In praise of Howard Stern, master interviewer. A great Harry Caray/Lumineers mash-up. And “20 Feet from Stardom” a must-see

MrMet**So this has nothing to do with anything except I feel I must share it: Last week, the wife and I were at Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park (we only got to see about 25 minutes before a thunderstorm washed it out) and before the show we were getting a bite to eat in the park when, totally out of nowhere, Mr. Met, the Mets mascot, walked five feet from us.

Startled, I of course called out “Hi Mr. Met!” and he waved. But what the hell was Mr. Met doing in full costume at 7 p.m. on a Thursday, nowhere near a baseball game?
I’ve been wondering ever since. On a related note, can you imagine sitting behind Mr. Met at a theater? No way you’re going to see anything.

OK, on with the show…

I have zero love for Howard Stern. In fact, I pretty much loathe him.
This has led to heated arguments with two of my best friends, who both worship him and listen to him all the time.
I admire his success, but always found his brand of filth just pretty unfunny.
However, I have to give the man props for this: He’s really an excellent interviewer. He gets celebrities to open up and be totally revealing, and he lets them talk about their worlds in a way you don’t get anywhere else on TV or radio.

Last week he had Jerry Seinfeld on, and I was alerted by several websites I look at that this was one of his best. I checked it out and it was indeed fantastic. It’s 90 minutes of Seinfeld letting loose on his iconic show, comedian’s insecurity, his childhood, and a host of other topics.

I know you probably don’t have 90 minutes right now to listen to it, but if you listen 15-20 minutes a time like I did, it’s worth your time.

**Next up, something I found hilarious. Someone on the Internet took the time to mash-up The Lumineers’ big hit “Ho, Hey” with Will Ferrell’s brilliant Harry Caray impression from “Saturday Night Live.”

I watched it three times and laughed harder each time.

**Finally, a quick plug for a great documentary I saw the other night. It’s called “20 Feet from Stardom,” and it’s about the history of backup singers in rock and roll. And it was really, really fascinating.

So man of these great women (and they were mostly women), like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton, have been forgotten by history, or at least marginalized. In the movie we get to hear their stories (Clayton’s tale of being the incredible voice on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” is worth the price of admission alone), hear their voices, and learn what their lives have been like.

Some of the lucky ones got to make it as a solo artist; but most of them had to be content standing in the shadows, making the “talent” sound good and getting very little credit.

It’s a moving film about a group of people who we never hear from, and you’ll walk out of the theater feeling good.
It’s in limited release but check out this site to see if it’s playing hear you.

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2 responses to “In praise of Howard Stern, master interviewer. A great Harry Caray/Lumineers mash-up. And “20 Feet from Stardom” a must-see

  1. I listened to the interview in one sitting. That was great. Maybe it was just this interview, but when I listened to Howard it seemed like he liked to embarrass his guests.

    I would love to see the documentary, but it will never come here. It surprises me that Darlene Love is not a big star. I think she is tremendous. She doesn’t seem to do many concerts. I wonder if she still does a lot of back up singing. I always look forward to when she is on Letterman’s Christmas show. And I never get tired of hearing the Lone Ranger story.

  2. Pingback: A predictable, but pretty entertaining, night at the Oscars | Wide World of Stuff

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