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Rank #8 in Music category

Arts
Music
Performing Arts
Music Interviews

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Updated 9 days ago

Rank #8 in Music category

Arts
Music
Performing Arts
Music Interviews
Read more

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

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

iTunes Ratings

5229 Ratings
Average Ratings
3907
653
235
168
266

Baldwin for President

By bigguy1989 - Nov 26 2019
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Just discovered this podcast and it’s fantastic. I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Dear Alec,

By schmidtyNIDAHONOHICK - Oct 20 2019
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I like when you pound the paparazzi. -Les Couchon- ūüíĄūüź∑ūüćíūüφ

iTunes Ratings

5229 Ratings
Average Ratings
3907
653
235
168
266

Baldwin for President

By bigguy1989 - Nov 26 2019
Read more
Just discovered this podcast and it’s fantastic. I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Dear Alec,

By schmidtyNIDAHONOHICK - Oct 20 2019
Read more
I like when you pound the paparazzi. -Les Couchon- ūüíĄūüź∑ūüćíūüφ

Listen to:

Cover image of Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Updated 9 days ago

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

Jerry Seinfeld

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Jerry Seinfeld was just 27 when he first appeared on Johnny Carson in 1981. And he stood out. His material wasn't about his upbringing or personal relationships. ¬†It was about our universal experience of small things. His unique comedy style eventually led him to create his namesake show with Larry David. After Seinfeld ran for nine seasons, he decided to go¬†back to stand-up, and to his audience. ¬†As he explains to Alec, Seinfeld feels uniquely connected to his fans: ‚ÄúYou have this relationship with the audience that is private between you and them.‚ÄĚ

Jun 02 2014

56mins

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Jimmy Fallon Will Never Make Fun of You

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When Jimmy Fallon landed a spot on Saturday Night Live in 1998, he told executive producer and comedy kingmaker Lorne Michaels, "I'm going to make you proud." Six years later, Fallon departed as a audience favorite, the show's go-to impressions guy, and the co-host (with Tina Fey) of SNL's "news" unit, Weekend Update. But he became famous without "working blue," and has always wanted everybody to be in on the joke. It's a trait that makes him a perfect television personality. Now, he occupies the most coveted seat in the business, as the host of The Tonight Show. He tells Here's The Thing host Alec Baldwin that he got his start in Saugerties, New York, practicing the stuff that every comic needs in their toolkit: impressions, musical numbers, and...a troll routine. 

In this clip from SNL in 1998 (referenced in the above interview), Jimmy Fallon and Alec Baldwin unwittingly predict a future success:

Dec 08 2015

48mins

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Amy Schumer Grew Up in a Nude House

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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 class they shared a decade ago.

Nov 10 2015

36mins

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James Caan: Last of the Tough-Guy Movie Stars

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At the end of the 1950s, James Caan, son of a German-Jewish butcher, had been kicked out of ROTC and was too poor to finish college on his own. He started a job for his godfather unpacking meat along the docks of the Hudson River. Less than a decade later, he was starring alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, just a few years from Coppola's giving him a lead in The Godfather. In his unmistakable Queens patois, Caan tells Alec the wonderful, unlikely story of his rise to stardom. That story includes his many marriages, even more fistfights, and heretofore untold details from the sometimes-violent set of The Godfather. Plus what sort of roles Caan wanted but didn't get because of typecasting.

Sep 03 2019

48mins

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

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Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman are famous for creating iconic TV characters on two beloved sitcoms, "Will & Grace" and "Parks and Recreation." But they also have a life together off screen. They've been married since 2003, and Playboy magazine compared their comic chemistry to "that of a hyper-sexualized Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara." They talk to Here's the Thing host Alec Baldwin about struggling to launch their careers, why it took them so long to kiss, and how jigsaw puzzles, audio books, and carpentry keep their marriage strong.

