Episode #41

Elaine Stritch

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Monday, May 13, 2013


In 2013, Alec sat down with the late stage and screen veteran who, among many famous roles, played his mother Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock. Stritch spoke to Alec about her transition from the Sacred Heart Convent and finishing school to finding herself in the New York theater classes sitting between Walter Matthau and Marlon Brando. She performed for nearly 70 years and throughout career, Stritch comments, "I was the funny kind of offbeat girl. I was never the romantic lead.”


READ | Full Transcript

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [19]


Sacs in the city . you're a numbskull..... &, it's not an interview,its a dialogue. it's different,and in a way, even better. Terry[Gross]is fine,but this is different,and can get to places Gross can't. plus,he's an insider,fool;don't ya get that,he's going to be conversational!

May. 27 2015 09:06 AM

I think Alec Baldwin is a mediocre interviewer and jarring to listen to. He ought to listen to Terry Gross if he wants to improve his technique. Alec cuts people off, steps on people's lines, talks too fast and too much about himself. Alec, the interviews are NOT all about YOU, sir! Just sayin...

Sep. 25 2013 12:43 PM
Cameron from DC

What a wonderful interview. Alec(x) Baldwin and's like listening in on a drunken afternoon catch-up. Awesome.

Sep. 20 2013 05:47 PM
kym from oklahoma

you and burt Reynolds would be hilarious together.

Sep. 13 2013 11:38 PM
Glen from London UK

I love the way Elaine calls him Alex throughout.
Deliberately I think.

Aug. 09 2013 07:15 AM
jonathan Baltzer

good subjects and questions get started but sometimes Alex"cuts off" changes subjects or finishing sentences before the question or story gets finished.. frustrating..You Must Listen and let the subject "get it out' without interjecting and "Helping" Cavett.. always followed though.. too much I" and Alex .. maybe it's a curve, cmon Alex take a tiny step back..

Jul. 19 2013 11:39 AM
Tom Swanner from Sacramento California

I'm glad to see I'm not the only enjoying the show. Alec is wonderful. It feels like I'm sitting at the next table listening to a wonderful conversation. Please chat with more Broadway people. I'm on the west coast and we hear nothing here. Elaine was so fascinating and Patty Lapone and Alec were amazing.

Jul. 02 2013 07:25 PM
Nancy Munro from Chicago

I am falling in love with this show I first listened to Debbie Reynolds and then Elaine's interview and just enjoyed them so much! Thank you Alec for doing this show.

Jun. 04 2013 09:02 PM

Dear Alec,

You are MEANT to interview! Yes, you're a great actor, etc., and so on, but you truly have a unique gift. Your genuine enthusiasm, knowledge, and interest in your interviewees is quite evident. Additionally, you know how to keep things moving along at just the right pace, adeptly getting things back on track when slightly derailed (but the tangential subjects are often just what the doctor ordered as well).

I'm a teacher. I tend to be wordy. Mea culpa. What I'm trying to say in a nutshell is - THANK YOU. I've enjoyed every one of your podcasts. I commute 1.5 hours each way to work, and your smooth voice, quick wit and on the mark insights help the time fly by. MORE PLEASE!

Best in all of your pursuits,

Deidre Hensley - Grateful 6th Grade Teacher/Commuter

Jun. 03 2013 12:31 PM
bill liberman from Manhattan

Wow - "I could write a book" about my feelings on this interview and on my own brief experiences with both of them. First, Alec strikes exactly the right notes on every interview he does because it's like eavesdropping on two people in private conversation. So many interviewers just read off a list of prepared questions without regard to what the guest says next, or thinking to follow-up. (I was surprised he didn't ask her the name of the man who took her virginity - after the Kirk Douglas Palm Springs story, but hey ....) Most important, Alec always shows his real self, reminding me of how Dick Cavett conducted his interviews. I wish there were a time slot that Alec could take over and do his style interview show on TV - he'd knock everyone's socks off.

As for Stritch, Alec is so right about how everyone loves her despite her being a pain in the ass. I never worked with her and PIA stories about her are legendary - but when I was a B'way house manager she was a frequent guest in my office during intermissions, along with her diabetes gear, and always a charmer. I'd seen her in just about everything she ever did since opening night of "Sail Away" in Boston(1960)and can't think of a living soul - in the theater or out - whom I admire more.

Jun. 01 2013 12:24 PM
Sue DeMar from Austin, TX

Wonderful interview. Elaine is such a treasure. I look forward to watching your documentary.

May. 23 2013 03:01 PM
Ambrose Chapel from Australia

Dear Alec,

Don't think I didn't notice that Elaine called you "Alex" three times, and then around the time of the orange juice, the tape was paused for a second or two, and from then on, she called you "Alec".


Attentive Listener

May. 22 2013 10:36 PM

Is Elaine drunk? Sounds so.

May. 21 2013 04:03 PM
Eric from Brooklyn

Fascinating and excruciating at the same time. I have to agree about the research part... I was saying A DELICATE BALANCE as soon as she mentioned Albee. THE LADY FROM DUBUQUE? THREE TALL WOMEN? Really, Alex?

May. 16 2013 10:10 AM
Greg L. from Brewster, NY

Alec's interviews often veer between being annoyingly chummy and charmingly intimate, and I'm not sure he's aware how very fine the line between the two is. His tendency to over-empathize with his guests ("me too!"), especially with other performers, gets in the way of our discovery of his interviewees because we continually have to hear another Alecdote that is supposed to bring him closer to his subject, yet ends up estranging us at the same time.

This interview with Stritch is probably the worst I've heard him do. We don't need to hear the assistant fetching orange juice or pricking fingers to check blood sugar. Not charming, not interesting, and most of all, not focused.

May. 14 2013 02:24 PM
Ken L from New Jersey

Love Elaine - wonderful interview - but does Alec do no research on his guests before he interviews them?

May. 14 2013 12:16 AM
Susan ONeil

The Best!!! They don't make em like her anymore!! Too short of an interview, I wanted more. Can't wait to see the doc you produced

May. 13 2013 04:50 PM
clive betters

@ arthur- i believe that's because it's a podcast,and not a radio broadcast. there's blue language up here sometimes.

May. 13 2013 04:28 PM
Arthur Klein from Mount Kisco, NY

Why can't I find Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing listed on your program guide? I want to hear his interview of Elaine Stritch but don't know when it is broadcast, and don't see when it is on. Please let me know.

May. 13 2013 02:06 PM

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