Here's The Thing
This week Alec sits down with Elaine Stritch, the veteran actress of stage and screen, who among many famous roles, played his mother Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock. READ | Full Transcript Stritch tells Alec about her transition from the Sacret Heart Convent and finishing school to finding herself in the New York theater classes sitting between Walter Mathau and Marlon Brando and going away for weekends to Palm Springs with Kirk Douglas.
This week Alec sits down with Martin Horn, 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. Read | Full Transcript 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.” Today Martin...
Debbie Reynolds sits down with Alec to look back on her over six decades in show business. She talks 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.” READ | Full Transcript 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 andsays she’s not one to hold a grudge,...
This week Alec sits down with Thom Yorke, the front man of Radiohead, who has a new album, Amok, with the music project Atoms for Peace. Even after over 25 years in the business, Yorke admits performing is “either wicked fun or really awful.” He talks with Alec about what he does before going on stage and how he and his bandmates have been able to stick together since they were teenagers. READ | Interview Transcript
This week Alec talks with Andrew Luck, the number one draft pick in the National Football League last year. Luck talks about the challenges of going from studying architecture at Stanford to playing in the Pros. Luck’s father was a player in the NFL, so he had some sense of what to expect, but even Luck acknowledges that his new teammates “are the apex of physical freaks.” Life with the Indianapolis Colts was a whole new level of play for Andrew Luck. READ | Interview Transcript
This week Alec sits down with NBC’s Brian Williams to hear about his first job in front of the camera, in Pittsburg, Kansas, when dinner most nights was Spam and a fried egg – and what it took to get him to host Saturday Night Live: “I worried that I was going to flush 25 years of all I knew ... my credibility, down the toilet.” Brian tells Alec his childhood was a “grindingly middle class upbringing:” salad was iceberg lettuce with a spoonful of mayo on top. He went on to become host of NBC...
This week, Alec sits down with Patti LuPone – who has 26 Broadway credits and two Tonys, one for Evita and one for Gypsy. Patti is known for her opinions; she’s passionate. “I love what I do,” Patti tells Alec, “I love the audience, and I love the fact that I get to do it. ... I love our craft very, very, much, and it’s a noble craft.” And Patti LuPone has perseverance. As she recounts to Alec, on the opening night of Evita, she had the flu and threw up in the sink.More than 20 years later,...
This week Alec talks with the Executive Editor ofThe New York Times,Jill Abramson. She grew up in a family that was steeped in The New York Times: two copies were delivered to her house. Her mother wanted her own for the crossword. Jill is the first woman to hold the top editorial position at the paper. She tells Alec that she takes a “particular interest in the careers and work of many of the younger women at The Times and ...if anyone has a problem with that, too bad.” READ | Interview...
This week, Alec talks with Lena Dunham, whose hit show on HBO, "Girls," just started its second season. Three years ago, Dunham made a low-budget art house film called "Tiny Furniture."Last week "Girls" took home two Golden Globes. Dunham tells Alec she never imagined she’d encounter the success she has. She says she thought she’d be a “weird Gender and Women’s Studies teacher who occasionally showed movies at film festivals,” and instead she's trying to figure out what to wear to shoot the...
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...
Alex and Jamie Bernstein
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...
This week Alec talks with Lewis Lapham, whose 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...
This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks with writer Paula Pell – whose been making people laugh at Saturday Night Live for the last 17 years. She landed her dream job as a writer at SNL after working at a Florida theme park. Her agent said Lorne Michaels wanted to meet her – “it is not an audition, but he wants to fly you up and talk to you.” She wasn’t sure what she was headed up for, but Paula Pell got the job. Because of her longevity on the show, Paula calls herself “Nanny SNL,” but...
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 -- was a senior editor at The Weekly Standard -- but former Obama advisor David Axelrod described him as a “true public thinker.” Join Alec and David on stage at Joe's Pub for a wide-ranging conversation: David tells Alec about writing a...
Preview: Dick Cavett
Coming up next week on Here’s the Thing, Alec visits with the master of talk, Dick Cavett, at his house on Long Island. They discuss Marlon Brando, interviewing Laurence Olivier, and meeting Orson Welles. Listen here to what Dick was like as a very early talker, in Comstock, Nebraska.
Preview: Lorne Michaels
In the next episode of Here's the Thing, Alec goes to Rockefeller Center to visit Lorne Michaels in his office – the same office Michaels has had since 1975, when he created Saturday Night Live and from which he has launched the careers of some of the biggest names in comedy. Listen to a preview of Lorne talking about what it's like to produce Saturday Night Live -- week after week.
READ | Interview Transcript 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...
Kris Kardashian Jenner
READ | Interview Transcript 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...
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...
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 then I ever thought I would be.” Listen in as Douglas also discloses how his father’s early brush with...
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In WNYC’s new podcast series, award-winning actor Alec Baldwin gives the listener unique entre into the lives of artists, policy makers and performers. Alec sidesteps the predictable by taking listeners inside the dressing rooms, apartments, and offices of people such as comedian Chris Rock, political strategist Ed Rollins and Oscar winner Michael Douglas. Every two weeks, Alec pursues great conversations in unexpected places to find out what motivates his guests, how they feel about what...
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