Podcast

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin brings listeners into the lives of artists, policy makers and performers.

Episodes

  • On a Zoom Call with Woody Allen

    Jun 02 2020

    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 -...more

  • New York City's Post-COVID Future

    May 19 2020

    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 Partnersh...more

  • In Memoriam: Wynn Handman

    May 14 2020

    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 a...more

  • Brian De Palma on Scarface, Mission: Impossible, and the Movie He Made in College

    May 05 2020

    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...more

  • Daryl Hall Invites Alec In

    Apr 21 2020

    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 h...more

  • In Memoriam: Patricia Bosworth

    Apr 16 2020

    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 ...more

  • Anjelica Huston on Modeling, Movie-Making, and a Life in the Spotlight

    Apr 07 2020

    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...more

  • Butch Walker's Awesomely Diverse Rock Résumé

    Mar 31 2020

    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-tin...more

  • Eliza Shapiro on School Closures, the Big Picture -- and Probably Getting Coronavirus

    Mar 20 2020

    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, Sh...more

  • Revealing Barry Sonnenfeld

    Mar 10 2020

    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 memo...more

  • The Luminous Kelli O'Hara

    Feb 25 2020

    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.

  • Russ Tamblyn, from DeMille to David Lynch

    Feb 11 2020

    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.  B...more

  • The Oscars Series, Day 5: For Sama, This Year's Most Powerful Documentary

    Feb 07 2020

    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 ord...more

  • The Oscars Series, Day 4: Spike Lee

    Feb 06 2020

    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 pu...more

  • The Oscars Series Day 3: Julianne Moore

    Feb 05 2020

    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.

  • The Oscars Series, Day 2: Cameron Crowe

    Feb 04 2020

    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 Cr...more

  • The Oscars Series, Day 1: Barbra Streisand

    Feb 03 2020

    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, ...more

  • Kantor and Twohey: The Reporters Who Broke the Harvey Weinstein Story

    Jan 21 2020

    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 wrestli...more

  • Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame

    Jan 07 2020

    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....more

  • Julie Andrews, Revisited

    Dec 24 2019

    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 th...more

  • Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story

    Dec 10 2019

    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...more

  • Is Cristina Tzintzun Texas Democrats' Best Bet for the Senate?

    Nov 26 2019

    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 b...more

  • And Another Thing, with Errol Morris

    Nov 22 2019

    Alec wanted to know a few more things about Errol Morris's work -- so he set up a call!

  • Errol Morris on Steve Bannon, Self-Loathing, and Life as a Private Eye

    Nov 12 2019

    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 ...more

  • Edward Norton on Directing – and His Directors

    Oct 29 2019

    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 t...more

  • Judith Light Once Told Her Agent, "No Soaps, No Sitcoms"

    Oct 15 2019

    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 Psycho...more

  • Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

    Oct 01 2019

    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 p...more

  • Lang Lang Plays

    Sep 17 2019

    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 co...more

  • James Caan: Last of the Tough-Guy Movie Stars

    Sep 03 2019

    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. ...more

  • How to Run a Small-Town Paper When Your Town Is East Hampton

    Aug 27 2019

    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...more

  • Donna Schaper, Radical Reverend

    Aug 20 2019

    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 Gree...more

  • Matthew Landfield's Wildly Deep History of His Childhood Home

    Aug 13 2019

    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 wa...more

  • A Major Conservatory President Who Knows the Life of a Working Musician

    Aug 06 2019

    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-...more

  • Brian Lehrer Comes to Here's the Thing

    Jul 23 2019

    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 intervi...more

  • Julie Brown UPDATED: Acosta's Epstein Explanations Are "Ridiculous," "Disingenuous"

    Jul 12 2019

    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 ar...more

  • These Three People Say They Can Fix the Subway

    Jul 09 2019

    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, ...more

  • Adam Schiff Tells All: Could Have Gone to Med School, Mom Livid

    Jun 25 2019

    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.

