Alec Baldwin Hosts WNYC Podcast 'Here's the Thing'

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Alec Baldwin (Mary Ellen Matthews)

Alec Baldwin is preparing for life after "30 Rock," working with New York public radio on an interview show that will be available via podcast starting Oct. 24.

The first interview posted will be with actor Michael Douglas, who talks about watching "Glee" with his young daughter. Other interviews to follow will be with Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins, reality-show celebrity Kris Kardashian Jenner, comic Chris Rock, actress Kathleen Turner, author Erica Jong and veteran talk-show host Dick Cavett, station WNYC said Thursday.

Baldwin said that he's been exploring other things to do, knowing that his small-screen life as crazed corporate executive Jack Donaghy is heading toward its end.

Baldwin has won Emmys for his comic portrayal of a TV network boss. He said he likes to use his spare time to satisfy the need to do other things.

His mixture of guests on the radio show will take in several fields, although he leans toward fellow entertainers. Baldwin said he's particularly interested in talking with show-biz veterans about the directions their careers have taken and how they keep the juices flowing.

He's an admitted "public radio junkie" who has filled in on the air for New York's WNYC and also helped with fund drives. After his on-air work as a substitute host for Kurt Andersen, both Baldwin and WNYC were interested in doing something more, said Dean Cappello, senior vice president for programming at New York public radio.

"Alec is one of our hometown guys," he said.

New interviews will be available about once a week. Cappello said he expects they will eventually be made into an on-air radio show, but those plans aren't set yet.

Baldwin said his "30 Rock" contract ends after the upcoming sixth season, which will begin with Donaghy "in agony" because his wife is being held captive in North Korea. There's a possibility the show might be extended another year, but he said he's not sure whether he wants to do it.

"I might," he said. "I wouldn't want to prevent them from having another year, because they're all my friends and they've been good to me. Maybe I would do a piece of the year. But I really do want to move on to other things."

His "30 Rock" work has led to movie offers he wants to explore. Baldwin, 53, has also talked about getting into politics someday, but that would require a transformation that would take time.

"I have to finish what I'm doing now and separate these two parts of my life," he said. "I haven't really formalized that. It's like the difference between going to Jon Stewart and Jim Lehrer. The jokes have to stop, everything has to be on the record."

No one appreciates the run he's been on better than Baldwin.

"The life I have now is not going to get any better," he said. "I have a great job. Everybody thinks I'm funny. I'm fooling everybody. They think I'm talented. I'm pulling the wool over everybody's eyes and they're paying me for it. It's thrilling."


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Comments [62]


call me dumb, but, what is the intro jazz music? just getting into jazz now...need this piece, 4 sure. also, love the show.

Apr. 12 2015 09:39 PM
Diane from Pittsburgh

Alec Baldwin is one of the people who is resurrecting radio. WNYC is so wise. I listen through the archive online. TV for the most part has alienated "the curious" except for isolated fictional offerings. I find it less and less enjoyable to sit down in front of a TV set... even with my super hi def flatscreen. Alec Baldwin's "Here's the Thing" is pure joy. I listen to his mahogany voice, and his discussions with varied and interesting guests, as I do the online New Yorker Jigsaw Puzzle. If I have Alec Baldwin for the evening I don't even think about going to the sofa with remote in hand. I have such respect for your choice to do this program, Alec. I hope you are aware of your impact in this media. Don't go anywhere! Thank you!

Feb. 18 2015 09:34 PM
Vladimir from Los Angeles

Alec is an intelligent, funny and quirky interviewer who is not afraid to say what is on his mind. This new yorker is wonderful to listen to. 'Here The Thing' is very entertaining podcast that shares conversations and dialogue's between successful people in the world. I really dig it!

Feb. 02 2015 11:13 PM
Dina Cody from Nelson, NH

Love this show. Alec Baldwin is so funny, and such a good interviewer. Every show I've listened to has been very interesting and entertaining. Please keep this show on the air!!

Mar. 09 2014 07:03 PM
Joel Hutsell from Atlanta

Really enjoy the podcasts, I listen in the car instead of the radio. How about an interview with Chuck D, Tom Morello or Zack de la Rocha?

