Category Archives: Interview

Wild and Crazy Guys: How The Comedy Mavericks of The 80’s Changed Hollywood Forever

The behind-the-scenes story of the iconic funnymen who ruled ’80s Hollywood—Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Eddie Murphy—and the beloved films that made them stars, including Animal House, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters

Wild and Crazy Guys opens in 1978 with Chevy Chase and Bill Murray taking bad-tempered swings at each other backstage at Saturday Night Live, and closes 21 years later with the two doing a skit in the same venue, poking fun at each other, their illustrious careers, triumphs and prat falls. In between, Nick de Semlyen takes us on a trip through the tumultuous ’80s, delving behind the scenes of movies such as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Beverly Hills Cop, The Blues Brothers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and dozens more. Chronicling the off-screen, larger-than-life antics of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, John Belushi, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, it’s got drugs, sex, punch-ups, webbed toes, and Bill Murray being pushed into a swimming pool by Hunter S. Thompson while tied to a lawn chair. What’s not to like?

Based on candid interviews from many of the stars themselves, as well as those in their immediate orbit, including directors John Landis, Carl Reiner, and Amy Heckerling, Wild and Crazy Guys is a fantastic insider account of the friendships, feuds, triumphs, and disasters experienced by these beloved comedians. Hilarious and revealing, it is both a hidden history of the most fertile period ever for screen comedy and a celebration of some of the most popular films of all time.

Read an excerpt HERE and order the book HERE.

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Rolling Stone Cover Story: The Softer Side of Howard Stern

After years of psy­cho­therapy, the King of All Media looks back, repents, and rescues a few kittens…

Howard stern hasn’t released a book in 24 years. Back in those days, he was a guy who didn’t think twice about calling Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig”; using a giant, rotting fish as a mallet to spank a naked woman on the air; or viciously mocking a member of his “Wack Pack” with Down syndrome he’d dubbed “Gary the Retard.” On the cover of the book Miss America, he dressed as a drag queen, and inside he offered detailed accounts of his private cybersex sessions with fans.

The Howard Stern of 2019 — who spends his free time fostering rescue cats or painting watercolors — can only shudder when that book and its 1993 predecessor, Private Parts, comes up. “If I read them, I’d want to jump out a window,” he says. “I haven’t picked them up in years. They are snapshots of who I was back then, and I want to take that guy and shake him. I was a selfish prick. I can just see that quote in Rolling Stone, ‘I was a selfish prick.’ But it’s true.”

It’s before 8 a.m. on a Thursday in mid-April, and Stern is usually at his Hamptons home or Palm Beach estate by now, since he broadcasts Mondays through Wednesdays only. But he’s come into his SiriusXM studio in New York for a rare extended interview timed to the release of his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, a compendium of his best interviews with the likes of Lady Gaga, Stephen Colbert, Gwyneth Paltrow and other A-listers.

Stern is now friends with ex-antagonists like O’Donnell. Gary is almost never seen; when he is, Stern lovingly calls him “Gary the Conquerer.” “Retard” has vanished from Stern’s vocabulary, along with bits that demean women or minorities. He vacations with friends like Jimmy Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston, and goes to parties with Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin and others he used to torment.

To Stern die-hards, this is blasphemy — the equivalent of Johnny Rotten singing Pat Boone songs. Superfans gather each day on the Howard Stern subreddit to blast their former hero, calling him “Hollywood Howie” or “PC Howie” and arguing over when they stopped listening. (Oddly enough, they all seem tuned in to current show developments.) But as Stern settles onto the studio couch usually reserved for show guests, he says he doesn’t care about the Reddit crew. As he reveals in his new book, he recently had two cancer scares. First, he almost underwent chemotherapy when his white-blood-cell count was off the charts, but discovered at the last moment that he was suffering from mercury poisoning from eating too much fish. Then, in a hypochondriac’s nightmare scenario, he got a full-body scan and doctors saw a spot on his kidney. They said there was a 95 percent chance it was cancer, and he had major surgery, only to wake up and learn it was a cyst that had burst.

In the book, he also says that after many years of psychotherapy he has come to terms with his narcissism. He says he no longer has any desire to humiliate or insult guests to score ratings. In an era when former heavyweights like Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer have been pushed out of the industry due to their treatment of women, it’s no small irony that Stern’s couch is now where some of the biggest names in the industry go for in-depth interviews. It’s the sort of third-act surprise that few people would have ever predicted for the guy formerly known as Fartman.

Read the full Rolling Stone interview HERE.

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Billy Joel On Turning 70, Donald Trump & Why He Writes Music Just For Himself Now

Billy Joel hasn’t released an album of new pop songs since 1993, but that hasn’t stopped him from selling out Madison Square Garden every month for the past five years and packing baseball stadiums across the country each summer. “I’ve gone onstage and said, ‘I don’t have anything new for you, so we’re just going to play the old shit,’ ” Joel says on the phone from his house in Palm Beach, Florida. “And the audience goes, ‘Yeah!’ I’ll be sitting in the stadium looking out at 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people, thinking, ‘What the hell are they all doing here? Why now?’ I guess, in a way, I’m an anachronism. There aren’t that many of me left. There’s a rarity to it, which gives it value.”

