In these odd times, we don’t meet in person. For this conversation, I was in my closet in Woodstock, New York and Nick Kristof was in his study in Westchester. Kristof, who has been an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times since 2001 is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. His latest book is called Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope. When it comes to reporting, Kristof is an example of the best of the best and he covers the hard subjects: injustice, poverty and human rights. “Now What?” is produced with help from Gabe Zimmer, Steve Zimmer and Stephanie Hou. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
Lili Taylor is one of those actors who can play just about any role. You probably know her from dozens of movies including “Mystic Pizza,” an iconic horror movie called “The Conjuring” and an indy called “I Shot Andy Warhol.” I particularly remember her role as Lisa in “Six Feet Under,” the hippie villain you love to hate. Taylor is also on the board of the Audubon Society and when she isn’t in front of a camera, she’s probably looking for birds. That’s how we ended up strolling through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park searching for owls and talking about acting. “Now What?” is produced with help from Gabe Zimmer, Steve Zimmer, Rachel O’Brien and Stephanie Hou. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
I went to the TEDWomen conference and heard from people with big ideas who think out of the box including Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler and Pat Mitchell. Mitchell is the mastermind behind this conference that focuses on the power of women and girls to be creators and change makers. You won’t want to miss our conversation about what it means to be a dangerous woman and the power of taking risks. “Now What?” is produced with help from Gabe Zimmer, Steve Zimmer and Stephanie Hou. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
She’s written 9 books and she loves digging up facts like these. Mamie Eisenhower, wife of the 34th President, wore a pink inaugural gown that had more than 2,000 hand-sewn rhinestones in it. And New York Times Op-Ed columnist Gail Collins also says Mamie liked pink toilet seats. In addition to Collins, we also hear from Betty Friedan about the people who used to be called stewardesses, writer Nora Ephron about how she got her skin to clear up, Bella Abzug on the elusive idea of equality and Shirley Maclaine on why she’d never want to be 20 again. That’s all on this episode of “Now What?” produced with help from Steve Zimmer, Gabe Zimmer and Stephanie Hou. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
When Ruth Reichl was the Restaurant Critic of the New York Times, she dressed up in disguises like Chloe the sexy blond and Heddy the bag lady to fool anyone who might recognize her at upscale restaurants like Le Cirque. Reichl has written 8 books about her relationship with food including her latest “Save Me the Plums.” I went to see Reichl in her home in upstate New York where she told me about what happened when the ax fell on Gourmet Magazine and she lost her job as Editor of one of the last iconic food magazines on the planet. Now What?” was produced with help from Stephanie Hou, Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
Judy Collins made her debut as a classical pianist playing a Mozart concerto when she was 13. But folk music stole her heart in the days when Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie were capturing the bohemian spirit. In the 60s and 70s Collins recorded songs by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Stephen Sondheim. And there were songs written about her like Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, a big hit for Crosby, Stills and Nash. We talk about love gone wrong, eating disorders, alcoholism and musical legends on this episode of “Now What?” which was produced with help from Stephanie Hou, Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is a long-shot candidate who’s running for President. On the n trial, de Blasio talks a lot about his interracial family and raising a black son. I had the opportunity to speak to his wife, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, about the challenges she’s faced as a mother, her own aspirations of running for office and what’s it like to be a private person in the public spotlight. It’s all in an updated version of my interview with Chirlane McCray on this episode of “Now What?” which was produced with help from Stephanie Hou. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta
She’s an heiress to her grandfather’s fortune. He co-founded the Walt Disney Company. She’s also a philanthropist who has given away more than $70 million. And Abigail Disney is a Twitter queen. Her tweet storm went viral when she called Disney CEO Bob Iger’s $66 million salary “insane.” And expressed her fury about what she calls the poor working conditions and low salaries of the people who take your tickets at Disneyland. Listen to what Abby has to say about being rich and being poor on this episode of “Now What?” which was produced with help from Stephanie Hou, Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
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.