Dec. 06 2013 11:03 AM
Matt in Boston from Boston

Alec is the best interviewer at probing people's backgrounds to reveal "why they are, who they are" (Brian Williams was the best example for me!)

I'd love to hear David Stern, NBA Commissioner, and Pete Seeger with Alec.

Oct. 31 2013 06:11 AM
James from San Francisco

Love 'Here's the Thing' - how about an interview with Robert Wagner?

Oct. 14 2013 03:03 PM
Bill C from C'Ville Virginia

I found the show about three months ago and have become a huge fan. Absolutely loved Billy Joel, Dick Cavett, and even though I had no idea who she was, Patti Lupone. that is the great thing about the show and why Alec is such a great interviewer - even if you may not have had someone come up on your own radar screen, he finds those who had so much influence and we just need to be reminded. I would also like to suggest:
Bruce Springsteen
Fmr Gov Cuomo
Hillary Clinton
Colin Powell
John Stewart
James Carville (to balance out Ed Rollins)

Mar. 19 2013 05:48 PM
Teenyfeety from Texas from Singapore

Just listened to two of Mr. Balwin's shows and liked them. I look forward to listening to more.

When he asked who I would like to listen to him interview, these are my two favorites: Kevin Spacey and Rachel Maddow.

Good Luck to you and your show. And, Good Luck to you in two years if you run for New York Governor. I hope you do, you would be outstanding!

May. 03 2012 10:37 AM
DMK from NYC


The show is great, but it feels too short. Just as soon as I really get into the interview, it's over.

As far as guests that would be interesting to hear from: see if you can get Jack Nicholson on the show. I'd imagine that he has some interesting things to say.


Apr. 12 2012 10:01 AM
Steve Juk

Great interviews. Is there nothing you can't do?

Mar. 19 2012 09:26 PM
Mike Godlewski from Mesa, AZ

I just found this show after listening to you on Wait Wait... I listened to all the backlogged shows in two days. I love the format, although I wish it was on more than once every two weeks. Dick Cavatt was by far my favorite, and hearing the difference between "then" and "now" in terms of the business is fascinating. It will be a great record of the past with more interviews like that.

If you are looking for interesting guests, it would be great to hear you interview your brothers.

Mar. 09 2012 01:00 PM
ForesterJ from Pennsylvania

Great show Alec. Interesting and entertaining.

Feb. 23 2012 07:33 PM
candy from Port Murray, NJ

soo.. I stumbled upon the podcast a few weeks ago and was sceptical. However, despite the bad-boy, bad press history, I am still an Alec fan so I listened. AND - never having been one to appreciate celebrity for celebrity sake, I do enjoy listening to people talk. So far, these conversations have been ones that I would have liked to participate in. So, far...

Jan. 27 2012 01:59 PM
David from Seattle

How about a non celebrity guest does the show and gets to interview you?

I suggest my brother, who like you, also graduated NYU Tisch with a BFA -although his was in dramatic writing.

My twin brother does live in nyc so it would be an easy trip for the interview! You two should do lunch!

Jan. 06 2012 05:07 PM
Cullen Strader from from Wheaton, Minnesota

I like this show but I think a fun person to interview would be Ira Glass.

Dec. 15 2011 07:53 PM
Reed Uhlman from Denver

Huge fan, Alec. Terrific podcast. Keep up the good work.

Dec. 15 2011 11:52 AM
Joanne Johnson from Mount Vernon, WA

I'm very glad I stumbled on Here's the Thing. Please tell Alec that talking over his guests is very difficult for the listener. Yes, it happens in conversation, but it would be fabulous if Alec tried really hard not to do it. While Mr. Baldwin is trying to actually have a conversation, rather than an interview, Terry Gross is a fabulous example of someone who manages to allow her guests to finish speaking before she launches herself. Thanks. I sincerely believe this would make the listening better.