Mar 21 2017

49mins

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Jeff Daniels Was Supposed to Take Over the Family Lumber Business

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By 1976, college student Jeff Daniels was pretty sure he didn't want to follow his father into the Michigan lumber trade.  But he wasn't sure he could make it as a working actor -- until one of the founders of Manhattan's legendary Circle Repertory Company spotted him at Eastern Michigan University.  It was a short hop from Circle Rep to his screen breakthrough in Terms of Endearment, but Daniels' commitment to the stage has never waned.  That commitment bore a Tony nomination this year (Daniels' third) for his magnificent performance in Aaron Sorkin's To Kill a Mockingbird adaptation on Broadway.  Daniels and Alec discuss the craft required to play Atticus Finch, the very different craft required to play alongside Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber, and Daniels' unusual decision to move back to his Michigan hometown with his wife and child while building a Hollywood career.

May 14 2019

49mins

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Starbucks' Howard Schultz Doesn't Sleep‚ÄĒBut Don't Blame the Coffee

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Howard Schultz wasn't born into business. A Brooklyn boy whose father worked menial jobs to support the family, Schultz thought his way out would be through sport. That is, however, until he¬†broke his jaw on the football field at 18 (an injury from which Schultz is still recovering). For the next three years, he made cold calls, a job he hated but which ultimately taught him about how to sell himself. He soon¬†connected those selling chops with a small Seattle coffee roastery called Starbucks. He hoped to expand the chain to 100 stores;¬†Starbucks now has 25,000 locations across the globe. Howard Schultz‚ÄĒwho has been at the helm as CEO for most of the company's history‚ÄĒtells host Alec Baldwin¬†that at the core of that success is a desire to build the kind of socially enlightened, employee-focused business that his father was never able to work for.

Sep 27 2016

34mins

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A Visit to Barbra's Place

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Barbra Streisand has had multiplatinum albums every decade going back to the 60s.¬† She‚Äôs got Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, and a Tony.¬† She‚Äôs as big as a star gets, and she‚Äôs gotten there not despite but because of the fact that she‚Äôs 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‚Äôs the Thing host Alec Baldwin.¬† Inside her Malibu home, the two friends range over wide conversational terrain, touching on Barbra‚Äôs childhood, how the communist government in Czechoslovakia offered up the Czech Jewish community to be extras in Yentl, and the relief of getting behind the camera after years in front of it: ‚Äúyou never have to raise your voice, because everybody‚Äôs finally listening.‚Ä̬† And of course, old friends can‚Äôt meet over an empty table: food runs throughout the conversation.

Oct 17 2017

52mins

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Billy Joel, Revisited

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Billy Joel has sold more records than The Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna‚ÄĒthough the ‚Äúrock star thing‚ÄĚ is something he can ‚Äútake off.‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôd 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 Radiolab, Snap Judgment, On the Media and Death, Sex & Money.

Dec 25 2018

1hr 6mins

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Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

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Peter Bergman is the dean of soap opera actors.  His portrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children from 1979 to 1989 overlapped precisely with the era when soap operas were America's great guilty pleasure.  Liz Taylor made cameos alongside Bergman, mainstream publications covered Dr. Warner's many marriages, and the soaps sometimes rivaled prime time in total viewers.  Madison Avenue noticed, and Bergman entered the pitchman pantheon with his cough syrup ad in 1986, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV."  Since 1989, the soaps have been less central to popular culture, but Bergman has played a much richer character than the debonair doctor:  his last 30 years have been spent playing Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless.  Jack is the mercurial head of Jabot Cosmetics, trying to triumph in love and industry over his rival Victor Newman.  Alec and Bergman bond over their shared past as high school athletes who found themselves attracted to the stage, and over the joys and difficulties of daytime television.

Oct 01 2019

46mins

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Alec Baldwin in the Hot Seat

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Here’s The Thing listeners are used to hearing Alec ask the questions, but for this bonus episode, he’s the guest! To mark the publication of his new memoir, Nevertheless, Alec talk about money, drugs, career choices and family with Death, Sex & Money host Anna Sale.

Stay tuned for Alec‚Äôs conversation with comedian and satirist Tony Hendra ‚Äď out on Tuesday!

Apr 17 2017

39mins

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Bernie Sanders Thinks Democrats Are Still Way Off-Course

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It was just 15 months ago that Bernie Sanders ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, but by his own telling, he‚Äôs already converted that political insurgency into a movement that‚Äôs changed what‚Äôs 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‚Äôs learned into a how-to for grassroots activists. But with Hillary Clinton still on a book-tour putting part of the blame for Trump‚Äôs victory on Sanders, the self-described socialist is clearly feeling contentious, and puts plenty of blame back on Clinton and an ‚Äúupper-middle-class‚ÄĚ Democratic party, which he joined in 2015 to run for president.

