Listen to this truly historic episode of "Now What? which features best selling author Michael Pollan and Timothy Leary. Leary comes to us by way of a 1980 interview I did with him about turning on, tuning in and dropping out. We talk about how LSD has become trendy again and whether psychedelics have the potential to lead to a new world consciousness. "Now What? is produced with the help of Gabe Zimmer Zimmer and Steve Zimmer. Audio Production is by Nick Ciavatta and Billy Libby, who composed the new "Now What?" theme.
Older women. They’ve been the target of jokes forever. Clinical psychologist and bestselling author Mary Pipher doesn't like that. Pipher has written a book called “Women Rowing North" about flourishing as we age. To round out our conversation I invited my young friend Haley Zimring to join us. Haley is 28 and has two young children. Listen to us talking young and old and all the stages in between. "Now What?" is produced with the help of Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
He's a big guy in more ways than one. John Fetterman is 6' 8." He got a reputation as America's coolest Mayor when he tried innovative ways to revive the little town of Braddock, Pa. Now Fetterman is the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. Unlike most politicians, he’s isn’t boring. He’s downright inspiring. We talked about why anyone would want to be in politics in 2019 and why he likes getting whacked in the head by his son’s nerf gun.“Now What?” was produced with help from Derrick Clements, Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
Ali Velshi is co-host of the MSNBC show Velshi and Ruhle. And it's a good thing he's got a sense of humor. Stephen Colbert has referred to Velshi as the "business reporter from our hairless, raceless future.” True, Velshi is bald. Born in Kenya to parents of Indian descent, Velshi is also an immigrant and a Muslim. We talked about all that, fake facts and the future of the planet on this episode of “Now What?” Check out our conversation, which was produced with help from Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
I didn’t know much about Danny Glover before my friend Eric Werthman got the chance to make a move with him. Glover has had one of those careers that just keeps going with more than 165 TV projects, plays and movies including “Lethal Weapon” which really put him in the Hollywood orbit. On Glover’s lunch break, I found out what he’s really passionate about. It’s not acting or movie making. It’s the years he spent as a community organizer and all the social issues he really cares about. "Now What?" is produced with the help of Jon Kalish, Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
You probably know him best as Saul Berenson, the CIA operative on the Emmy-award winning series "Homeland.” But Patinkin has had a long career on stage and in film. 30 years ago he starred in “The Princess Bride.” Who could ever forget “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Carole Zimmer talked with Mandy Patinkin about his life-long love affair with music and what’s really important in life. “Now What?” was produced with help from Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray is married to Mayor Bill deBlasio, There are good reasons to stay away from interviewing politicians. They tend to talk in sound bites or trap you in their talking points. But McCray is actually willing to look you in the eye and tell you what it was like to be the only black student in her school and how she fell in love with her husband. Check out our conversation on
“Now What?” is produced with help from Allison Bernstein and Rafaella Gunz.
Some art critics have called Judy Chicago's monumental work "The Dinner Party" crass and vulgar. That's because the ceramic plates highlighting famous women in history have wings and petals that evoke the most intimate parts of a woman's body. Elizabeth Sackler rescued the art installation from the darkness of storage when she bought it for the Brooklyn Museum. This is the story of two women who changed feminist art forever.
"Now What?" is produced with help from Allison Bernstein & Rafaella Gunz.
He likes loud colors. He likes to mix ball gowns with combat boots. Isaac Mizrahi went from producing couture fashion to designing a line for Target before signing an exclusive deal with the home shopping channel QVC which he says is more relevant to women than high fashion anyway. Check out my conversation with the man who used to design $1600 tee shirts and hear what he has to say about why he’s always felt more like a woman than a man. “Now What?” was produced with help from Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
She’s made more than 1100 documentaries and won 65 Emmys. In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from Sheila Nevins who spent 35 years at HBO transforming documentaries from dull stories to eye popping series like “Taxi Confessions” and “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.” Check out my conversation with the hilarious and outspoken Nevins as we talk about facelifts and what women have to do to get ahead in the world. Now What?” was produced with help from Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
This episode of “Now What?” tells a story about family secrets, race and identity. It takes place in the little town of Woodstock in upstate New York where Lacey Schwartz grew up with her parents Peggy and Robert. She went to the local schools and celebrated her bas mitzvah at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. With her darker skin tone and curly hair, Lacey always looked different than most of her friends. When she was a teenager Lacey found out the truth about her identity. She made a film about her childhood called “Little White Lie.” I went to visit Lacey at her home in upstate New York where we talked about life lessons and the power of denial.
“Now What?” is produced with help from Allison Bernstein and Rafaella Gunz.
