This week we are asked to speculate on the idea that if we were to gain so much notoriety by our writing that we merited a TV interview, which talk show host would we like to do the honors?
Of course, the most enjoyable of all was Johnny Carson. He was the perfect host in that he asked great questions, was well prepared, and he made his guests at ease. He joked with them, but never embarrassed them nor did he let his own opinions interfere with what they had to say. He had the biggest stars all of the time,(I would have loved to have been in their company!), but he often had on “regular” people, people who had accomplished something unique or unusual, and he treated them with the same respect, or perhaps more, than he did the most famous celebrities.
But I don’t think many authors were Tonight Show guests, and I doubt I could be entertaining enough to warrant staying on the couch.[ The guests moved from the chair near Johnny’s desk down the couch as the other guests did their thing with Johnny. Any given night Bob Hope may be with Dean Martin and Jimmy Stewart; it was that celebrity-packed.]
Several of us this week have brought up the fact that sometimes, when we have been interviewed for some reason, the reporters have tried to make us say things that we did not want to say, twisted our words or had what we did say taken out of context. I would be very concerned about going before a camera again with just any interviewer, since it happened to me on TV news and in newspaper interviews.
I don’t watch talk shows often for the very reason that most of them seem to be superficial and the current interviewers, (one can hardly call them “hosts”), seem to be rather silly…and they make jokes at their guests’ expenses.
I would like to think, however, that I could achieve notoriety for a work that captured the public’s imagination, or made a good statement that caused them to think, or perhaps, be better people.
In that case, I think I’d like to be interviewed by Tavis Smiley, a great host and a man who, although I do not always agree with him, has standards and integrity.
Or, better yet, Charlie Rose.
Often Charlie Rose has authors on his show who have made what he considers a contribution to culture or the world. If their work is made into an important movie, he often has the author, the producer and/or director and the major stars of the work to discuss the book and the movie version. That would be beyond a dream!
Of course, Larry King always did the same and last I heard he is still kicking around, doing interviews that can be seen online, although he seems to be slowing down quite a bit.
So there are my picks and I can dream that one day I will give them the opportunity to prove my faith in their abilities!
What are your opinion of Tavis, Charlie and Larry?