Oct 03 2017

40mins

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Kevin Kline Takes a Bow, Several Times

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Kevin Kline is one of the most acclaimed entertainers working today. So how did the kid from St. Louis end up with an Oscar, two Tony awards, and a career that has intersected with those of Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, John Cleese, and Kenneth Branagh, to name just a few? He says that, at Juilliard, the answer came in the form of a pair of tights and lots of dance practice, as well as a merciless culling of his midwestern elocution. Kline's career accelerated early: a cross-country tour with the soon-to-be renowned acting company founded by the great John Houseman led to Tony-decorated roles (three years apart) in "On the Twentieth Century" and "The Pirates of Penzance." His first film role soon followed, opposite Streep in "Sophie's Choice." Kline's stage and screen stock hasn't dipped since. He recently spoke with Alec Baldwin in front of a live audience at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, where he assessed some of his many marquee performances, and demonstrated the most important thing he learned at Juilliard: how to do a theatrical bow from every era since the Renaissance. 

Aug 16 2016

53mins

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Dan Rather Tells Alec Baldwin the 'Truth'

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Dan Rather was the host and anchor of CBS Evening News for more than twenty years. He resigned the post in the wake of an investigation into then-President George W. Bush's Vietnam-era military service. A new film starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, 'Truth,' explores that period and the outstanding questions raised by Rather's journalistic inquiry. Host Alec Baldwin spoke with Rather at a recent screening of the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival, where they discussed Rather's days as a White House correspondent, recent attempts to re-assess Nixon, and the state of news today. 

Oct 27 2015

46mins

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David Crosby: Don't Call It a Comeback

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Some combination of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young played together for 50 years until 2016. The group survived even Crosby's near-total dissolution under the influence of cocaine and heroin. That was a brush with death that left him in need of a liver transplant and a new approach to life. His newfound joy is clear in this exuberant conversation with Alec. It's also behind a recent and remarkable burst of creativity: three solo albums over the past four years. Crosby's childlike gratitude for his sixty years in music is palpable, but he is candid about the struggles, too: from wrestling with Roger McGuinn over control of The Byrds, to the terrifying culmination of the 2016 breakup of Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Plus, BONUS! This is the first episode of Here's the Thing's question-crowdsourcing experiment. Your questions provided moving insight into the impact David's music and story have made on fans over the years. We couldn't include all the questions, but we used a lot, and David was really into it. Stay tuned for another call for submissions soon.

Apr 24 2018

47mins

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Ellie Kemper Gets Brain Freeze with Alec Baldwin

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Ellie Kemper leapt into pop culture consciousness in 2009 when she joined the cast of "The Office" during the show's fifth season. Her portrayal of earnest, perky receptionist Erin Hannon introduced viewers to Kemper's strongest weapon as an actress: her own effervescent personality. And Kemper's bright disposition is now front and center in the Tina Fey-created Netflix series "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." 

"I am naturally cheerful and sunny ‚ÄĒ¬†not manic," Kemper¬†tells host Alec Baldwin. "I think for an¬†actress, I'm the most normal I've ever met."

She's also hysterically funny, and talks about her formative experiences learning improv comedy from Jon Hamm; her newfound love of Dick Cavett; and why a set of bathroom fixtures recently brought her to tears.

Apr 26 2016

40mins

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The Fast Times and Long Career of Cameron Crowe

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Cameron Crowe's teenage years are familiar to anyone who's seen his autobiographical Almost Famous: 16-year-old writing prodigy convinces Jan Wenner and Rolling Stone to let him tour with and profile the greatest rock musicians of his generation. But what came after is just as interesting: going undercover as a high-school student to write Fast Times at Ridgemont High; falling into the Say Anything director's chair after the two first choices turned it down; hanging out with Led Zeppelin to get their blessing of the songs in Almost Famous.  Crowe and Alec are friends, and it comes through in their affectionate back-and-forth about movies, writing, family, and the bands they love.  And throughout this extended interview are interspersed some great tunes that demonstrate how Crowe is a master of the "needle-drop," using music to further the story, character development, and dramatic tension of his films.

