead and Atoms for Peace frontman, admits that, even after over 25 years in the business, performing is “either wicked fun or really awful.” He talks with Alec about his pre-show ritual—"I stand on my head for a bit"—and how he and his bandmates have been able to stick together since they were teenagers.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 01, 2013
Andrew Luck
2411
In 2012, Andrew Luck was in his final year at Stanford University when he learned he was the top NFL draft pick. Luck, a self-proclaimed nerd, talks with Alec about going from being an unknown high school football hero to replacing his childhood idol, Peyton Manning. Off the field, Luck is passionate about travel, architecture and movies. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 18, 2013
Brian Williams
3532
As a kid, Brian Williams grew up in a CBS household. Dinner didn't start until Cronkite was done. He didn't think journalism was attainable, but his work ethic and blue blazer opened doors. From White House intern to young television reporter, Williams eventually found his way back to New York. On the job, Williams keeps his opinions quiet. Off the clock, Williams still enjoys vestiges of his youth: NASCAR and Spam. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 04, 2013
Patti LuPone
3011
Patti LuPone was only four years old when she realized she belonged on stage, and she started by entertaining family members in her Long Island living room. LuPone won her second Tony Award for Evita, which she initially described as merely “noise from Britain.” Although she has enjoyed tremendous, long-term success, she talks candidly to Alec about blows to her career and ego.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 18, 2013
Jill Abramson
2590
In this 2013 interview with Alec, the former New York Times executive editor talked about how she grew up in a family where the paper was so vaunted that two copies were delivered to her house. Some media critics have speculated that this interview may have been a factor in Abramson's dismissal. Abramson was the first woman to hold the top editorial position at the paper. She told Alec that she took a “particular interest in the careers and work of many of the younger women at The Times and ... if anyone [had] a problem with that, too bad.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 04, 2013
Lena Dunham
2788
Dunham, the creator of HBO’s GIRLS, says when she was younger, she thought she’d be a "Gender and Women’s Studies teacher who showed movies at the occasional film festival." Instead she's trying to figure out what to wear to shoot the cover of Rolling Stone. Dunham talks with Alec about getting a dog and her first date with her boyfriend Jack Antonoff. She’s not ready for children—yet—but they are on her mind: “I was raised to think that the two most important things you could do in your life were to have a passionate, generous relationship to your work and to raise children.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 21, 2013
Judd Apatow
2486
This week Alec talks with Judd Apatow, whose films include ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ ‘Knocked Up,’ and ‘Funny People;’ all of which feature emotionally immature men forced to grow up after confronting, respectively -- sex, responsibility and death. Of all Apatow’s movies, his most recent, “This is 40”, which opened the weekend before Christmas, may be his most personal and stars his wife, Leslie Mann, and their two daughters. Apatow talks with Alec about working with some of his heroes, like Albert Brooks: “obviously I’m terrified ‘cause I’m working with someone who’s clearly more talented than me.” For Apatow, each movie he makes is “a letter to myself telling me something that I need to know about how to live my life." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 07, 2013
Alex and Jamie Bernstein
2948
This week Alec sits down with Jamie and Alex Bernstein, to hear about growing up with the maestro, Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein had three children: Jamie, Alexander and Nina. And while they knew him in the tux and tails, they also knew him as the dad who loved games – he was a killer at anagrams – and always up for tennis or squash or skiing or touch football. Jamie and Alexander talk to Alec about listening to music – Jamie says she learned “more about music by listening to The Beatles with my dad than I think I did any other way” – and how their father's relationship to fame evolved during his lifetime. Alex remembers his dad saying, “I’m so sick of Leonard Bernstein. I’ve had it with him." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 24, 2012
Lewis Lapham
2872
This week Alec talks with Lewis Lapham, who's been refining his prose for over 50 years. Lapham says he still has to write “three or four or five, sometimes eight drafts of something,” but takes pleasure in “getting it right.” Today, he’s at the helm of Lapham’s Quarterly. He was at Harper’s for many years – and he started out at The San Francisco Examiner before stints at The Saturday Evening Post and Life. To talk with Lewis Lapham, you’re struck with the sensation that you’ve stumbled onto the set of a 1940’s film noir movie. He wears pressed suits and pocket squares -- and his stories evoke another era. He tells Alec about being a rookie reporter at The Examiner and what it was like to go on a meditation retreat with the Beatles in India. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 10, 2012
