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Now What? With Carole Zimmer

Conversations with extraordinary people about their lives and how they navigate all the bumps in the road.
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Nov 23, 2022

If you’ve seen the Netflix documentary Orgasm Inc. you’ve been introduced to One Taste Founder Nicole Daedone who created a company dedicated to spreading the word about a practice called orgasmic meditation. OneTaste closed its doors after a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article included complaints of sexual assaults and financial improprieties. Daaedone is at the heart of much of the controversy. In an exclusive conversation, I spoke with Daedone about who she is, what went wrong and whether she’s a visionary or a villain. I’ll let you decide. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Andreea Coscai and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Nov 9, 2022

Woodstock, New York is famous for the music festival that actually didn’t take place there. It’s also known for famous musicians like Bob Dylan who once lived there and for its writers like Larry Beinhart who wrote the political satire American Hero. The film Wag the Dog is based on Beinhart’s book. Beinhart has also written a mystery series featuring the private detective Tony Casella. Much of the action in his latest book called The Deal Goes Down takes place in Woodstock where Casella lives and agrees to become a killer for hire. I talk to Larry Beinhart about movies, money and morality. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Andreea Coscai, Alex Wolfe and Justin Foy. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Oct 26, 2022

Constance Wu first gained attention playing a tiger mom on the TV series Fresh Off the Boat. While she was in the series, Wu was cast in a movie called Crazy Rich Asians, a critical and commercial success that made Wu a movie star. But then she made a mistake. She tweeted about how disappointed she was that Fresh off the Boat had been renewed. The backlash was swift with fans calling Wu spoiled and ungrateful. I talk to Constance Wu about the perils of social media and lessons learned. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Andreea Coscai and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Oct 12, 2022

The midterms are right around the corner. With politics in the air I found a couple of interesting people to shoot the breeze with about where we’re heading.  Brad Tusk is a political consultant and venture capitalist who helped a company called Uber gain a foothold in New York and became very rich as a result. Tusk has opened a book store called P&T Knitware on the lower east side of Manhattan. You’ll also hear from California Congressman Adam Schiff who’s running for re-election. Schiff, who is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee led the first impeachment of Donald Trump. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Alex Wolfe and Andreea Coscai. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Sep 28, 2022

Pa. Lt. Governor John Fetterman is running for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania against Dr. Mehmet Oz. He’s a most unusual politician. Fetterman is 6 feet 8 inches tall. He’s got a row of tattoos on his right arm that memorialize the dates that people were killed by gun violence in Braddock, Pa during the 13 years that Fetterman was Mayor. He’s also known for campaigning in shorts and hoodies and he’s got a Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School. I sat down with John Fetterman in 2019 to talk about his appeal to working people and his interest in recreational marijuana. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Alex Wolfe and Andreea Coscai. Audio production is by Nick CIavatta.

Sep 14, 2022

What does it take to create a work of art with another person? Talent, inspiration, hard work. But the most important part of the equation may be whether the creators hit it off and find themselves on the same wavelength. James Lapine found his best collaborator in Stephen Sondheim, one of the greatest theater composers ever. Their first work together turned out to be a Broadway show called Sunday in the Park with George. They went on to create Into the Woods and Passion. I talk to James Lapine about his relationship with Sondheim, who died suddenly last year, and the art of thinking outside the box. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoiem and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Aug 31, 2022

When people ask me who are the most interesting characters I’ve ever talked to for “Now What?” I always think of the Irish actor Gabriel Byrne. Byrne has been in many iconic movies including Miller’s Crossing and The Usual Suspects. He also played the brooding psychiatrist in the series In Treatment and became a heartthrob at the age of 59. He’s now performing in a stage version of his memoir Walking with Ghosts. This is a beautifully written piece in which Byrne talks about the years he spent as a thief and his calling to be a priest. I spoke to Gabriel Byrne for an episode that was first posted in March 2021. “Now What?” is produced with help from Steve Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by  Nick Ciavatta.   

