In this new kind of interview show, Randy Cohen talks to guests about a person, a place, and a thing they find meaningful. The result: surprising stories from great talkers. Learn more at http://personplacething.org/
The greatest gift to any humorist is a parent who is impossible to please. This writer, a co-creator of Late Night With David Letterman, describes a note in her mother’s copy of David Copperfield. “It said, ‘Not one of his best works. I was disappointed.’ If she was giving Dickens a hard time, what did I think that I was going to get?” You can enjoy these delightful scenes of childhood in her graphic memoir, We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe..
This celebrated Broadway actor--The Secret Garden, The Music Man, Mary Poppins--much admired for her glorious voice, sees parallels between cooking and theater. Both are ephemeral. A recipe is akin to a script: neither is the thing itself; each provides instructions for creating the thing. None of this contradicts audience etiquette: no eating during the performance, and no cooking at your seat.
His work with Talking Heads lofted him to the empyrean, and he just kept going, making art, music, movies, books. He’s been particularly fortunate in his collaborators – Brian Eno, Robert Wilson, Twyla Tharp. Spike Lee filmed his Broadway show, American Utopia, which streams on HBO this month. Clearly, one of the silliest things F. Scott Fitzgerald said was, “There are no second acts in American Lives.” I’m waiting for an apology letter.
She is the author of The Detroit Project, a three-play cycle, and the Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud--The Life and Times of the Temptations, another kind of Detroit story. Even at its most ferocious, her work is suffused with love. “Love is not approval or agreement or acquiescence. Love is challenge, love is provocation, agitation, and pushing us toward being better.” It’s exhausting, but it’s love.
She directed and designed costumes for the stage version of The Lion King, seen by 90 million people in 100 cities, attributing its success, in part, to its use of puppets. “I actually think people are often more touched by a puppet’s gesture than a human’s.” Make up your own Trump/Putin joke.
When the admired writer -- Election, Little Children, The Leftovers -- was off at college, he got some unsettling news from his beloved cousin Mike: “He was a really talented indie rocker, but he ended up with a bunch of his friends playing in a wedding band.” This became the basis for The Wishbones, whose protagonist regards such bands as emitting “the unmistakable odor of mediocrity.” The cruel judgment of youth. The deeper sympathy of later life.
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The Guy You Want at Your Table
Not even Randy Cohen is as funny, clever and curious as Randy Cohen. ~ Winter Miller
Love the show. I listen to podcasts constantly, and Randy clearly puts a lot of thought and work into this one. It's entertaining and intelligent. Great guests, and Randy is clever and gentlemanly. Def. worth checking out.
A great new approach to the traditional interview
I really like Randy's show becuase it doesn't follow the model of prescriptive trivial anecdotes that inundate late-night television. Instead people on "Person Place Thing" attach meaning to three separate areas, and often I find personal meaning in the depths of these discussions while I'm engaged in the interesting material covered. I never knew that poetry was an Olympic event!