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Here's The Thing With Alec Baldwin


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

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




(212) 433-9692


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 guest stories of hardship during his childhood in northeastern China, and of his slow climb to the top, via Philadelphia. 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...


James Caan: Last of the Tough-Guy Movie Stars

At the end of the 1950s, James Caan, son of a German-Jewish butcher, had been kicked out of ROTC and was too poor to finish college on his own. He started a job for his godfather unpacking meat along the docks of the Hudson River. Less than a decade later, he was starring alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, just a few years from Coppola's giving him a lead in The Godfather. In his unmistakable Queens patois, Caan tells Alec the wonderful, unlikely story of his rise to...


How to Run a Small-Town Paper When Your Town Is East Hampton

Since 2004, 1300 towns across America have lost local newspaper coverage. 2004 was also the first full year David Rattray, the third generation of his family to own the East Hampton Star, served as the paper's editor. It's a job for which Rattray gave up a very different life and career in New York City. That was a good choice: thanks in part to his stewardship, the Star thrives. It covers East Hampton's seasonal transformation into the center of an elite New York social universe, but other...


Donna Schaper, Radical Reverend

The Reverend Donna Schaper of New York's Judson Memorial Church leads her flock of 300 through life's sacraments like any pastor. But she has a national profile, too, appearing in print and on television to reject the idea that Christian values necessarily lead to conservative politics. She tells Alec her story of spiritual awakening, from an abusive working-class home, to parting ways from the Lutheran Church of her childhood, all the way to Judson Memorial Church, a Christian outpost in...


Matthew Landfield's Wildly Deep History of His Childhood Home

Alec Baldwin and Matthew Landfield crossed paths one time before their Here's the Thing interview. In early 2001, Alec was shooting a movie in front of 31 Desbrosses Street in New York's Tribeca neighborhood. Matthew had grown up in the building in the 1980s, raised by a performance-artist mom and modernist-painter father. Matthew and Alec said hello as Matthew walked in to visit his parents. The bohemian scene on the block stuck with Alec over the years -- so much so that when in 2015 he...


A Major Conservatory President Who Knows the Life of a Working Musician

Six years ago the Board of the Manhattan School of Music faced a daunting decision: who would guide the school into its second century? They turned to someone with a long history with the school, James Gandre. Gandre joined MSM as an administrative assistant in the mid-1980s and rose through the ranks. But before then, he'd been auditioning for gigs as a tenor with symphonies and choirs. He continued to do so even after he began in administration. He tells Alec about his journey from...


Brian Lehrer Comes to Here's the Thing

Brian Lehrer is a unique figure in the public life of New York City. Beyond hosting the city's defining daily talk show, he's our conscience and our conciliator. When New Yorkers want a fair mayoral debate, they often call Brian. When WNYC needed someone to help us process our own #metoo moment, we called Brian. The Peabody Awards honored The Brian Lehrer Show for "reuniting the estranged terms 'civil' and 'discourse.'" Of course, civil doesn't mean soft: he can be unsparing in his...


Julie Brown UPDATED: Acosta's Epstein Explanations Are "Ridiculous," "Disingenuous"

Alexander Acosta has resigned from his position as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. That's because of the sweetheart deal he cut politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein back in 2008, when Acosta was a federal prosecutor. In the swirl of news following Epstein's re-arrest, but before the Acosta resignation, Julie Brown stepped out of Acosta's press conference to speak to Alec on the phone. We learn her reaction and that of Epstein's victims who called her up after the...


These Three People Say They Can Fix the Subway

Corey Johnson wants to be the next mayor of New York, and the press seems to think he will be. His plan to fix transit is the centerpiece of his platform. Tom Wright is the CEO of the powerful Regional Plan Association. That organization imagines the future and comes up with ideas for infrastructure and bureaucracy that could meet its needs. Nicole Gelinas, a reporter and a Manhattan Institute scholar of Urban Economics, also believes in big, innovative projects. But for the past 15 years,...


Adam Schiff Tells All: Could Have Gone to Med School, Mom Livid

California Congressman Adam Schiff weighs both sides of the impeachment debate and speaks out forcefully on Iran. Plus why his childhood in Massachusetts had an influence on his future career, why his his mother was so disappointed that he went to law school instead of medical school, and whether President Trump has done more to encourage or discourage aspiring progressive public servants.


