Archive for February 6th, 2006

Watching the Detective

Jack PalladinoSo Jack Palladino, my guest on tonight's show (at 7:30; repeated on Friday night at 10:30), had just sat down next to me on the red couch in our studio, and we were all set to tape the interview ... when there was a technical glitch. So while they figured out the problem in the control room, I chatted a bit with this famous private investigator, who has played a key role in so many high-profiles cases (Bill Clinton's "bimbo eruptions," Jeffrey Wigand's whistleblowing against Big Tobacco, Courtney Love's ... oh, you name it). Palladino is a great talker -- no, an amazing talker. It's not just that his stories are so colorful; there's also a soulful, questing quality in his demeanor -- you just want to keep talking with him.

And we did -- we kept talking. Palladino spun one fantastical (yet true) yarn after another. If I was a drinker, he'd be the guy I'd want to spend the night drinking with. It was an interviewer's dream -- except that the technical glitch still hadn't been worked out, so none of this was actually being caught on tape. My wonderful series producer, Lori Halloran (who is at this moment on a well-earned vacation in Italy, so I can talk about her behind her back), kept checking in on us, and she looked increasingly worried. At some point she gently interrupted our rollicking conversation, reminding us to save something for when the cameras finally started rolling.

Well, she needn't have worried: when we did begin taping, it was just more of the same from Jack Palladino -- storytelling that was delightful, even when the subject matter was gruesome. And when the taping was over, he kept talking, all the way out into the hallway. ... It was only afterwards, as I reflected on the day, that I recalled how Palladino is known for taking folks out to a nice dinner and then -- over the course of a long evening -- deftly drawing out their innermost secrets. Thank goodness I kept the focus on him! ...

Also on this show: a "Wandering Josh" segment in which Dashiell Hammett expert Don Herron valiantly tries to turn me into a hard-boiled gumshoe. ...

3 comments February 6th, 2006

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