Aug 17, 2022

This is a special episode. It’s about my brother-in-law Joel Zimmer who was diagnosed with back of the tongue and tonsil cancer caused by the HPV virus. If you were to tell people that there’s a form of cancer that’s sexually transmitted they’d probably look at you as if you’re crazy. But there is and cases are on the rise. HPV now causes most of the throat and mouth cancers found in men. You’ll hear from Joel, oncologists, sex experts and President Joe Biden, whom I interviewed in Washington, D.C. about his family’s own experience with cancer. Thank you to Offscrip Health for allowing me to share “Silent Cancer” on “Now What?” “Silent Cancer” was produced with the help of Mary Rose Madden and Nick Ciavatta.

Aug 3, 2022

Since 2017, more than 80 women have come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault. In 2022, the former movie studio mogul was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape. Throughout his career Weinstein was riding high with films like Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love. So the question is how did Weinstein manage to lead a parallel life that lasted for decades in which he abused women. I talk to writer Ken Auletta about his book Hollywood Ending and the culture of silence in the movie business.  “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

 

Jul 20, 2022

His breakthrough movie was Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, the buddy film where the stoners ride a cheetah in New Jersey to get burgers. Penn’s parents came to the U.S. from India and the actor is a long time vocal advocate for more diversity in Hollywood. Penn played a doctor on the TV series House and the son of Indian immigrants in the film The Namesake. When he took a break from acting, Penn served in the Obama administration as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He’s written a memoir about his adventures in Hollywood and Washington called You Can’t Be Serious.  “Now What” is produced with help from Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Jul 6, 2022

Writer Delia Ephron ran into a rough patch that lasted for years. First, her sister Nora died. After Delia’s husband passed away, Delia was diagnosed with the same type of leukemia that killed Nora. Doctors told Delia her own chances of surviving were not good. She tells that gripping story in a memoir called Left on Tenth. But not all is doom and gloom.  Something unexpected happened to Delia in the midst of all the loss; she fell in love. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Alex Wolfe and Annika Hoiem. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Jun 22, 2022

His book about healing trauma, The Body Keeps the Score, has been on the paperback bestseller list for more than 4 years. So why are people so interested in trauma, terrible events that sear themselves into our minds and won’t let go? Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk has spent decades working on ways to free people from the traumatic events that have shaped their lives. We talk about ghosts past and present, psychedelic drugs and what we have to do to feel comfortable in our bodies. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Alex Wolfe and Annika Hoiem. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta. 

Jun 8, 2022

Queen Elizabeth is celebrating 70-years on the throne with people pouring into the streets to toast the longest-reigning British monarch. But the 96-year old Queen has had her challenges in recent years. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle quit their royal duties and took off for southern California. Prince Andrew got himself in trouble with allegations of sexually abusing underage women and hanging out with Jeffrey Epstein. Tina Brown, author of The Palace Papers tells us what’s next for the House of Windsor. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

May 24, 2022

He’s known as the Prince of Puke. John Waters’ film Pink Flamingos starring Divine is about a woman who’s competing for the title of Filthiest Person Alive. In Multiple Maniacs Divine gets sexually assaulted by a giant lobster. Waters’ films like Hairspray and Cecil B. Demented have become cult classics. Waters may be a counter culture hero but he’s also a successful brand. His latest work is a novel called Liarmouth.  I talk to John Waters about being an oddball and why he draws on his moustache. “Now What” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Gabe Zimmer and Annika Hoiem. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

May 11, 2022

Anna Quindlen became a star at the New York Times writing about motherhood and  what it’s like to go to the supermarket dragging little kids along, an event she said should be included in the Olympics. After being awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her Op-ed column Public and Private., Quindlen announced that she was quitting her job at the Times to become a full time novelist. She’s now putting the finishing touches on novel number 10.  I talk to Anna Quindlen about being prolific, her grand kids and the looming threat to abortion rights. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoiem and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Apr 27, 2022

Kent Swig is a legend in real estate circles. Swig began buying buildings in New York’s financial district in the late 90s.  At the peak, Swig’s buildings were worth about $3 billion. But when the 2008 financial crisis hit, the bottom fell out for Swig. He’d taken out what he thought would be a short-term personal loan of more than $21 million and his marriage ended in a bitter divorce. Now Swig is back. He’s paying his creditors, he’s doing deals and riding his surfboard in a quest to find the perfect wave.  “Now What? is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production in by Nick Ciavatta.