  • How Julie Brown Broke Open the Jeffrey Epstein Story

    Jun 11 2019

    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 Epste...more

  • Moby on Living Large and Falling Hard

    May 28 2019

    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...more

  • Jeff Daniels Was Supposed to Take Over the Family Lumber Business

    May 14 2019

    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...more

  • Jane Mayer on Thomas, Trump, and Twitter

    Apr 30 2019

    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.

  • Perta: Life Just Before Rock Stardom

    Apr 16 2019

    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...more

  • Geoffrey Horne and the Mysterious Disappearance of a Dreamboat

    Apr 02 2019

    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...more

  • Sarah Kliff and the Insane Saga of American Emergency Room Bills

    Mar 19 2019

    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. On...more

  • Itzhak Perlman Cracks Wise

    Mar 05 2019

    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 P...more

  • Steven Lee Myers' Putin Primer

    Feb 19 2019

    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 corr...more

  • Climate Science, Explained

    Feb 05 2019

    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 pe...more

  • The Delightful Deviant Behind "The Human Centipede"

    Jan 22 2019

    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...more

  • She Helped Create "Chaos at the Airports" after Trump's Muslim Ban

    Jan 08 2019

    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 b...more

  • Carly Simon Was Afraid of the Spotlight, and Still Is -- Revisited

    Dec 28 2018

    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 Jame...more

  • Billy Joel, Revisited

    Dec 25 2018

    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. WNYC is the producer of other leading podcasts, including Rad...more

  • Questlove Can't Take a Compliment, Revisited

    Dec 21 2018

    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 universall...more

  • Emilio Estevez Is Making Great Films, Doesn't Do Breakfast Club Reunions

    Dec 18 2018

    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...more

  • The Restaurant Whisperer

    Dec 04 2018

    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 sh...more

  • Roger Daltrey, Founder and Lead Singer of The Who

    Nov 20 2018

    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 t...more

  • Ben and Jerry Warm Up

    Nov 06 2018

    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 c...more

  • American Alexandria: Susan Orlean on the Great LA Library Fire

    Oct 23 2018

    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 ...more

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal Knows What She Wants

    Oct 09 2018

    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 d...more

  • The Dual Life of SNL's Steve Higgins

    Sep 25 2018

    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. ...more

  • The Passion of Flynn McGarry

    Sep 11 2018

    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 intere...more

  • The Money Man Behind America's Biggest Concerts

    Aug 28 2018

    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 convers...more

  • The Hidden Trove of Musicals by Broadway's Greatest Talents

    Aug 14 2018

    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 stage...more

  • Spike Lee Live at Tribeca

    Jul 31 2018

    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 h...more

  • Pete Souza, Photographer to Reagan and Obama, Would Turn Down Trump

    Jul 17 2018

    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 momen...more

  • Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Rethinking Vietnam

    Jul 03 2018

    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...more

  • Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf on Lady Bird and Lady Barr

    Jun 19 2018

    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 aspirin...more

  • A Fresh Look at the Death and Life of RFK

    Jun 05 2018

    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...more

  • Kubrick's Right-Hand Leading Man

    May 22 2018

    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 ...more

  • Former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

    May 08 2018

    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...more

  • David Crosby: Don't Call It a Comeback

    Apr 24 2018

    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 h...more

  • CNN's Jeffrey Toobin Is Not Just a Talking Head

    Apr 10 2018

    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 ...more

  • Did the Moody Blues Save Alec Baldwin from a Life of Crime?

    Mar 27 2018

    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 Haywa...more

  • The Turnaround Artist: Janice Min on Magazines and #Metoo

    Mar 13 2018

    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. The...more

  • The Fast Times and Long Career of Cameron Crowe

    Feb 27 2018

    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 ...more

  • Michael Wolff, Chronicler of Chaos in Trumpland

    Feb 13 2018

    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 Wolf...more

  • Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone: a Legacy Built on Solid Rock