Feb 27 2018

44mins

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

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Good stories teach us about humankind, great ones change the way we see it. For many, S-Town -- a seven episode series about an eccentric Alabama horologist named John B. McLemore -- has done just that. Released on March 28, the podcast reached critical acclaim near instantly, garnering 16 million downloads in the first seven days. For Brian Reed, the host and producer behind it, the reception has been thrilling. As the world continues to devour his masterpiece, Brian talks to Alec Baldwin about the email where it all began.

May 02 2017

38mins

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Michael Wolff, Chronicler of Chaos in Trumpland

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Michael Wolff‚Äôs Trumpland tell-all,¬†Fire and Fury, has set Washington ablaze with its terrifying (and controversial) depiction of a White House in chaos.¬† But all the focus has been on the¬†White House intrigue and¬†the downfall of Steve Bannon.¬† The man behind the book¬†has gotten surprisingly little attention, even though it was partly Wolff's position at the top of New York media's social heap that won him Trump's trust, and access to the White House.¬† Alec set out to do a different¬†Michael Wolff interview.¬† At¬†a live event¬†at Manhattan's Town Hall, audience-members learned about the Jewish kid from¬†Jersey with a shoeleather reporter for a mom, who gave up on being a novelist to do big-money media deals¬†‚Äď even as he wielded his¬†poison pen against peers in the New York media elite.¬† And Wolff lives up to his reputation as one of New York's best conversationalists, giving answers by turns¬†open, cantankerous, and very, very funny.

Feb 13 2018

51mins

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Paul Simon

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Paul Simon is one of¬†the¬†great American entertainers‚ÄĒa mantle he's worn since he started singing harmony with grade-school friend Art Garfunkel in a duo called Tom & Jerry. In the following six decades, Simon has written dozens of classic songs. His partnership with Garfunkel produced numerous hits like "The¬†Sound of Silence," "America," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." And Simon's solo career has been equally fruitful, as an engine of eclectic pop music (the gospel of "Loves Me Like a Rock," or the imported reggae of "Mother and Child Reunion"), and also as an ambassador of global sounds¬†(the 1986 album¬†Graceland, and 1990's¬†The Rhythm of the Saints). He talks to¬†host Alec Baldwin about how he¬†has‚ÄĒand hasn't‚ÄĒchanged after all these years.¬†

Aug 04 2015

49mins

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Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story

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Director Noah Baumbach is known for messy and realistic family dramas. The Squid and The Whale chronicles divorce within a family; Margot at the Wedding explores the relationship between two sisters; The Meyerowitz Stories tells the story of 3 adult siblings ‚Äď different mothers, same father ‚Äď negotiating resentment and love. And there have been plenty of comparisons between Baumbach‚Äôs own life and his movies ‚Äď especially so with his most recent film, Marriage Story. Baumbach and actress Jennifer Jason Leigh divorced soon after they had a child. But Baumbach is quick to say his films are not autobiographical. They are personal, he says, and as he tells Alec, the process of turning real life into films is part of how Baumbach makes sense of things around him.

Dec 10 2019

37mins

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

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The last Democrat elected to the Senate seat Cristina Tzintzun has her sights on was Lyndon Johnson.  Republican takeovers are just a fact of life in the South.  And yet in some places, there's light at the end of the tunnel for beleaguered Dems.  It's in the Lone Star State that they hope to reverse the trend.  Texas is urbanizing, and it's getting more educated and more diverse.  Tzintzun -- a political organizer who's the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an Anglo-Texan -- tells Alec that by activating those Democratic base constituencies, she can win where others have failed.  It's a trail begun by Beto O’Rourke, who almost won the state’s other Senate seat back for the Democrats in 2018, but it's a perilous strategy, too, in a state as conservative as Texas.  Much of Beto's team has come over to help Tzintzun, and full disclosure: Alec, too, is a supporter, and hosted a fundraiser for her in October.