Dec. 13 2011 10:28 PM
Tim Moffet from Vail, Colorado

The best!!
So psyched to have happened upon this. The three I've listened to so far are relaxed, real, unexpected and really, really informative (the Ed Rollin's interview was fantastic).
Big fan. Keep it coming Alec (and f**k 'em at the airports. "Rage issues?" Rage gets most of out of bed in the morning - except it's not polite to say it that way. You sparkle....
Tim in Vail

Dec. 11 2011 07:23 PM
Nancy Brodhead from Palm Harbor, FL

One complaint; too short!!! An hour long program would be amazing. This is such a delight! Keep it up!

Dec. 10 2011 11:19 AM
bdfos from Austin, tx

I enjoy the podcasts, but can they be longer?
Barney Frank
Diablo Cody
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Cate Blanchett
John Malkovich
John Stewart

Dec. 09 2011 03:44 AM
Mony R from CT

Great show. I like the question and feel as if we are all having a conversation. I get to know the people we need more of this ...
keep this going

Dec. 08 2011 08:16 AM
Leanne Jakubowski from Orlando

Loving this podcast. Another side of Alec Baldwin that's fabulous. Looking forward to hearing more great interviews.

Nov. 26 2011 08:34 AM
Jenny from Houston, TX

Suggestion to interview:
Dr. James "Red" Duke! Awesome, incredible doctor, extremely accomplished.

Nov. 26 2011 04:44 AM

Great format. I like the fact that you do the quick editorials and introductions. I feel like you're leading us through a conversation you had with this person you know very well, but you want to give us some context.
Already a fan!

Nov. 23 2011 07:24 PM
LA from NY from NYC

It feels very heavily edited. I suppose so they can stick to the half hour. Just make it longer!

Louis C.K. for sure.

Nov. 22 2011 04:54 PM

2 for 2 ... Douglas and Rollins were each the best interviews I've ever heard with these subjects.

Kris Kardashian? Everyone needs a lay up.

Seriously, loving these discussions. Agree with those that suggest they be longer.

Keep it up, and thanks!

Nov. 20 2011 11:37 AM
Cathy Brucker from Springfield, OH

Here's the thing ... why don't you run for public office??? Seriously, it coudn't hurt and you are a much better person than most of the people in office! Think about it!

Nov. 19 2011 04:16 PM
Paul from NYC

Love the pod casts. Is it possible to make it an hour or even 2?

Nov. 19 2011 02:20 AM
AB from NJ

Great show! (Except I could do without Kris Jenner)
Please consider interviewing:
Bill and/or Hillary Clinton
Steve Martin
Arianna Huffington
Michael Bloomberg
Jon Stewart
Helen Mirren
Elvis Costello
Charles Barkley

Nov. 18 2011 12:28 PM

Please add Steve Martin to your interview list!!! And Catherine Keener.....

Nov. 17 2011 03:09 PM
K. Hurley from St Paul, MN

Love the podcast! I love the civil and witty banter between Alec and Ed Rollins. The episode should be required listening for current members of Congress. But, to go from Rollins to Kris Jenner?!?! That's quite the intellectual nose dive. But, my love for Alec's show will have me listening, though.

Nov. 14 2011 04:06 PM
Terry Brennan from Seal Beach, California

What a great podcast. Your interview with Ed Rollins was so insightful. I gained a better understanding of how he went from a working-class democrat to a gung-ho Repub. Don't agree with his views on almost everything, but now I understand how he got there. Thanks, for such a thoughtful interview. Look forward to many more.

Nov. 12 2011 02:47 PM
Pete Smillie from mountain view, ca

Alec far too soft on Rollins - who believes his own bull. Example. Rollins said his bottom line is to make America a better place, period. Does he really believe running a Bachmann campaign would accomplish that? A Bachmann Presidency?

One little gem in the interview is his feeling that the incivility and polarization began with Gingrich - who deserves a spanking for never learning dignity, humility, and respect.

Nov. 11 2011 10:45 AM

I absolutely love the podcast so far and have enjoyed both Michael Douglas as well as Ed Rollins! It is fantastically made and i love the interview style. Now imagine my surprise when I heard that the next podcast will feature Kris Jenner. It surprised me that you would go from acting royalty and political leader to someone so classless and absolutely uninteresting. Enough with the Kardashians already!
Please keep talking to people that have actually really achieved something or made a difference in the world and are famous for something other than well I guess in the Kardashian case really nothing!

