Rank #1: Katharine Hayhoe on How to Talk About Climate Change
Is there a way to bring up the climate crisis and not lose friends and disinfluence people? Katharine Hayhoe has found ways to communicate about a topic that desperately needs good communicating – the increasingly dire crisis that’s gripping our planet. What makes her so special is that she finds a way to connect with people – even people who deny the reality of climate change – through things that matter to them. In this episode, Alan Alda speaks with Dr. Hayhoe about the consequences of the decisions we make today on the livability of the planet in the future.
Rank #2: The Actors from M*A*S*H — On How M*A*S*H Changed Our Lives
M*A*S*H is the most beloved and one of the most watched TV shows of all time. It set viewing records that have never been broken and is ranked as one of the top 25 shows of all time. In this exclusive podcast, actors from this legendary show gather together for an uproarious and totally candid conversation about how they learned to connect with one another to create their special brand of entertainment on the screen and lifelong friendships off-camera. Join Alan Alda (“Capt.Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce”),Loretta Swit (“Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan”),Jamie Farr (“Sgt. Maxwell Q. "Max" Klinger),Mike Farrell (Capt. B. J. Hunnicutt), and Gary Burghoff (Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly) for this intimate gathering of your M*A*S*H pals. The gang invites you to share in the memories and the laughter. Mostly the laughter — after all this is the 4077th. This episode is sponsored by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, please visit aldacenter.org/vivid for more details.
Rank #3: Sarah Silverman and the Joy of Enjoying People You Don't Agree With
Alan Alda talks with comedian Sarah Silverman about how she befriended someone who was hateful toward her on Twitter, and how her new series on Hulu challenges her to connect with people that she doesn't agree with. Her question to us is “Can Americans put down their "porcupine needles" and really listen to one another again?”
Rank #4: Michael J. Fox: How to Keep Going When Life Gives You Speed Bumps
Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with young on-set Parkinson's Disease in 1991. He threw himself into his work and fell into moments of depression and alcohol abuse. But, in 1998, when he went public with his story, he changed the way the world looked at Parkinson's Disease and has now raised nearly a billion dollars in research through the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which he founded. And he inspired many other people with the disease to not let it stop them -- including Alan Alda. Alan was diagnosed 3 years ago and recently went public with his own story about living with Parkinson's. In this exclusive interview, Alan and Michael join one another for a raw and revealing conversation, recorded live in Michael's apartment.
This episode is sponsored by Undeniably Dairy. To hear more stories about dairy farmers, visit UndeniablyDairy.org/Devoted
Rank #5: Judge Judy on How to Figure Out Who’s Telling the Truth
Every day, 10 million Americans watch Judge Judy on TV. Her style is direct and to the point. Her job is to know how to quickly separate fact from fiction. She talks with Alan about justice and what it's like for a judge to have such an impact on the lives of others.
Rank #6: Carol Burnett: A Life of Comedy, Characters, and Connection
Every Saturday night for 11 years, Carol Burnett communicated a sense of family to the entire country. She worked alongside other skilled comic actors. But it wasn’t just skill. There was always a sense of community among the actors and we in the audience felt we were invited in as part of the gang. It was fall-down-funny, belly laugh humor that new generations are still discovering. And they are still reacting to the warmth, still feeling that sense of family. Alan Alda wondered how she did it. In this endearing episode Alan and Carol talk about her life of comedy, characters, and connection.
Rank #7: Henry Schleiff on How to Lead a TV Network, Have an Impact, and Still Have Fun
There's a difference between communication and communications, with an "S." The way we look at it, communicating is connecting with people; and communications with an "S" is the technical way you reach out to millions, as with broadcasting. Some people find ways to combine those two ideas in ways that have a real impact, and Henry Schleiff is one of them. With vast experience as a broadcaster, Henry has a thoughtful, funny angle on communication that he shares with Alan Alda in this entertaining episode.
Rank #8: Madeleine Albright on the Uses and Abuses of Empathy and Power
Empathy is a powerful tool and, when mixed with politics, it can be used to help the greater good. But, it also has a dark side. In this episode, Alan Alda speaks with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. As Secretary of State, she brought communication skills to international relations that were not only powerful, they were inventive and game changing. They also discuss her recently published best-selling book, "Fascism."
Rank #9: Kate Bowler and How to Handle the Worst News of All
Alan talks with Kate about the awkward, funny, and often misguided, ways people approach the subject when they know someone is seriously ill. New York Times Bestselling author and Duke University divinity professor, Kate Bowler tells Alan how stage 4 cancer led her to write a humorous, and graceful book about communicating with someone who’s received the worst possible news.
Rank #10: Alan Alda and Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast
Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda is coming back soon for a sensational season 4! In the meantime, we've been having a lot of fun behind the scenes creating bonus episodes, new experiences, and great content for you. And, we also want to introduce you to some of our favorite podcasters. So, here's a podcast we like called Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast. In this episode Gilbert and Frank welcome a sought-after guest, writer-director-actor Alan Alda, who discusses (among other topics) growing up in Burlesque theaters, working with his father Robert Alda, coping with the pressures of sudden fame and learning to live life "in the moment." Also, Buster Keaton does a backflip, Mickey Rooney "hails a cab," Sarah Silverman forms an unlikely friendship and Alan remembers M*A*S*H colleagues Harry Morgan, Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson. PLUS: The Great Blackstone! "The Beast with Five Fingers"! Revisiting "Crimes and Misdemeanors"! Beetlepuss rescues Bela Lugosi! And Alan shares the stage with Red Buttons, Phil Silvers and Mae West!
Rank #11: Tina Fey and the Transformative Power of Improv
Two icons of improv and comedy together on the same podcast. Alan Alda and Tina Fey - do we need to say more? This episode was originally recorded live on stage. Tina also joined Alan in studio to answer 7 questions about herself. Her answers are profound and funny and show why she's one of the great comedians of all time.
Rank #12: Itzhak Perlman on the Spontaneity and Connection of Performance
In this delightful and spirited conversation, Alan Alda talks with his good friend the world-renowned violinist, Itzhak Perlman. They explore the power of spontaneity in both music and acting, and what happens when a musician talks to the audience.
Rank #13: Jaron Lanier on Why You Should Delete Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
Should you shut down your social media accounts right now? Jaron Lanier thinks so, and he knows the tech world. He helped build the Internet and was one of the creators of virtual reality. But now, he believes something has gone very wrong with our new digital world. In this episode, Jaron joins Alan Alda to discuss social media addiction, the crisis at Facebook, how our behavior is being subtly manipulated, and how the means of communication that we hoped would bring us closer together - is doing exactly the opposite.
Rank #14: Dr. Ruth on Communicating Under the Covers and Above
Her name is Ruth Westheimer, but we all know her as Dr. Ruth, the helpful lady who’s spoken to us for decades about sex. She's always direct, to the point, and bubbling with insight about ourselves and our partners. In this frank conversation with Alan Alda, Dr. Ruth talks about how to achieve a long lasting relationship in a short term world. She also talks candidly about her past experience as a sniper, and shares her thoughts on sex and relationships as we age.
Rank #15: Is Empathy Good or Bad? A Conversation with Paul Bloom
Yale Professor Paul Bloom doesn't think empathy is such a good thing. He's even written a book about it called, The Case Against Empathy. However, he does have an interesting theory about what he calls rational compassion. Paul and Alan Alda discuss their views for and against empathy and find out that they have more in common than they thought.