I fell down the rabbit hole a long time ago regarding podcasts. There’s an amazing world of great conversations, interviews…great entertainment and information. I’m planning on doing a podcast sooner than later though increasingly, its later…and later (more on this in a later post).
One of my favorites is Alec Baldwin’s podcast “Here’s The Thing” out of WNYC in New York. Its actually been on the air since 2011, though, late to the party as I often am, I started listening regularly less than a year ago. I’ve been a fan of Baldwin’s since I first saw him in Hunt for Red October (particularly this scene, and while we’re at it, this is another fave scene), various other movies, and numerous Saturday Night Live appearances. And he was brilliant on 30 Rock (easily one of the best sitcoms of all-time), whip-fast delivery, funny and endearing even though his characterJack Donaghy is a pompous parody of an over-stuffed, right-wing CEO. And speaking of 30 Rock and Baldwin, here’s one of the funniest-ever scenes, with Tracy Morgan.
Baldwin is often a crank whose and who seems like he can be a downright pain in the ass – witness those terrible voice mail messages to his daughter that leaked a few years back and numerous ugly run-ins with NYC paparazzi and ranting Tweets. However, he’s also extremely smart and a great conversationalist, and both attributes are utilized perfectly on Here’s The Thing. He’s a damn good interviewer…inquisitive, and always very knowledgeable about the person he’s talking to, enabling some real in-depth conversations, that never feel forced. This is the kind of interviewing I love – where its more of an actual conversation. Charlie Rose first comes to mind when thinking about another interview show. though for me, he’s too staid. And of course, there’s Jon Stewart (but not for much longer!). Outside of that…the late night folks – Letterman, Kimmel, Fallon, O’Brien are great at what they do – but the guests on those shows are only there to talk about their movie, project, etc.
Here’s The Thing has had an amazing variety of guests – scroll the archives too see just how amazing. Regardless of the guest, you’ll likely be interested in what they have to say, thanks to the conversational style and tone. For example, I never really gave much thought to the magician David Blaine, but was fascinated by his hard and sad upbringing, and how, very early on, he found his passion doing magic. My favorite interviews all tend to be with New Yorkers – John McEnroe, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, the aforementioned Blaine – as Baldwin is also a native New Yorker the conversations tend to be more relaxed, and for me very relatable – the settings are certainly familiar. Baldwin telling the story of how in community college in Long Island he acted in a “Streetcar Named Desire” with an heir to the Pergament retail fortune had me rolling. Another interesting and recent guest was actress Edie Falco (Sopranos, Nurse Jackie) and until that episode I never knew that both Falco and Baldwin have had long battles with alcohol (which both have been winning).
Whether the guests is an actor, comedian, author, the conversation is sure to be interesting.