Chris Rock
1365
Chris Rock says he "wanted [his] acting to grow." So what did he do? He took a job on Broadway. Alec goes backstage with Rock after a matinee of The Mother F**ker With The Hat to hear about what it was like for Rock to be in his first play. Rock says rehearsal was the hardest thing he's ever gone through in his life. Chris Rock and Alec talk about the play, the movie business, and Rock's career in stand-up. Alec asks Rock about how the people in his life respond to his stand-up -- which as Alec says, can "filet them on stage." "I'm like a lawyer," says Rock; "it would all hold up in court." That said, he admits that everybody is uncomfortable. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 05, 2012
Paula Pell
2780
This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks with writer Paula Pell – who has been making people laugh at Saturday Night Live for the last 17 years. Pell landed her dream job as a writer at SNL after working at a Florida theme park. Her agent told her that Lorne Michaels wanted to meet her – “it is not an audition, but he wants to fly you up and talk to you.” Pell wasn’t sure what she was headed up for, but she got a job writing for the show. Because of her longevity on the show, Pell calls herself “Nanny SNL,” but she’s the first to admit, “if you have a good night there you feel like you’re 20 again.” Today, Pell also spends time writing for movies -- she’s an executive producer on the upcoming "This is 40." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 26, 2012
Andrew McCarthy
2511
This week Alec talks with Andrew McCarthy – about making movies, directing, and what it’s like to reinvent oneself as a travel writer. Most people know McCarthy for his roles in "St. Elmo’s Fire" and "Pretty in Pink" – as a member of the “Brat Pack" -- but those movies were only one stop on Andrew McCarthy’s journey. Almost 20 years ago, McCarthy discovered that traveling the world was the perfect antidote to the fame and exposure that came with his acting career.  He has spent much of the last decade writing about his experiences in distant and exotic lands.  McCarthy talks with Baldwin about his new book, called The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 05, 2012
Peter Beard and Richard Ruggiero
2528
This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks with two men who have spent much of their lives living and working in Africa. Photographer Peter Beard first set foot on the continent in 1955. Richard Ruggiero, of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, began his Peace Corps stint in 1981 in the northern Central African Republic. “We are enemies of nature,” says Beard, whose photographs have documented the destruction of wildlife in Africa, including the plight of the African Elephant, the very topic of Ruggiero’s doctoral dissertation. Ruggiero continues to work in Africa today and says the situation with elephant poaching right now is a “nightmare.” That says, says Ruggiero, “People are the problem, but they are also the solution.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 22, 2012
David Brooks
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This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks with David Brooks on stage at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in Manhattan as part of the Public Forum series. David Brooks has been a New York Times op-ed columnist since 2003. He is known as a Conservative voice -- he was a senior editor at The Weekly Standard -- but former Obama advisor David Axelrod described him as a “true public thinker.” Join Baldwin and Brooks on stage at Joe's Pub for a wide-ranging conversation: Brooks tells Baldwin about writing a humor column in college; about William F. Buckley’s “capacity for friendship” and about his evolution of opinion toward the Iraq war. They debate fracking -- Brooks says, "I am where President Obama is. So I'm a good Democrat on this issue." Brooks wonders about the possibility of Hillary Clinton in 2016; and he explains to Baldwin his basic feeling about college education: "Every course you take in college should be about who to marry." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 08, 2012
George Will
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This week, Alec talks with Pulitzer-prize winner George Will, whose passion for politics began early: he remembers Truman’s election when he was seven years old. George Will is a political conservative, but he’s not afraid to direct criticism to the right. Will analyzes the current election for Alec – this isn’t a “slam-dunk for either side,” he says, and offers some historical perspective on the current animosity in political life. “We've been through really violent times,” says Will, “and we're in one of those periods now. And it will burn over.” With over 40 years in political journalism, George Will is a voice worth listening to. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 24, 2012