    Feb 06 2018

    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 Wen...more

  • Kyle MacLachlan on 28 Years of Twin Peaks' *Blowing Your Mind*

    Jan 23 2018

    "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 i...more

  • Brilliant Minds of Trash and Sewage

    Jan 09 2018

    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 En...more

  • Farmer Hoggett in the Slammer

    Dec 26 2017

    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 activ...more

  • John Dean: Watergate's Legacy in the Age of Trump

    Dec 12 2017

    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 fasci...more

  • Alan Gilbert Is Leaving the NY Phil Even Better than He Found It

    Nov 28 2017

    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 a...more

  • Tina Brown Was in the Room Where It Happened

    Nov 14 2017

    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 th...more

  • Steve Erickson Saw Trumpism Coming

    Nov 07 2017

    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, A...more

  • A Visit to Barbra's Place

    Oct 17 2017

    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 ov...more

  • Bernie Sanders Thinks Democrats Are Still Way Off-Course

    Oct 03 2017

    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 th...more

  • Burton Cummings: the Canadian Man behind "American Woman"

    Sep 19 2017

    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...more

  • HBO's Sheila Nevins Makes Docs Hot

    Sep 05 2017

    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 boo...more

  • Brando, Robert Frost and the Other Men in Patricia Bosworth's Life

    Aug 22 2017

    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 succum...more

  • How Charles Munn is Saving the Amazon

    Aug 08 2017

    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, u...more

  • Audra McDonald is the "Luckiest Survivor in the World"

    Jul 25 2017

    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 at...more

  • Yes, Jon Anderson's Musical Adventure Isn't Over

    Jul 11 2017

    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 ...more

  • 'The Godfather’ Made Sofia Coppola Protective of Actors

    Jun 27 2017

    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 sh...more

  • Philip Galanes Lies Like a Rug

    Jun 13 2017

    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...more

  • Joe Jackson Suffers No Fools

    May 30 2017

    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 ...more

  • Carly Simon Was Afraid of the Spotlight - and Still Is

    May 16 2017

    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 Jame...more

  • Brian Reed Thought "S-Town" Could Only Ever Be a Cult Show

    May 02 2017

    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...more

  • Tony Hendra on the Essentiality of Satire

    Apr 18 2017

    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 hel...more

  • Alec Baldwin in the Hot Seat

    Apr 17 2017

    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!

  • Mark Farner: The Cussing Christian of Rock and Roll

    Apr 04 2017

    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.

  • Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman Take it Slow in Work and in Love

