This lighthearted yet revealing conversation between renowned film and TV actor Alan Alda and distinguished author and essayist Roger Rosenblatt was recorded in September of 2007 in New York City as part of the 92nd Street Y's "funny people" series.
Rosenblatt steers the conversation toward a wide range of topics, including Alda's fascination with science, what he's learned honing his craft throughout the years, and the many charitable endeavors he's undertaken.
The chemistry between these two accomplished men coupled with Alda's disarmingly honest tone and effortless storytelling abilities make for a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Listen to Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.
©2007 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association; (P)2007 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This is a pleasurable if somewhat disjointed and disorganized interview with the great Alan Alda, who's always witty and fun to listen to. For longtime Alda fans who have already read or listened to unabridged versions of his two books (especially the best of the two, his stellar autobiography Never Have Your Dog Stuffed), there's not a whole lot of new ground covered, but there is some. I especially enjoyed his recollections of meeting Simon Wiesenthal, his reflections on his near-death experience while filming his science program in Chile, and his advice to oldsters like himself who feel they are running out of time.
What I didn't like: Too much talk from interviewer Roger Rosenblatt; unfocused interview questions; and Alda's surprisingly lame rationale for why he no longer attempts any kind of political activism. (To my ear, "No candidate I worked for ever won" and "I decided I could help more by focusing on my acting" just sounded like code for "I decided life was too short to use my celebrity to help effect any kind of positive change in the world.")
This program is also very short, so don't waste a credit on it! Buy it only when it's on sale for under $2.00.
"It is the business of the times to change...and the business of gentlemen to change with them." ~Amor Towles in "Rules of Civility"
Other than being unable to throw in a question or two of my own, this experience was like sitting in a living room or standing at a dinner party and listening to Alan Alda and Roger Rosenblatt converse. It was spontaneous and it felt honest with all the awkwardness that injects itself in naturally flowing discourse. At the time of this writing (January 11, 2017), Alan Alda will be 81 in just a couple of weeks. In that light, his reflections on fame and family hold a bit of clout in my book.
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