Fred Armisen
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This week, Alec talks with Fred Armisen. Armisen has been a punk rock drummer, currently he’s a cast member on Saturday Night Live and is also the co-creator and co-star of IFC’s Portlandia. Armisen has always been ambitious; when he was a drummer, he recalls, he always "wanted much more." Long ago, Armisen played drums with the Blue Man Group in Chicago and he tells Alec he learned a lot: about "simplicity," "reinvention" and "that audiences want to be entertained." Armisen admits that he’s always working; when SNL is on hiatus, he’s producing Portlandia. But he still dreams about what might come next: "I want to invent a type of entertainment that is really blurry between comedy and something else. That doesn’t have a name yet...another level of fooling people as opposed to just doing a character. Something a little bigger than that." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Sep 10, 2012
Zarin Mehta
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This week, Alec talks with Zarin Mehta who retired as president and executive director of the New York Philharmonic at the end of this past season. Mehta, an accountant by trade, grew up in 1940’s Bombay before it became the booming city of Mumbai. In Mehta’s memory, Bombay was more like a colonial fishing village. Mehta talks with Alec about his father, who founded the Bombay Symphony Orchestra, his brother Zubin, and the realities of running a major arts organization in New York.  As Mehta states, “Look, in the United States one does not look to the state for support of the arts.”  Alec also talks with Carmen Mehta, Zarin Mehta's wife, and she offers her own insights into Mehta’s success. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 27, 2012
Anthony Baxter and Dylan Avery
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This week, Alec talks with documentary filmmakers Anthony Baxter and Dylan Avery – each of whom has made a controversial political films, one about a golf course in Scotland; the other about whether 9/11 was a government cover-up. Both films were made on meager budgets and both have attracted significant attention. Dylan Avery’s film, Loose Change, became an internet sensation and spawned a “Truther Movement” composed of people that believe that the government’s version of 9/11 is a lie. Anthony Baxter’s You’ve Been Trumped has given voice to people around the world who are fighting encroaching developments.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Aug 13, 2012
Billy Joel
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This week on Here’s the Thing – Alec sits down with fellow Long Islander Billy Joel – at the piano – for a conversation about life and the musical choices he’s made. Joel joined his first band at age 14 and became the third best selling solo artist of all time in the United States. He’s sold more records than The Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna, but at this point, he says, the “rock star thing” is something he can “take off.” “I go shopping, I cook my own food, I wash the dishes, I take out the garbage … And the music has nothing to do with money or career. It’s just part of me. It’s like love.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 30, 2012
Peter Frampton
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This week on Here’s the Thing, Alec talks with Grammy-winning guitarist Peter Frampton. “Sound is very inspirational to me,” explains Frampton – and it always has been: he started playing guitar before he was 8 years old. Frampton talks about his musical roots in England, playing in bands like The Preachers and The Herd. At age 14 he was playing at a recording session produced by Bill Wyman, who he says is “sort of like my mentor, my older brother.” Eleven years later, Frampton was on stage in San Francisco, recording "Frampton Comes Alive," one of the biggest selling live albums of all times. Frampton also talks about the challenges of his extraordinary success: “I don’t think anybody can be ready for that kind of success,” explains Frampton. Peter Frampton recently completed a 35th anniversary tour of Frampton Comes Alive – a DVD will be available later this year.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 16, 2012
Robert Lustig
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This week, Alec talks with Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UC San Francisco, about our country’s addiction to sugar. Children today are the first American generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, in large part due to obesity. According to Lustig, this obesity often comes from eating too much sugar. Sugar is hard to avoid. A recent study reveals that 80 percent of the 600,000 food items in America are laced with added sugar. Lustig says, “There is not one biochemical reaction in your body, not one, that requires dietary fructose, not one that requires sugar. Dietary sugar is completely irrelevant to life. People say oh, you need sugar to live. Garbage.” Dr. Robert Lustig has made it his business to get the rest of the world to pay attention.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jul 02, 2012
