Thursday, August 13, 2015

Alec Baldwin's podcast is the best, wisest thing I've heard in years

I've spent the last few days listening to Alec Baldwin's "Here's The Thing" podcast. It's the best thing I've heard in years.

I've heard him talking to David Letterman, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Lawrence Wright, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Chris Rock and Lorne Michaels and others. In the course of that I feel I've had more genuine insight into how people operate and are motivated at the very top of the show business tree than I would have picked up in years of listening to the standard celebrity interview. That's the one where the interviewee condescends to the interviewer who in turn condescends to the listener.

Instead here you get Jerry Seinfeld actually saying the great truth that nobody ever says:
"My life in comedy is a life of sacrifice that I am only too happy to make. All my relationships were as disposable as a dixie cup next to my career."
Here you get Gay Talese, who wrote the classic story "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold", talking about why people at the top of the tree are so often unhappy.
"If you're extraordinarily talented you're living up to expectations that can not long be met."
Here you get David Remnick talking about meeting Bob Dylan:
"He looks like Vincent Price playing a cowboy."
I really haven't got time to tell you any more. Here's the archive. Dive in.


  1. Much as I like Seinfeld, that comment has all the appearance of a well-scripted off the cuff soundbyte.

  2. Agreed, it's a shame he stopped doing them. I did like the talk he had with Tony Bennett's son and manager about how he resurrected senior's career.

    I had marked a two-part podcast with Richard Carpenter. Particularly interesting was how he got that early Carpenter sound.

    There are lots of these little podcast gems coming out of the USA, it just take a little digging and good chance to find them.

  3. There you go, Richard Carpenter and John Bettis.

  4. Great recommendation, David. I learned something's about Dick Cavett, too.

  5. Great recommendation, David. I learned something's about Dick Cavett, too.

  6. I hope Alec interviews someone on typing and more specifically, typing too fast (as per my last post.)

  7. I downloaded the Seindeld one, but found Baldwin doing more talking than his guest. I'll try some others though...

  8. They're good. I just wish Alec Baldwin would be a little less self-aggrandising (and there's lots of humblebragging...). And that he was pouting less in his mugshot.

  9. Interesting! I feel much the same about Marc Maron - he gets stuff out of celebs (admittedly, mainly stand-up comics) I can't imagine any hack extracting.

  10. Been a long term fan of these. An added comedic bonus is hearing Alec applying his full acting chops to the ads he has to read.