Nov. 10 2011 12:19 AM
Katie from Minnesota

Hello Mr. Baldwin,

I've really enjoyed the podcast so far and looking forward to more. I just completed a 300-mile canoe expedition on the Mississippi River ( and would listen in to this podcast when we got service - the political commentary was interesting in contrast to the rural agricultural areas I passed through. If you're looking for a fascinating interview with a Minnesotan/recent Tufts grad/up-and-comer in the maritime expedition world, I am available for interview. I would also love to hear you interview Tina Fey. I'm a big fan of both of your work on 30 Rock, as well as a die hard Beetlejuice fan.

Keep up the good work, thanks!

Nov. 09 2011 05:59 PM
Jamin from Seattle

Hey Alec I love the idea of the show. It allows an interviewer to pry into popluar figures minds in a way that other people might not be able to, because you are a popular figure.

Anyway I think that it would be a good idea to interview Stephen Tobolowsky of the The Tobolowsky Files. And maybe even make a special guest appearance on his podcast.

I have no idea what would happen. But it would definitely be interesting. If you haven't heard of his show you have to check it out. It's an awesome nearly stream of consciousness storytelling extravaganza.

-- Tobolowsky Files --

Nov. 08 2011 04:27 PM
Jackie from Shakopee, MN

First, I have listened to your first two podcasts and think they are wonderful! I especially enjoyed the interview with Ed Rollins.

I would love to hear Pat Summit interviewed. There is so much there that could be discussed. She is a trailblazer. It is difficult to imagine the landscape of basketball without her. Now she has her health stuggles. It would be amazing to hear Alec Baldwin interview her.

Nov. 07 2011 12:35 PM
Just Joe from Columbia, MO

I love your podcast! I learning about celebrities who use their fame to encourage philanthropy and awareness of important issues. I hope you will consider celebrities like that.

The celebrities below are three of my favorite and their contributions are nonpartisan, despite their political views.

1. Sydney Poitier
2. Michael J. Fox
3. Gary Senise

Nov. 05 2011 01:04 PM
Johnny Duffin from Los Angeles

Curious about

Sir Anthony Hopkins.
James Carville
Bill Clinton

Oct. 31 2011 05:31 PM
Vic from .

Dear Alec ~
How about interviewing Isaiah Sheffer from Symphony Space ?
And I'd like to ask because I don't know...
is Steve Post around to be interviewed about his radio career on WBAI / WNYC...?

Oct. 30 2011 04:22 PM

Great first show! I'd love to hear interviews with the following:

Eddie Izzard
Carrie Perloff (Artistic Director of A.C.T - San Francisco)
Bill Maher
Mark Bittman
Bill Cunningham
Robert Reich

Oct. 29 2011 06:51 PM
Donkey from Strasburg,Colorado

People I'd really enjoy hearing interviewed:

Adam Carolla
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Hillary Clinton
Thomas Keller

Thank you!

Oct. 29 2011 04:29 PM
George from London

Thoroughly enjoyed the first episode! Looking forward to more.

My one and only suggestion for a person to talk with would be the legendary Ken Nordine. Such a spectacular, vast career.

Oct. 28 2011 08:58 PM
Happy Boise, ID

Alec, Just listened to the Michael Douglas piece, brilliant! Really enjoyed your style, reminded me a bit Tavis Smiley, albeit a slightly different context but how you approached Michael both as a guest but also a subject was superb. Good luck in your new adventure!