Nov 26 2019

34mins

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And Another Thing, with Errol Morris

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

Nov 22 2019

16mins

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

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Errol Morris’s documentaries are visually unmistakable, whether they’re about pet cemeteries or the morally bankrupt "great men" of American history.  Thanks to his optical invention, the "Interrotron," Morris's subjects’ are looking straight at those of us in the movie theater and, sometimes, lying.  He’s one of cinema’s most distinctive storytellers.  In conversation with Alec, Morris recounts his meandering path to the top, involving deep debt, a master's degree in Philosophy, and a stint as a private investigator.  "Film-making saved me," he says.  Morris also responds to the heated controversy surrounding his new documentary, American Dharma, about Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, rejecting the argument that it was wrong to provide Bannon a platform for his ideas.

Nov 12 2019

47mins

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Edward Norton on Directing ‚Äď and His Directors

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Edward Norton gets into every aspect of filmmaking, even when he comes to the set as an actor.¬† He's helped rewrite scripts, and sometimes gets¬†intimately involved in editing, as was the case with¬†American History X.¬† That has led to tension with directors, but Norton tells Alec that the Hollywood press has grossly mischaracterized many of those relationships.¬† Norton himself directed Alec recently in his new film,¬†Motherless Brooklyn.¬† Norton stars¬†alongside Alec's Robert Moses character, who¬†tries to bend New York City to his will.¬† Their shared experience on set sparks a conversation about directing, and all the great directors Norton has worked with, including Spike Lee, David Fincher, Tony Kaye, and MiloŇ° Forman.¬† A "cheat sheet" of all the movies and directors Edward and Alec discussed, in order, is available at¬†https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/heresthething/edwardandalec.

Oct 29 2019

39mins

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

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Judith Light has an unequaled emotional and tonal range as an actor.  She also has a shape-shifting physicality that made her entirely convincing both as the shuffling yenta Shelly Pfefferman in Transparent and as the lithe, aristocratic Hedda Gabler.  But she only got to exercise those talents by saying "yes" to a lot of less intricate roles -- most famously the housewife-prostitute Karen Wolek on One Life to Live and Type-A divorcée Angela Bower on Who's the Boss.  Her manager (a former Psychology professor) helped her arrive at that place of openness.  After a few bad auditions, he sat her down and said, "You have an expectation that people should just be giving you stuff, and it's untenable.  People feel it.  You walk into a room and nobody wants to be around you."  "And so," Light tells Alec, "when I walked into the audition for Who's the Boss, I was in a very different place."

Oct 15 2019

38mins

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Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

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Peter Bergman is the dean of soap opera actors.  His portrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children from 1979 to 1989 overlapped precisely with the era when soap operas were America's great guilty pleasure.  Liz Taylor made cameos alongside Bergman, mainstream publications covered Dr. Warner's many marriages, and the soaps sometimes rivaled prime time in total viewers.  Madison Avenue noticed, and Bergman entered the pitchman pantheon with his cough syrup ad in 1986, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV."  Since 1989, the soaps have been less central to popular culture, but Bergman has played a much richer character than the debonair doctor:  his last 30 years have been spent playing Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless.  Jack is the mercurial head of Jabot Cosmetics, trying to triumph in love and industry over his rival Victor Newman.  Alec and Bergman bond over their shared past as high school athletes who found themselves attracted to the stage, and over the joys and difficulties of daytime television.

Oct 01 2019

46mins

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Lang Lang Plays

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Dubbed ‚Äúthe hottest artist on the classical music planet‚ÄĚ by The New York Times, pianist Lang Lang has reached a level of stardom rare for classical musicians.¬†¬†But his prominence is hard-won.¬† Alec, who adores Lang Lang's charisma and talent, elicits from his guest¬†stories of hardship during his childhood in northeastern China, and of his slow climb to the top, via¬†Philadelphia.¬† That's where fish-out-of-water Lang Lang showed up at the age of 15 and enrolled in public high school as well as conservatory.¬† Throughout the interview, Lang Lang plays pieces from his latest album,¬†Piano Book, a collection¬†of pieces normally reserved for young learners,¬†reinterpreted with brilliance and respect by the great master.¬† And we at WNYC add more of our favorites from Piano Book and beyond.