    Mar 21 2017

    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 boo...more

  • Vogue's Grace Coddington Doesn't Want To Think Much About What She Wears

    Mar 06 2017

    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 ros...more

  • Scott Chaskey is America's Favorite Farmer

    Feb 21 2017

    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 ...more

  • Thelma Schoonmaker: Martin Scorsese's Secret Weapon

    Feb 07 2017

    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 Thi...more

  • John Turturro’s Mind at Work

    Jan 24 2017

    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 Hollywoo...more

  • The Wonderful Life of Debbie Reynolds

    Jan 17 2017

    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 bu...more

  • Questlove Can't Take a Compliment

    Jan 03 2017

    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 universall...more

  • Patti Smith Never Wanted to Be Famous

    Dec 27 2016

    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 t...more

  • Robbie Robertson Learned Music on an Indian Reservation

    Dec 20 2016

    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 b...more

  • Eric Fanning Says Combat a Last Resort

    Dec 06 2016

    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 ...more

  • Sandra Bernhard: Post-Modern Entertainer

    Nov 22 2016

    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 ...more

  • Michael Stipe on R.E.M. and Fear of Collage

    Nov 08 2016

    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 m...more

  • Gordon Lightfoot on Dylan, Neil Young, and Stompin' Tom Connors

    Oct 25 2016

    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 th...more

  • Radio Host Bob Garfield on Trump and Telemarketing

    Oct 11 2016

    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 Jame...more

  • Starbucks' Howard Schultz Doesn't Sleep—But Don't Blame the Coffee

    Sep 27 2016

    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...more

  • Elliott Gould: Mash Notes on a Long Career

    Sep 13 2016

    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—...more

  • Iris Smyles Is Trying to Be a Human Again

    Aug 30 2016

    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 lik...more

  • Kevin Kline Takes a Bow, Several Times

    Aug 16 2016

    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 t...more

  • Nuclear Safety Isn't Just About Who Has the Codes

    Aug 02 2016

    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...more

  • Viggo Mortensen, From Warrior King to Captain Fantastic

    Jul 19 2016

    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 o...more

  • Michael Eisner Wants a Good Movie to End Quickly

    Jul 05 2016

    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, i...more

  • Joe Dallesandro Thought Warhol Made Soup

    Jun 21 2016

    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 t...more

  • Netflix's 'Making a Murderer' Makes a Star

    Jun 07 2016

    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...more

  • Michael Pollan Tried to Blow Up a Woodchuck

    May 24 2016

    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 T...more

  • Anthony Weiner on Term Limits and Text Messages

    May 10 2016

    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 sextin...more

  • Ellie Kemper Gets Brain Freeze with Alec Baldwin

    Apr 26 2016

    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 th...more

  • Mary Brosnahan on Homelessness in New York

    Apr 12 2016

    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 ...more

  • Cary Fukunaga Wanted to Be a Snowboarder

    Mar 29 2016

    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 th...more

  • Steven Donziger: Oil and Its Aftermath

    Mar 15 2016

    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 bec...more

  • MSF's Joanne Liu Still Believes War Has Rules

    Mar 01 2016

    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,...more

  • Molly Ringwald: 'These Films No Longer Belong to Me'

    Feb 16 2016

    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 ...more

  • Still Plenty of Fight in Mickey Rourke

    Feb 02 2016

    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 d...more

  • The Making of 'Making a Murderer'

    Jan 19 2016

    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...more

  • Dustin Hoffman and Edie Falco

    Jan 12 2016

    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 recall...more

  • Sarah Jessica Parker and Ian Schrager

    Jan 05 2016

    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 hosp...more

  • A Classical Icon Who Has a Lot to Say for L.A.

    Dec 22 2015

    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...more

  • Jimmy Fallon Will Never Make Fun of You

    Dec 08 2015

    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 th...more

  • Andrew Berman and Rob Snyder on Preserving What Matters

    Nov 24 2015

    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 buildin...more

  • Amy Schumer Grew Up in a Nude House

    Nov 10 2015

    Amy Schumer says she's been called the "girl next door, fastest-rising comic" for ten years. But it's more true than it's ever been, given three high profile successes in 2015: her increasingly hilarious and transgressive Comedy Central television show "Inside Amy Schumer;" the feature film "Trainwreck" (written by Schumer); and a new HBO comedy special filmed at the Apollo Theater. She talks to host Alec Baldwin about growing up on Long Island, playing the worst person ever, and the Pilates cla...more

  • Dan Rather Tells Alec Baldwin the 'Truth'

    Oct 27 2015

    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 Rathe...more

  • Carol Burnett

    Oct 13 2015

    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 d...more

  • William Friedkin Paid Off the MTA to Make 'The French Connection'

    Sep 29 2015

    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 ...more

  • Andy Warhol Really Did Like Campbell's Soup

    Sep 15 2015

    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 bas...more

  • Julie Taymor, Before and After 'Lion King'

    Sep 01 2015

    "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 "Ti...more

  • Penn Jillette's Marathon Life in Magic

    Aug 18 2015

    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 ...more

  • Paul Simon

    Aug 04 2015

    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...more

  • David Remnick on Liebling, Dylan, and Glasnost

    Jul 21 2015

    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 ever...more

  • Alec Baldwin Dives to the Gulf Floor with Antonia Juhasz

    Jul 07 2015

    Journalist Antonia Juhasz details the ongoing environmental disaster of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • John Guare and Lisa Dwan Talk Theater with Alec Baldwin

    Jun 23 2015

    A prestigious agent signed playwright John Guare before he had even graduated from Yale School of Drama, saying he showed promise. In the five decades since, Guare has been one of the most humane—and absurd—voices of American theater. He says "there's no such thing as a 'hit recipe,'" though if one existed, Guare would probably know about it; his acclaimed work includes The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, and the Oscar-nominated screenplay for the film Atlantic City.   Lisa Dwan...more

  • What Dustin Hoffman Learned from Bob Fosse, Gene Hackman, and Kobe Bryant

    Jun 09 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....more

  • Gay Talese Tells Alec Baldwin About Sinatra's Cold

    May 26 2015

    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 de...more