Read more from Billy’s interview with Rolling Stone.

Listen to Billy’s new playlist, “Live Through The Years,” and stream rare live performances for the first time ever!

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How Howard Stern Became A New Man

Over the past 13 years, Howard Stern helped SiriusXM satellite radio grow from a fledgling experiment into a 33 million-subscriber empire. But Stern, who made a name for himself as a potty-mouthed shock jock, has evolved as a celebrity interviewer and as a person. 

He talks with Tracy Smith about his new book of interviews, “Howard Stern Comes Again”; his psychotherapy; a health scare that demonstrated he “wasn’t Superman”; and how he and his wife are guardian angels to a thousand rescue cats.

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Pet Sematary Exhumed: Stephen King Looks Back At His Most Disturbing Story

Stephen King calls one morning to set up an interview — and he’s singing.

“I hear you want to talk about… ‘I don’t wanna be burrrried / in a PET Sem-a-taar-yyy!’” the best-selling author croons over long distance.

The Ramones based that pop-goth song on his 1983 novel, it was featured in the creeptastic cult-favorite 1989 movie, and now — as most things associated with this tale — it gets to live its life again as part of the haunting new version of Pet Sematary hitting theaters April 5.

It stars Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz as parents who move their family to the edge of the Maine woods, where there is a hidden place that resurrects the dead. Lithgow costars as a kindly neighbor, who reveals secrets best left buried, and Jeté Laurence plays their curious daughter, Ellie, who has too much curiosity for her own good.

King has a complex relationship with Pet Sematary. Over the decades, the 71-year-old storyteller has done a lot of monstrous things to a lot of people in his novels, but the rumor persists that he thinks Pet Sematary crossed a line, that it’s too morbid and troubling, and he only published it to escape a book contract.

It turns out all that is real.

So is a lot of what happened in the book. That’s why it bothers him.

Read the entire Entertainment Weekly interview HERE.

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Stephen King’s Origin Story

In the nearly half-century since author Stephen King began entertaining and simultaneously scaring the bejesus out of his countless fans around the world, filmed adaptations of his work have become so much a staple that we’re now deep into the remakes phase of his prolific output. The 2017 feature film version of King’s “It” grossed $700 million worldwide, 27 years after the creepy clown yarn had terrified TV viewers in the form of an iconic miniseries. This year, horror fans will be treated to a 30th anniversary remake of King’s classic terror tale “Pet Sematary.”

Consider this: There are currently nearly 50 King projects in various stages of production and/or development per the film and TV business-tracking site IMDb, including: the “Shining” feature film sequel, “Doctor Sleep,” a film sequel to “It,” a third season of “Mr. Mercedes” and the second season of the King-Universe TV series, “Castle Rock.”

King was first named-checked in Variety in summer 1974 when Hollywood producer Paul Monash obtained the film rights to King’s first published novel, “Carrie,” which had just hit bookstores only weeks earlier. While a modest seller in hardback, in paperback, “Carrie” became the first of King’s many million-sellers.

Read more about Stephen King’s early years HERE.

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Brandi Carlile Steps Out of The Shadows And Into The Grammys Spotlight

Bow down to Brandi Carlile — the only female artist nominated for six or more Grammys this year. 

Variety’s cover star reveals her biggest professional regret, the designer she’s been maxing out her credit card buying, and what life in a log cabin is like.

Read the article HERE.

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How Author Brad Meltzer Uncovered The Secret Plot To Kill George Washington

Bestselling author Brad Meltzer is known for crafting fictional thrillers. Now he’s focusing on a real-life mystery. 

In his new book, “The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington,” the plot details an effort to undermine the American Revolution just before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Meltzer joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss how he discovered the story.

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USA Today Interview: Chip Kidd, How I Became a Book Designer

With a body of work spanning from designing the iconic cover of “Jurassic Park” to writing his own novels, Chip Kidd has worked with some of the most famous names in literature and cartoons. The words and designs of the TED speaker, book cover designer, author and editor have been seen around the world, and Kidd’s advice rings true: “Do it because you love it.”

USA TODAY caught up with Kidd to talk about everything from doppio macchiatos and Carrie Fisher to developing a thick skin and what will be on the first line of his obituary.

Read the interview HERE.

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The Fire Wire Interviews Danny Trejo

Danny Trejo has starred in hundreds of memorable films such as Heat, Con Air, Desperado, Machete, and Spy Kids.

My daughter Elli (cosplaying as Coraline) caught up with the beloved actor at Los Angeles Comic Con and asked him how he got into the Entertainment Industry and what appeals to him as an actor.

Thanks Danny for taking the time to chat with us. Besides being big fans, we love your tacos!

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