Folks to interview:
Michael J Fox
Amos Lee
Kid Rock
Lenny Kravitz
Dianna Krall
Will Smith

Oct. 27 2011 11:09 PM
Ryan from Columbus, Ohio

Great interview.
My suggestions:
1) gary oldman
2) david cross
3) james defranco
4) david letterman
5) christina ricci
6) matt parker/ trey stone

Oct. 27 2011 10:07 PM
Dale Jones from Texas

Excellent interview Alec. Suggestions for future interviews:

Anthony Hopkins
Clint Eastwood
Robert Duvall

Oct. 27 2011 09:03 PM
oshan from Los Angeles

Some suggestions for future guests:

Steve Martin
Steven Soderberg
Lawrence Wright
Mary Roach
Matthew Broderick
Frances McDormand
Jerry Brown

Oct. 27 2011 08:30 PM
Pat from Cincinnati, OH

I've always liked this man and even more so in the last few years. He is definitely "not" a lightweight, "not" what some might call a "typical Hollywood type," and has long since proven his serious side. What makes this type show so special? Come on! I do not believe he will be a shill or suck-up to his interviewees and trust that he will probe the side of a celebrity/politician/author that we have yet to see. He's great, yet another classy addition to our wonderful NPR, and I look forward to each and every broadcast!

Oct. 26 2011 06:06 PM
Michael J. Kerr from NYC

Great interviewer. He is probing and asks questions that I want to hear the answers to. Keep knocking em out Alec!

Oct. 25 2011 06:12 PM

just joined twitter today,I know lagging the rest of you,anyway I found Alec Baldwins site to follow and read tweet about alec's new news talk radio show'Heres The Thing' I will check in to listen often to see if shows worthy, interesting thought provoking radio show.good luck

Oct. 25 2011 12:00 AM

Here's the obvious__ I do have to say this seems like 2 friends just shooting the S__Michael Douglas has always been a fav of mine__Alec has to but he is in mode if you know what I mean?? Was hoping he would be himself maybe next show__My question to Alec is this gonna turn into an avenue for your own personal beliefs or are you going pro all the way??? Only time can tell who will have Starbucks next??? Over-all 2 thumbs up___you are darn good and you know it!

Oct. 24 2011 11:54 AM

such a hipocrite. Loved him until he sided w/ Wall Street, making boatloads of $ off advertising to put poor people in debt. Speaks out of 2 sides of his mouth. A big sell out/phoney!

Oct. 23 2011 01:20 PM
devin from summit, nj

This is going to be great! To all the naysayers out there, grow up! It's entertainment. And this will be entertaining.

Oct. 21 2011 11:39 PM
Seth from Upper West Side

Life imitates art. I can't wait for the Schweddy Balls segment.

Oct. 14 2011 12:01 AM
danny from Miami, FL

YES! Public radio needs things like this. I am sure the show will be very entertaining. I hate when people act like a big name is bad. If anything it will draw a newer, broader audience to public media, and hopefully generate revenue through new underwriters to be reinvested back into the programming. Now to convince my boss that my station should do the same..

Oct. 13 2011 11:14 PM

I'm really looking forward to this show. Mr. Baldwin has has always been a very civic-minded person, as witnessed by his many achievements and activities. Good Luck to him and the show and WNYC!

Oct. 13 2011 08:59 PM
Sick of It All from NYC

Haven't we had enough of this windbag? He's everywhere!

Instead of pleading for donations from non-multi-millionaires, why don't you ask him for some dough during your next pledge drive. Count me out.

Will he interview his "little pig" daughter or his 24 year old girlfriend?

Oct. 13 2011 07:35 PM
Len Goldenson from New York City

Wow - a non-profit radio station using its membership dollars to develop a show with a millionaire TV star who can be seen and or heard regularly on a number of commercially-supported TV shows. Please tell us what makes this special and why it deserves our support instead of finding its way in the marketplace.

Oct. 13 2011 03:23 PM
Conny P.

I'm really looking forward to the new show. Alec Baldwin has proved himself to be a very good (and entertaining) interviewer, so I think this is going to be very interesting.

Oct. 13 2011 11:01 AM
Tatiana Pahlen from New York

It's a very challenging move! Go for it! With your postprandial wit and humor, it should fun, profound and refreshing!

Oct. 13 2011 10:45 AM
lori gibb from Eastern Virginia

This should be interesting to see how much to self-control Mr. Baldwin has! Hasn't he been on a radio-talk show before and walked out??? Correct me if you I am wrong!

Oct. 13 2011 09:55 AM

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