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Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

WNYC Studios

473
Followers
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Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

WNYC Studios

473
Followers
2.2K
Plays
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About Us

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

Latest Episodes

Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame

Wynton Marsaliswas on the cover of Time as the avatar of the "New Jazz Age." His central role in reviving the genreis thanks partly to his gorgeous, virtuosictrumpet-playing, and partly to his founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center. JALC establishedjazz at the heart of American high culture. That"officialness"turned off some jazz musicians: wasn't their music supposed to be looser, smaller? But Marsalistells Alec that the desire torelegate jazz to small underground clubs is "ghettoizing." In front of a live audience at JALC's Rose Hall, Marsalis also goes deep with Alec about his father's influence -- and hisracially fraught interactions with professors and conductors at Juilliard when he showed up from Louisiana in 1979.

37 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame

Julie Andrews, Revisited

We often think of Julie Andrews as the prim nannyfromMary PoppinsandThe Sound of Music, but her personal path may have the greatest resemblance to one of her Broadway roles: Eliza Doolittle inMy 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 inThe Boy Friend, it was producer Cy Feuer’s advice that we have to thank, in large part, for the level of excellence Andrews has brought to musical film and theater for generations. “Forget camp,” he told her. “Get real.”

50 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Julie Andrews, Revisited

Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story

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 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.

37 MIN2019 DEC 11
Comments
Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story

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

The last Democrat elected to the Senate seat Cristina Tzintzunhas her sights on wasLyndon Johnson. Republican takeovers are just a fact of lifein 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 reversethe 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 atrail begunby 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.

34 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
Is Cristina Tzintzun Texas Democrats' Best Bet for the Senate?

And Another Thing, with Errol Morris

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

16 MIN2019 NOV 23
Comments
And Another Thing, with Errol Morris

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

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'ssubjects’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 hismeandering path to the top, involving deepdebt, a master's degree in Philosophy, and a stint as a private investigator. "Film-making saved me," he says. Morris also responds tothe heated controversy surrounding his new documentary,American Dharma, about Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, rejecting the argument that it was wrong to provideBannon a platform for his ideas.

47 MIN2019 NOV 13
Comments
Errol Morris on Steve Bannon, Self-Loathing, and Life as a Private Eye

Edward Norton on Directing – and His Directors

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 getsintimately involved in editing, as was the case withAmerican 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 starsalongside Alec's Robert Moses character, whotries 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 Miloš Forman. A "cheat sheet" of all the movies and directors Edward and Alec discussed, in order, is available athttps://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/heresthething/edwardandalec.

39 MIN2019 OCT 30
Comments
Edward Norton on Directing – and His Directors

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

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 asthe shufflingyentaShelly Pfefferman inTransparentand as the lithe, aristocraticHedda Gabler. But she only got to exercise those talentsby saying "yes" to a lot of less intricate roles -- most famously the housewife-prostitute Karen Wolek on One Life to Live and Type-AdivorcéeAngela Bower onWho'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."

37 MIN2019 OCT 16
Comments
Judith Light Once Told Her Agent, "No Soaps, No Sitcoms"

Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

Peter Bergman is the dean of soap opera actors. Hisportrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Childrenfrom 1979 to 1989 overlappedprecisely with the era whensoap 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 Bergmanentered the pitchman pantheon with hiscough 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 isthe mercurial head of Jabot Cosmetics, trying to triumph in love and industry overhis rival Victor Newman. Alec and Bergmanbond over their shared past as high school athletes who found themselves attracted to the stage, andover the joys and difficulties of day...

46 MIN2019 OCT 2
Comments
Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

Lang Lang Plays

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 gueststories of hardship during his childhood in northeastern China, and of his slow climb to the top, viaPhiladelphia. 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 collectionof 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.

47 MIN2019 SEP 18
Comments
Lang Lang Plays

Latest Episodes

Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame

Wynton Marsaliswas on the cover of Time as the avatar of the "New Jazz Age." His central role in reviving the genreis thanks partly to his gorgeous, virtuosictrumpet-playing, and partly to his founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center. JALC establishedjazz at the heart of American high culture. That"officialness"turned off some jazz musicians: wasn't their music supposed to be looser, smaller? But Marsalistells Alec that the desire torelegate jazz to small underground clubs is "ghettoizing." In front of a live audience at JALC's Rose Hall, Marsalis also goes deep with Alec about his father's influence -- and hisracially fraught interactions with professors and conductors at Juilliard when he showed up from Louisiana in 1979.

37 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame

Julie Andrews, Revisited

We often think of Julie Andrews as the prim nannyfromMary PoppinsandThe Sound of Music, but her personal path may have the greatest resemblance to one of her Broadway roles: Eliza Doolittle inMy 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 inThe Boy Friend, it was producer Cy Feuer’s advice that we have to thank, in large part, for the level of excellence Andrews has brought to musical film and theater for generations. “Forget camp,” he told her. “Get real.”

50 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Julie Andrews, Revisited

Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story

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 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.

37 MIN2019 DEC 11
Comments
Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story

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

The last Democrat elected to the Senate seat Cristina Tzintzunhas her sights on wasLyndon Johnson. Republican takeovers are just a fact of lifein 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 reversethe 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 atrail begunby 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.

34 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
Is Cristina Tzintzun Texas Democrats' Best Bet for the Senate?

And Another Thing, with Errol Morris

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

16 MIN2019 NOV 23
Comments
And Another Thing, with Errol Morris

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

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'ssubjects’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 hismeandering path to the top, involving deepdebt, a master's degree in Philosophy, and a stint as a private investigator. "Film-making saved me," he says. Morris also responds tothe heated controversy surrounding his new documentary,American Dharma, about Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, rejecting the argument that it was wrong to provideBannon a platform for his ideas.

47 MIN2019 NOV 13
Comments
Errol Morris on Steve Bannon, Self-Loathing, and Life as a Private Eye

Edward Norton on Directing – and His Directors

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 getsintimately involved in editing, as was the case withAmerican 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 starsalongside Alec's Robert Moses character, whotries 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 Miloš Forman. A "cheat sheet" of all the movies and directors Edward and Alec discussed, in order, is available athttps://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/heresthething/edwardandalec.

39 MIN2019 OCT 30
Comments
Edward Norton on Directing – and His Directors

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

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 asthe shufflingyentaShelly Pfefferman inTransparentand as the lithe, aristocraticHedda Gabler. But she only got to exercise those talentsby saying "yes" to a lot of less intricate roles -- most famously the housewife-prostitute Karen Wolek on One Life to Live and Type-AdivorcéeAngela Bower onWho'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."

37 MIN2019 OCT 16
Comments
Judith Light Once Told Her Agent, "No Soaps, No Sitcoms"

Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

Peter Bergman is the dean of soap opera actors. Hisportrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Childrenfrom 1979 to 1989 overlappedprecisely with the era whensoap 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 Bergmanentered the pitchman pantheon with hiscough 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 isthe mercurial head of Jabot Cosmetics, trying to triumph in love and industry overhis rival Victor Newman. Alec and Bergmanbond over their shared past as high school athletes who found themselves attracted to the stage, andover the joys and difficulties of day...

46 MIN2019 OCT 2
Comments
Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

Lang Lang Plays

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 gueststories of hardship during his childhood in northeastern China, and of his slow climb to the top, viaPhiladelphia. 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 collectionof 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.

47 MIN2019 SEP 18
Comments
Lang Lang Plays

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