 

Apr 13, 2022

We wake up in the morning and plan. Maybe I’ll meet a friend for lunch. Maybe I’ll go to Italy in July. But life sometimes throws unexpected curves. That’s what happened to writer Amy Bloom who was happily married to her husband Brian, an architect, when she began to notice that Brian would get lost on his way  to the grocery store. When Brian was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease he made a decision. He asked Amy to research ways he could end his life quickly and painlessly. I talk to Amy Bloom talk about what happened next, endings and beginnings. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta. 

Mar 30, 2022

He came of age when rock n’ roll was entering a Renaissance. Stevie Van Zandt was a teenager when he met another music freak named Bruce Springsteen. Stevie joined the E Street band. He quit the E Street band. Leaving, he said, was the worst decision he ever made. But Stevie recovered, becoming a political activist and an actor, landing the role of Silvio, Tony Soprano’s right hand man in The Sopranos. We laugh a lot talking about music, the glory years and what to do when you realize you’ve screwed up your life. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Mar 16, 2022

I’d never heard of Lee Kravetz until a friend recommended I read his fascinating new book called The Last Confessions of Sylvia P. Kravetz, who started out as a psychologist, always wanted to be a writer. He became fascinated with The Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath, who nearly 60 years after her death has remained a towering figure in the world of poetry. I talked to Lee Kravetz about the birth of confessional poetry and why he’s so fascinated by the connection between madness and art. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Mar 2, 2022

James Ivory has directed more than 30 films like Howards End and The Remains of the Day. Ivory and his long-time partner Ismail Merchant have the distinction of being listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest partnership in the history of independent cinema.  At the age of 89, Ivory also made cinema history by becoming the oldest person to ever win an Academy Award.  “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Feb 16, 2022

Sometimes peoples’ lives intersect with history in a way you never forget. That’s the case with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. They died in the electric chair in 1953, leaving behind two young children, Robbie and Michael, who miraculously grew up to be successful adults. I spoke with Michael about his childhood and the controversial choices his parents made. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoiem and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Feb 2, 2022

Adam McKay’s new film Don’t Look Up is breaking records on Netflix. Featuring an all-star cast, the movie is about a comet hurtling towards earth. McKay is famous for his collaborations with Will Ferrell in films like Anchorman and Talladega Nights. Their long-time working relationship broke up a few years ago.  More about that, our country’s poisonous politics and why the LA Lakers make Adam McKay so happy. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by  Nick Ciavatta.

Jan 19, 2022

He likes Russian bear hats and martinis and he collects watches. Gary Shteyngart came to this country from Russia when he was 7 and grew up in Queens, New York. Gary says he was bullied in the schoolyard because he spoke with a thick accent and dressed funny. He also writes funny books. Gary’s latest novel is called Our Country Friends. It’s about a group of people who live together during the pandemic. We talk about his 1967 Rolex GMT, a circumcision that went wrong and what the world looks like from the eyes of Gary Shteyngart. “Now What?” is produced with help from Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoeim and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Jan 5, 2022

Norman, Lear, one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever talked to, will turn 100 in July. Lear says that one reason he’s still around is that he spends so much time laughing.  He teamed up with Jimmy Kimmel to produce the Emmy award-winning show Live in Front of a Studio Audience which recreates episodes of Lear’s sitcoms like Good Times and All in the Family. Lear’s other hit shows include Sanford and SonOne Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude. I spoke to Norman Lear when he was 95 about life, death and everything in between.  “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Alex Wolfe and Annika Hoeim. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

Dec 22, 2021

Covid is raging again.  The virus has similarities to another serious health problem. This one is caused by a tick bite and it can wreak havoc on your life. Just ask Ross Douthat, an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times who fought a 5-year battle with Lyme disease. We talk about what happens when your life becomes a medical horror story and doctors can’t help you. “Now  What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Annika Hoiem and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.

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