Sep 17 2019

47mins

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James Caan: Last of the Tough-Guy Movie Stars

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At the end of the 1950s, James Caan, son of a German-Jewish butcher, had been kicked out of ROTC and was too poor to finish college on his own. He started a job for his godfather unpacking meat along the docks of the Hudson River. Less than a decade later, he was starring alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, just a few years from Coppola's giving him a lead in The Godfather. In his unmistakable Queens patois, Caan tells Alec the wonderful, unlikely story of his rise to stardom. That story includes his many marriages, even more fistfights, and heretofore untold details from the sometimes-violent set of The Godfather. Plus what sort of roles Caan wanted but didn't get because of typecasting.

Sep 03 2019

48mins

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

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Since 2004, 1300 towns across America have lost local newspaper coverage.  2004 was also the first full year David Rattray, the third generation of his family to own the East Hampton Star, served as the paper's editor.  It's a job for which Rattray gave up a very different life and career in New York City.  That was a good choice:  thanks in part to his stewardship, the Star thrives.  It covers East Hampton's seasonal transformation into the center of an elite New York social universe, but other than that, the venerable weekly operates much as it always has.  Rattray makes sure Town Board meetings get covered and that the Fishing Report is up to date -- as did his parents, and his grandfather before them.  Alec has been spending time in East Hampton for almost 40 years, so he and Rattray have much to discuss about the paper, and the changes they've witnessed in town.  They also discuss the Star's long-term project to research and confront the Hamptons' slaveholding past -- a past in which Rattray's own ancestors played a part.

Aug 27 2019

35mins

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Donna Schaper, Radical Reverend

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The Reverend Donna Schaper of New York's Judson Memorial Church leads her flock of 300 through life's sacraments like any pastor.  But she has a national profile, too, appearing in print and on television to reject the idea that Christian values necessarily lead to conservative politics.  She tells Alec her story of spiritual awakening, from an abusive working-class home, to parting ways from the Lutheran Church of her childhood, all the way to Judson Memorial Church, a Christian outpost in Greenwich Village that ministers to sex workers, doubters, LGBT folk, the undocumented, and Village gentry alike.  Alec in return tells Donna about his own journey of faith.

Aug 20 2019

38mins

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Matthew Landfield's Wildly Deep History of His Childhood Home

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Alec Baldwin and Matthew Landfield crossed paths one time before their Here's the Thing interview.  In early 2001, Alec was shooting a movie in front of 31 Desbrosses Street in New York's Tribeca neighborhood.  Matthew had grown up in the building in the 1980s, raised by a performance-artist mom and modernist-painter father.  Matthew and Alec said hello as Matthew walked in to visit his parents.  The bohemian scene on the block stuck with Alec over the years -- so much so that when in 2015 he was driving by and noticed that the building was gone, he researched what had happened.  Online, Alec discovered Matthew's labor of love: perhaps the best, most deeply researched article ever written about a single address.  The Lenape, the Dutch, the English, the factory workers, junkies, artists and bankers -- every stage of New York history had some brush with the land (or water) that is now 31 Desbrosses.  Alec was transfixed, and this funny, fascinating conversation is the result.

Aug 13 2019

37mins

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

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Six years ago the Board of the Manhattan School of Music faced a daunting decision: who would guide the school into its second century?  They turned to someone with a long history with the school, James Gandre.  Gandre joined MSM as an administrative assistant in the mid-1980s and rose through the ranks.  But before then, he'd been auditioning for gigs as a tenor with symphonies and choirs.  He continued to do so even after he began in administration.  He tells Alec about his journey from small-town Wisconsin, to being an out gay man in San Francisco in the early 80s, to his long rise through the ranks at MSM -- and he shares his thoughts on the future of his venerable institution.

Aug 06 2019

42mins

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Brian Lehrer Comes to Here's the Thing

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Brian Lehrer is a unique figure in the public life of New York City.  Beyond hosting the city's defining daily talk show, he's our conscience and our conciliator.  When New Yorkers want a fair mayoral debate, they often call Brian.  When WNYC needed someone to help us process our own #metoo moment, we called Brian.  The Peabody Awards honored The Brian Lehrer Show for "reuniting the estranged terms 'civil' and 'discourse.'"  Of course, civil doesn't mean soft:  he can be unsparing in his interviews because, as he tells Alec, "there's plenty that pisses me off."  Alec is fan of -- and a regular caller on -- Brian's show, so who better to turn the tables?  Alec interviews Brian about his path to prominence, and the two discuss their shared love of radio, and of New York.

