Archive for March 20th, 2006

Guest World

One of the many pleasures of hosting an interview show, I'm finding, is that you feel sort of a kinship with your former guests. After they've stopped by the studio to chat with you, they of course go back to their fascinating lives -- performing, writing, climbing mountains, fighting for a fairer national budget (thanks, Sen. Boxer!), etc. -- and somehow you feel a continuing connection with them.

Among the performers is the genius comedienne Marga Gomez, whose autobiographical monologue Los Big Names -- which recently rocked San Francisco -- opens in her hometown of New York on April 9. Marga and the scintillating writer-performer Beth Lisick were my gracious and patient guests on the very first episode of The Josh Kornbluth Show that we taped (though it wasn't the first that we aired -- that one was with the legendary Rita Moreno, who soon will be starring in the Berkeley Rep's production of The Glass Menagerie). You can catch a rerun of the show with Marga and Beth tonight at 7:30 (repeated on Friday night at 10:30). ...

Sometimes you even bump into a former guest! Yesterday, for example, I ran into linguist George Lakoff at the supermarket, and -- as other shoppers struggled to steer their carts around us -- we had a little impromptu, unrecorded interview session in the produce department. Mostly, I grilled him on what he's been up to (touring, lecturing, running the Rockridge Institute, and writing -- his new book will come out on July 4) and begged for advice on the democracy monologue I'm working on. It almost felt weird to be wrapping up our conversation without first getting a signal from Margaret Clarke, my stage manager at KQED. (I think I might be developing a dependency.) ...

As it happens, my son and I were shopping because of a future guest: former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, with whom I'll be taping an interview next week. Her latest book, the delightful memoir Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, is sprinkled with recipes. We're planning for me to actually cook one of those dishes ("Last-Minute Chocolate Cake") with Ms. Reichl during the program, and I thought it might be a good idea to practice one beforehand. So my son and I gathered all the ingredients for her "New York Cheesecake" and gave it a shot ourselves. (It needed to chill for eight hours, so we won't learn how it turned out until tonight's dinner -- but it smells delicious and weighs about 300 pounds.) ...

You know, even thinking about that cheesecake is making me feel kind of flabby. I think I'll head over to the gym right now, while the impulse to work out is strong. And who knows? While I'm there, maybe I'll run into a former or future guest!

2 comments March 20th, 2006

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