November 27, 2005

"My biggest goal and biggest ambition in life was to be a great conversationalist."

Says Isaac Mizrahi. "I care about clothes and design, but more than anything I care about being this unscripted personality."

I loved his old talk show on Oxygen, and he's got a new talk show on the Style network. I think he really gets how to do TV talk:
"One of the things that I'm very hellbent on doing is not pre-interviewing the hell out of subjects," he said. "On a lot of shows you can feel that the guest is being set up to tell the cute story. I'm like, 'Let's not and say we did.'"

Yeah, don't you hate the way Letterman and Leno bring on actors and actresses who plug in a scripted story? They play the role of an actor on a talk show, being spontaneous and charming the host. What a horror!


erp said...

I remember when Larry King had his late night radio talk show before he became characterature of himself on TV. He purposely didn't get any but the most basic info about guests.

That's when he made his reputation for being a great interviewer because there was the same kind of give and take interesting people have when they first meet and tell about themselves.

PatCA said...

I'll have to watch--thanks for the tip. I usually just click on my tried and true hgtv and a few shows.

Jeff said...

The best thing about Letterman in the 80's was his frequent departure from scripted patter and even from being nice to guests who bored him or angered him.

He was dangerous in that sense; and compelling and hilarious.

My favorite moment of Mizrahi's old show was when he took Florence Henderson on the boardwalk of some beach and stepped back while she was inundated by fans; he didn't seem to get much recognition and was delighted in the attention that "Mrs. Brady" received!

reader_iam said...

Mizrahi should blog! And host a fabulous comments section!

His talk show on Oxygen was great. I don't even know if we get Style on our cable system, but I'll have to check.

Ann Althouse said...

IAm: Alternatively, I should have a talk show.

katiebakes said...

Have you ever seen the Best of Will Ferrell DVD? In the bonus materials they have Ferrell appearing on Conan O'Brian, only he comes on the show in his Robert Goulet character.

It's pretty funny to see Conan so rattled by the unexpectedness of it all. Typically, Conan tends to deal with awkward or dead moments by making fun of or drawing attention to himself, but in this case he isn't quite sure what to do.

It's a hilarious performance by Ferrell.

reader_iam said...

Now, Ann, I actually think that would be exceptionally cool! After all, podcasts are sort of a relative of radio, in a sense.

What kind of college radio station does UW have? Or what kind of NPR or PRI affiliate does Madison have?

Why not, really? Synergy, my dear, synergy!

(A college radio alumna here)

reader_iam said...

"A Talk Show About a Podcast about the Odd Last Few Days on a Blog Called Althouse--with Special Guests!"

Get your son and his friend cracking!

Hmm. Maybe I'm getting carried away here.

Dave said...

I wish someone could explain the appeal of Leno & Letterman to me.

knoxgirl said...

yes... I am surprised that old format isn't hemorraghing ratings at this point. It feels very outdated.

Ann Althouse said...

IAm: Somehow I don't think Madison is the right radio market for me! Maybe XM Radio could do with a podcast-like channel.

Ann Althouse said...

Knoxgirl: Maybe a lot of folks just want something cozy and familiar as they drift off to sleep.