In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from actor Alan Alda. He first made a name for himself playing Hawkeye Pierce, a surgeon in a mobile operating unit during the Korean War on M*A*S*H. Alda has worked for directors like Martin Scorsese in "The Aviator" and Steven Spielberg in "Bridge of Spies." And there were the political roles including Senator Arnold Vinick on "The West Wing." Alda has also written best sellers and been married to the same woman for almost 60 years. He talks about what it's like to live in other people's skin and what he wants to leave behind when he's gone. It’s all on “Now What?” which was produced with help from Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from legendary TV producer Norman Lear who created “All in the Family” and other hit TV shows including Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time and Maude. Now, Lear has sold a new show to NBC about adventures in a senior community. In LA, I opened Google maps and sailed onto the 405 in my rental car, wending my way to the Beverly Hills office of the 95-year old television writer and producer. We had so much fun, singing, laughing and talking about what it means to live in the moment and what happens when those moments run out. It’s all on “Now What?” which was produced with help from Stephen Colon, Nathaniel Beaver, Gabriel Zimmer and Steve Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from Jane Pauley, who took over as co-host of the Today show when she was barely 25. Audiences loved the straight forward mid westerner who reminded them of the girl next door, the one you hoped your son might marry. When a younger, blonder woman made it a little too crowded on the set, Pauley moved on to co-host Dateline. A series of severe mood swings eventually led her to a stint in a psychiatric ward. But she's a woman who's all about re-invention and she's back on TV in another high profile role, host of CBS Sunday Morning. We talk about her journey in television and how life always manages to pack its share of surprises. It’s all on “Now What?” which was produced by Carole Zimmer and Nick Ciavatta with help from Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer.
In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the holistic learning center, the Omega Institute and author of several books including “Marrow: A Love Story.” From the time Lesser was a child she found herself seeking a spiritual path. Starting out as a midwife, she witnessed the many wonders of birth. Now Lesser is coping with the other side of that equation, the death of her younger sister Maggie, a year after Lesser gave her sister a stem cell transplant. A frequent guest on SuperSoul Sunday, Lesser has talked with Oprah about gratitude and why she believes in change. Now, Lesser talks with host Carole Zimmer about life, death and the power of love. “Now What?” was produced with help from Nick Ciavatta, Justin Foy, Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer.
In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from Gideon Irving who travels around the world performing his show in peoples’ living rooms. It’s a mix of song, magic and stories that Stephen Sondheim has called eccentric and exhilarating. Gideon has just had a hit off-Broadway show that’s about to tour across the country. And he’s planning to spend a year on horseback riding through what was once known as the Wild West, stopping at homes along the way to do his shows. Did you know there’s even such a thing as a horse motel? Gideon and I had a lot of laughs making up songs and talking about why he’s such a nut for adventure. It’s all on “Now What?” which was produced with help from Nick Ciavatta, Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer.
Lesley Stahl started her career at CBS in 1972, a year when networks began to feel the pressure to hire more women. In that same year, Stahl made a name for herself covering Watergate, the scandal that led to Richard Nixon’s administration. She went on to cover the White House in the Carter, Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations. For the past 26 years, Stahl has been a 60 minutes Correspondent reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan, collecting 12 Emmys along the way. She says one of the best days of her life was going to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The other best days have nothing to do with the news. They’re all about her grand children Jordan and Chloe. I went to 60 Minutes to talk to Stahl about why her walls are covered with photos of little children and why being a grandmother is the best assignment she’s ever had. It’s all on “Now What?” which was produced with help from Nick Ciavatta, Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer.
Kelly Carlin’s father George became one of the most famous counter culture comedians of all time. His “7 dirty words” routine went all the way to the Supreme Court. George was the guest host of the first Saturday Night Live show ever broadcast. He did 14 stand-up comedy specials for HBO, wrote three best sellers, won 5 Grammy Awards and is idolized by comedians like Louis C.K. But try growing up as his daughter. He spent too much time away from home and used too many drugs. Kelly Carlin wrote all about it in “A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George.” I went to see Kelly at her home in LA. We talked about comedy, addiction and how the Buddha was right when he taught that in life is full of suffering as well as joy.
It’s all on “Now What?” which was produced with help from Nick Ciavatta, Stephen Colon, Dan Przygoda, Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer.
In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from actor, writer and director Carl Reiner who works in a room surrounded by his nine Emmys. We got to spend an afternoon in his Beverly Hills home where he talked about starting out on the Sid Caesar show, creating the Dick Van Dyke show and teaming up with Mel Brooks to perform a sketch at parties that became known at the “2000 Year Old Man.” Reiner was the straight man and Brooks was the guy with 42,000 children and not one of them ever came to visit. At 94, Reiner is writing two books. He told me he always wanted to be an Irish tenor and then burst into song. It’s all on “Now What?” which was produced with help from Jessi Carrier, Nick Ciavatta, Gabe Zimmer and Steve Zimmer.
In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from Eve Ensler, the playwright who created “The Vagina Monologues,” a theater piece that changed the lives of thousands of women, especially her own. We got to spend an evening with Ensler in her Manhattan apartment filled with the treasures from her travels, talking about the emotional distance she has traveled, the community she founded for women in the Congo and surviving a near fatal battle with cancer. As Ensler puts it, “We go through so many lifetimes in this lifetime.” “Now What?” was produced with help from Nick Ciavatta, Nellie Gilles, Allison Bernstein, Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer.
He’s been doing stand-up for 50 years and he’s sometimes called the comedian’s comedian. For Jay Leno, Robert Klein is a comic hero. “He was a guy who I felt was like me. Middle class, normal parents. Watched the same TV shows I watched and that was a big change in comedy.” Jerry Seinfeld points to Klein as one of the most “intelligent, coolest comedians around.” I caught up with Klein in upstate New York where he was appearing at the Woodstock Comedy Festival. Turns out we had a lot in common. We’re both from the Bronx, our mothers used to throw dimes out of the window so we could get ice cream and we both worked as substitute teachers.