How Julie Brown Broke Open the Jeffrey Epstein Story

Julie Brown of the Miami Herald conceived, reported, and wrote one of the most explosive criminal justice stories in recent memory. She revealed the shutting down of an FBI investigation that may have been on the verge of discovering the full extent of a child-sex-trafficking operation run by politically-connected billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The prosecutor allegedly behind that decision, Alex Acosta, is now President Trump's Secretary of Labor. Acosta offered Epstein a plea deal in which...


Moby on Living Large and Falling Hard

Moby had already put out four studio albums when Play was released in 1999. He was solidly into his 30s, playing gigs in record stores and thinking about a career-change. But Play, against all expectations, started selling. Then it started selling out. There was champagne, then vodka, then cocaine. He swung between drug-induced euphoria and thoughts of suicide. The stories of stardom he tells Alec are both funny and troubling. But Moby saw his way out of the spiral. Now a decade without...


Jeff Daniels Was Supposed to Take Over the Family Lumber Business

By 1976, college student Jeff Daniels was pretty sure he didn't want to follow his father into the Michigan lumber trade. But he wasn't sure he could make it as a working actor -- until one of the founders of Manhattan's legendary Circle Repertory Company spotted him at Eastern Michigan University. It was a short hop from Circle Rep to his screen breakthrough in Terms of Endearment, but Daniels' commitment to the stage has never waned. That commitment bore a Tony nomination this year...


Jane Mayer on Thomas, Trump, and Twitter

The New Yorker’s marquee investigative journalist, Jane Mayer has been a thorn in the side of three presidents, two Supreme Court justices, and, most recently, Fox News. She tells Alec stories from her investigations into Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, and talks about what drew her to the rigors of reporting. Plus she reveals details about her process, including why she often leaves victim-interviews to her co-authors.


Perta: Life Just Before Rock Stardom

The band Perta has landed a glossy magazine profile and is represented by star-making talent agents WME. They've got big labels knocking at the door, attracted by a stunningly talented frontman and a funky, catchy, original sound. But that doesn't mean they can necessarily quit their day jobs. It's a strange, exciting place to be. Perta frontman Mat Bazulka and founder/keyboardist Colin Kenrick tell the story of how one band is breaking through in a rapidly changing music world -- and share...


Geoffrey Horne and the Mysterious Disappearance of a Dreamboat

Barely out of college in the mid-1950s, Geoffrey Horne was a heartthrob TV star with acting chops to rival the greatest talents of his day. In '57 David Lean gave him a breakout role in his masterpiece, Bridge on the River Kwai and Otto Preminger followed up by casting him as Philippe in Bonjour Tristesse. Full Hollywood stardom seemed inevitable -- and yet, few roles followed. Horne didn't resurface as an actor of note for 25 years, in late-70s New York, when his scene-work at the Actors...


Sarah Kliff and the Insane Saga of American Emergency Room Bills

America’s most famous healthcare expert was actually born in Canada! The Vox reporter and all-around policy guru explains how, in a country with entrenched interests similar to ours, progressives managed to win coverage for every Canadian. Plus she gives her take on the remarkable unity in the Democratic Party over "Medicare for All," the political realities about what can actually get done, and tells stories from her year spent reading Americans’ terrifying, infuriating emergency room...


Itzhak Perlman Cracks Wise

The legendary violinist talks about his difficult childhood, stricken by polio in the war-torn early days of Israeli statehood -- and laughs about his early success, whisked away to the United States at 13 to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. Plus, what makes a truly great instrumentalist? What makes a great teacher? Later, his wife Toby Perlman weighs in, too, so the interview becomes a family affair, topped with a spectacular Mendelssohn performance by eight students from the Perlman Music...


Steven Lee Myers' Putin Primer

Russia has glittering towers and a jet-set elite, but grinding rural poverty. It has one of the world’s great literary traditions, but throws dissenters in jail for a blog post. Who is Vladimir Putin, the man who created this new world power through force of will? New York Times’ correspondent Steven Lee Myers unravels some of this question for Alec. His book is The New Tsar. Myers talks to Alec about Putin’s early years, the Putin-Trump connection and how being the New York Times’ Beijing...


Climate Science, Explained

How can Earth Scientists and programmers really make predictions about the climate? What are the ethics of having kids in a warming world? How to combat the disastrous politicization of the issue? Dr. Peter deMenocal is the Dean of Science at Columbia, and a Geologist. As a research scientist, he studies how Earth's climate has changed in the past. Dr. Kate Marvel helps figure out its future by creating the world's most detailed and accurate computer climate-models. Together, they're the...