David Letterman
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This week on Here's The Thing, Alec talks with late-night legend David Letterman. Letterman describes his early years on TV in Indiana; his decision to try radio despite a boss who said “You will never be heard of again”; and his eventual journey to LA where after 3 years at comedy clubs he found himself on The Tonight Show. As Letterman says, "that's not supposed to happen." Letterman’s been doing the Late Show for 30 years and he says for a long time he “just didn’t do anything else.” Things have changed now, he tells Alec; he has “no patience for meetings” and he avoids making decisions on the show. Dave is also taking time to explore the world with his 8-year old son: “when you have a child you do things you never thought you would do, and it’s fun.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 18, 2012
Jon Robin Baitz
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This week Alec talks with playwright Jon Robin Baitz, whose Broadway play, Other Desert Cities, is up for a Tony later this month. Baitz grew up in Brazil and South Africa -- transferring to Beverly Hills High School for his final year of school where he says he “became friends ... with fellow freaks.” He’s been writing ever since -- even though “writing plays has always been very tricky.” Baitz talks about the origin of the new play, his short-lived adventures writing for television in Hollywood, and the relief of coming back to the American theater. For Baitz, “it’s a privilege to be in [the theater]. I’m lucky to have found my way back to it.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jun 04, 2012
Renée Fleming
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This week Alec talks with opera singer Renée Fleming, whose singing voice has been described as "double cream." Fleming remembers her professional debut -- “I was just jelly at the end of the first rehearsal” -- and celebrates her long association with The Metropolitan Opera. Fleming talks about performing and the challenges of being heard, without amplification, over an orchestra, but also about the pleasure of being in the audience “where I have literally been sobbing at the end” of an opera. Music excerpts included in Here’s the Thing’s conversation with Renée Fleming (in order of appearance): “Glück, das mir verblieb (Marietta’s Lied)” from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt (Live performance from the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala, March 15, 2009; Conductor: James Levine) “I’ll Be Seeing You” (Renée Fleming with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble/”Arranger’s Holiday” recorded Fall 1981 (archive tape courtesy Renée Fleming; special thanks to Ed Fleming) "Contessa, perdono!" from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Houston Grand Opera. Conductor; Christoph Eschenbach. 1991 “Glück, das mir verblieb (Marietta’s Lied)” from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt  (Live performance from the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala, March 15, 2009; Conductor: James Levine) “Dis-moi que je suis belle” from Massenet’s Thaïs (Live Met performance, December 20th, 2008; Conductor: Jesús López-Cobos) “Hab’ mir’s gelobt” from Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (Live Met performance, January 9, 2010, with Susan Graham as Octavian and Christine Schäfer as Sophie; Conductor: Edo de Waart) “Mio caro bene” from Handel’s Rodelinda (Live Met performance, January 1, 2005; Conductor: Harry Bicket) Finale from Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (Live Met performance, March 26, 2011; Conductor: Andris Nelsons) Finale from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Live Met performance, February 12, 1994, with Dwayne Croft (Count Almaviva), Marie McLaughlin (Susanna), James Morris (Figaro), Jane Bunnell (Cherubino), François Loup (Dr. Bartolo), Judith Christin (Marcellina), Michel Sénéchal (Don Basilio), James Courtney (Antonio), and Korliss Uecker (Barbarina); Conductor: Julius Rudel) Special thanks this week to The Metropolitan Opera and the Houston Grand Opera for providing archival musical excerpts. In particular, thanks to Peter Clark, Mary Jo Heath, Brent Ness, Sam Neuman, Elena Park, and Claire Vince. And thanks to Paul Batsel at the Office of Renée Fleming. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 21, 2012
Joseph Stiglitz
1946
This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks about the financial crisis with Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist. Stiglitz shows no restraint when unleashing criticism of presidential policies -- on both sides. Of President Barack Obama’s financial-industry rescue plan, Stiglitz said that whomever designed it was "either in the pocket of the banks or … incompetent." Stiglitz talks to Alec about growing up in Gary, Indiana and how that impacted his decision to become an economist. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
May 07, 2012
Robert Osborne