Jul 23 2019

35mins

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

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Alexander Acosta has resigned from his position as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration.  That's because of the sweetheart deal he cut politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein back in 2008, when Acosta was a federal prosecutor.  In the swirl of news following Epstein's re-arrest, but before the Acosta resignation, Julie Brown stepped out of Acosta's press conference to speak to Alec on the phone.  We learn her reaction and that of Epstein's victims who called her up after the arrest.  That conversation is at the end of an extended cut of their live conversation at the Greene Space this spring and a phone call from Alan Dershowitz addressing the accusations made against him.

Jul 12 2019

57mins

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These Three People Say They Can Fix the Subway

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Corey Johnson wants to be the next mayor of New York, and the press seems to think he will be.  His plan to fix transit is the centerpiece of his platform.  Tom Wright is the CEO of the powerful Regional Plan Association.  That organization imagines the future and comes up with ideas for infrastructure and bureaucracy that could meet its needs.  Nicole Gelinas, a reporter and a Manhattan Institute scholar of Urban Economics, also believes in big, innovative projects.  But for the past 15 years, she's been reminding New Yorkers that we will not get a transit system worthy of our great city if we cannot get costs under control, and our financial house in order.  Combine these three experts with Alec's curiosity and strong opinions about all things New York, and you get a great conversation about congestion pricing, organized labor, the MTA, and future of transportation everywhere.

Jul 09 2019

43mins

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

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California Congressman Adam Schiff weighs both sides of the impeachment debate and speaks out forcefully on Iran.  Plus why his childhood in Massachusetts had an influence on his future career, why his his mother was so disappointed that he went to law school instead of medical school, and whether President Trump has done more to encourage or discourage aspiring progressive public servants.

Jun 25 2019

35mins

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How Julie Brown Broke Open the Jeffrey Epstein Story

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Julie Brown of the Miami Herald conceived, reported, and wrote one of the most explosive criminal justice stories in recent memory. She revealed the shutting down of an FBI investigation that may have been on the verge of discovering the full extent of a child-sex-trafficking operation run by politically-connected billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The prosecutor allegedly behind that decision, Alex Acosta, is now President Trump's Secretary of Labor.  Acosta offered Epstein a plea deal in which Epstein pleaded guilty to recruiting underage girls for sex and spent about a year in the local lockup, with work release.  The deal also proactively protected from prosecution any potential co-conspirators.  Brown pored over internal emails to see exactly how Acosta and other powerful law-enforcement officials made these decisions.  While in New York to receive a Polk Award for her work, Brown stopped by WNYC's Greene Space to talk to Alec about her reporting, and the personal background that drove it.

Jun 11 2019

48mins

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Moby on Living Large and Falling Hard

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Moby had already put out four studio albums when Play was released in 1999. He was solidly into his 30s, playing gigs in record stores and thinking about a career-change. But Play, against all expectations, started selling. Then it started selling out. There was champagne, then vodka, then cocaine. He swung between drug-induced euphoria and thoughts of suicide. The stories of stardom he tells Alec are both funny and troubling. But Moby saw his way out of the spiral. Now a decade without drugs or alcohol, he's remarkably open about his darkness, and the weird hippie childhood that laid the groundwork for it. He and Alec sat down last month and swapped stories of sobriety and celebrity. Moby's new memoir is Then It Fell Apart.

May 28 2019

50mins

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Jeff Daniels Was Supposed to Take Over the Family Lumber Business

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By 1976, college student Jeff Daniels was pretty sure he didn't want to follow his father into the Michigan lumber trade.  But he wasn't sure he could make it as a working actor -- until one of the founders of Manhattan's legendary Circle Repertory Company spotted him at Eastern Michigan University.  It was a short hop from Circle Rep to his screen breakthrough in Terms of Endearment, but Daniels' commitment to the stage has never waned.  That commitment bore a Tony nomination this year (Daniels' third) for his magnificent performance in Aaron Sorkin's To Kill a Mockingbird adaptation on Broadway.  Daniels and Alec discuss the craft required to play Atticus Finch, the very different craft required to play alongside Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber, and Daniels' unusual decision to move back to his Michigan hometown with his wife and child while building a Hollywood career.

May 14 2019

49mins

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