Kathy Hochul. Not exactly a household name. But New York’s Lt. Governor has a higher profile these days now that her boss, Governor Andrew Cuomo is a political star. Before teaming up with Cuomo, Hochul’s political career was all about men behaving badly. I talk with Hochul about the nasty business of politics and what it takes to stay above the fray. Now What?” was produced with help from Gabe Zimmer, Steve Zimmer and Stephanie Marie Horton. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
Steven Colbert has called him a smartypants and an egghead. Bard College President Leon Botstein says he’s one of those people who’s easy to make fun of and he’s okay with that. In addition to being the head of an institution of higher learning for the past 45 years, Botstein is the Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. And while other educators are worried about what’s going to happen to colleges now, Botstein says the creativity of students will save the day. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Gabe Zimmer, Steve Zimmer and Stephanie Marie Horton. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
He’s probably the best-known documentary filmmaker in the U.S. His work has been honored with 15 Emmy Awards including one for The Vietnam War, a 10-part series that took Ken Burns more than 10 years to make. He’s always loved history but his subjects also go beyond extraordinary events. On this episode of "Now What?" we talk about life lessons in a pandemic and what we can learn from looking at history while living in the moment. "Now What?" is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Gabe Zimmer and Stephanie Hou. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
Ann Patchett is the author of 8 novels, a memoir, a collection of essays and a children’s book. She says one of the biggest thrills in her life was the moment her friend Tom Hanks agreed to narrate the audio version of her latest best seller “The Dutch House.” What she likes best is reading, talking about books and wearing flip flops to work at her bookstore in Nashville. We talk about how a pandemic brings you face to face with what’s really important in life and how books help you to find yourself. “Now What?” was produced with the help of Gabe Zimmer, Steve Zimmer and Stephanie Hou. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
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.
This conversation took place in person just days before masks, gloves and social distancing took over. Reichardt is an independent filmmaker whose movies “Wendy and Lucy” and “Certain Women” often star actress Michelle Williams and often win prizes at Festivals like Sundance. Her new film is called “First Cow” and it will be released later this year when theaters open again. In the meantime, you can hear Reichardt talk all about her journey from high school dropout to becoming an artist who creates imaginative, independent work on her own terms. "Now What?" was produced with the help of 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.
She's already lived many lifetimes in this one life. Eve Ensler wrote the ground-breaking theater piece, "The Vagina Monologues," about a woman’s most private parts. She founded a community in the Congo for women who were raped. She won a near-fatal battle with cancer. And in this episode, Ensler talks about another shocking subject: how she was sexually abused by her father from the time she was 5 years old. Now What?” was produced with help from 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.