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This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks with Robert Osborne, host of Turner Classic Movies. Today Osborne plays the role of ambassador to a bygone era. We hear the journey he took to get there -- which could have been a classic movie itself. Osborne tells Alec about meeting Lucille Ball: “If it had been Lana Turner I met or somebody I wouldn't have been able to talk, but it was Lucille Ball.” Nonetheless, Ball ended up playing an influential role in Osborne’s life, encouraging him to pursue writing over acting. Later Osborne explains some of the challenges he faced at The Hollywood Reporter, when he found himself writing what was really supposed to be a gossip column: “I never felt comfortable intruding upon people that wanted to keep a secret. Because I think secrets are important to have.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 23, 2012
Kristen Wiig
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Alec talks with Kristen Wiig -- who catered, did floral design, answered phones at a law firm and handed out peach samples at a farmer’s market -- all before landing her current gig, as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Kristen says she loves performing, but admits there’s also a “big part of me that’s just like: don’t look at me.” Kristen talks about auditioning for SNL, and the prospect of life beyond SNL: “I mean that’s my family, it’s my heart, it’s New York to me.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 09, 2012
Herb Alpert
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Alec talks with Herb Alpert, legendary trumpeter and co-founder of A&M Records, the independent record label Alpert eventually sold to Polygram. In 1966, Alpert’s band, The Tijuana Brass sold over 13 million records, outselling The Beatles. Alpert talks about the thrill of signing musicians like The Carpenters, Cat Stevens, and The Police but also reveals what it was like to lose -- and slowly regain -- his trumpet voice over a period of nearly 8 years. The struggle was so intense it made him question everything: “I just want[ed] to find out who I am and why I’m here. Everybody is looking for the same thing: a life of purpose and meaning.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 26, 2012
Kathleen Turner
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Kathleen Turner made her film debut 30 years ago in the blockbuster thriller, Body Heat. Since then, she’s been leading lady in numerous films and on stage and she’s earned Tony nominations for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Turner sits down with Alec to talk directors – from stage and screen; raising a daughter in New York; dealing with rheumatoid arthritis; and her passion for performance: “If I couldn’t act, I’d just curl up, shrivel up and die … I can’t live without it.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 12, 2012
Dick Cavett
1941
Alec visits with Dick Cavett at his house on Long Island – a place called Tick Hall. They survey the view: stunning. Meet Riley the dog: cute, if "neurotic," says Cavett. Then go inside to drink iced tea and hear about Cavett's career in television. Cavett shares some of his memories with Alec: meeting Orson Welles in the lobby of the Plaza; talking with Marlon Brando by phone -- “I was told he would [call] at a certain time and we talked with the sun about 15 degrees above the horizon until well after the moon had risen;” and interviewing Laurence Olivier in the Wyndham Hotel when, Cavett says, he was feeling so depressed “I just want[ed] to go home and get under the rug.” Dick Cavett is the master of talk, a television legend; in this conversation, he shows Alec why his career has spanned nearly five decades. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 27, 2012
Rob Morris
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Alec talks with Rob Morris, president and co-founder of Love 146, an organization that fights to prevent child sex slavery and provide aftercare for its victims. The numbers around the child sex trafficking industry are staggering. Over a million children are sold into this multi-billion dollar industry each year. As Rob explains to Alec, he sees behind the numbers: “This is not about an issue, this is not about a cause. This is somebody’s daughter, this is about somebody’s son. Little boy. Little girl.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 13, 2012
Lorne Michaels
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Lorne Michaels is one of the most influential figures in American entertainment. Alec goes to Rockefeller Center to visit Michaels in his office – the same office he’s had since 1975, when he created Saturday Night Live. Michaels went on to launch the careers of some of the biggest names in comedy: Belushi, Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey … the list goes on and on and on. “The only way you can manage creative people is with very loose reigns,” says Michaels. He says he works with “people at the point of their career where nothing matters but the work … people just completely devote themselves to the show.” Lorne Michaels is the rare producer in that he’s truly involved in all aspects of production, yet he says when he does his job right, he leaves no fingerprints. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 30, 2012
Joe Berlinger
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Alec talks with director Joe Berlinger about his latest film for HBO Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory -- the third film in a series of documentaries about a crime that took place 18 years ago in rural Arkansas. Berlinger says, “We made these three movies as acts of advocacy” – which is not his usual style as a long-time documentary filmmaker. “I believe the audience should be treated like a jury. You give them the information, you weigh both sides, and you let them come to their own conclusion.” These films were different, acknowledges Berlinger: “We clearly have a point of view that there is a huge injustice.” Early in his career, Berlinger worked for famed documentarians David and Albert Maysles. He says the Maysles brothers taught him about “The act of faith about making a film about real life as it’s unfolding.” Berlinger is known for his documentary work, has dabbled in features, but says he’d “love another opportunity to do a feature at some point, but, you know, I’m just used to being the author of my own work, being totally in control.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 16, 2012
Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast
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Alec talks with writer Erica Jong and her daughter Molly Jong-Fast about sex, divorce, and the impact of sexuality on young women today. Erica has been through 3 divorces – she’s on her fourth marriage.  She says “Divorce was the hardest thing [she] ever went through … Divorce is terrible. Divorce is difficult. We have no rules for it. It's so incredibly painful. Molly – still on her first marriage – says she’s learned “marriage is incredibly hard work.” Molly and Erica spar about the legacy of the feminist movement – but Molly concludes that her mother’s own legacy is about being honest. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Jan 02, 2012
Stephen Daldry
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Alec sits down with director Stephen Daldry, whose new movie, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," opens on Christmas Day. Stephen offers a window into his past – from training as a clown and driving giraffes through Pompeii to being serenaded with Billy Elliot songs by a persistent Elton John. Alec and Stephen trade notes on acting styles -- and whether being Mayor – of New York or London – would be satisfying. Stephen says he makes work “to change the world;” Alec’s no longer sure change is possible.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 21, 2011
Kris Kardashian Jenner
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Alec talks with Kris Kardashian Jenner, the self-described “momager” of the Kardashian clan. Kris explains what it’s like to live and work with her family: “you can’t get more controlling than that.” Kris describes her family’s retail roots--her grandmother owned a candle store, her mother opened a store, and Kris herself, along with her daughters, opened two clothing stores. “I sold t-shirts,” says Kris. “This is what I did all day long.” For Kris, a reality show like Keeping Up with the Kardashians was a no-brainer: “if somebody says, we could...shine a camera on your shop every day, hello, I’m signing up.” Kris tells Alec her daughters are surprisingly frugal--they have taught her about business and work ethic. She thinks she’s taught them about drive. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 21, 2011
Ed Rollins
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Alec Baldwin talks with political strategist Ed Rollins. A boxing phenom as a kid, Rollins went on to work on six presidential campaigns. He talks to Alec about his recent work with Michele Bachmann, offers new insight into Ronald Reagan’s legacy and shares some of his personal history – of a Democratic bent. “Pretend I’m your priest,” says Ed Rollins, when he starts to work with prospective candidates. Rollins encourages his clients to tell him everything – even still, he tells Alec, “they always lie.” Rollins tells Alec what is really required of a president and talks about some of the candidates he has helped run for office. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Nov 07, 2011
Michael Douglas
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Michael Douglas invites host Alec Baldwin into his New York apartment for a compelling conversation about what makes a great director, a smart producer, and why playing the villain is so wonderful. Douglas reveals how competition with his father, legendary actor Kirk Douglas, shaped both his career and his life as a parent, telling Alec, “I’m much more honest with my seven-year-old daughter than I ever thought I would be.” Listen in as Douglas also discloses how his father’s early brush with death and his own cancer diagnosis affected them each in different ways. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Oct 24, 2011