All celebrity interviews should be like this

Offbeat comedian Zach Galifianakis has an online show called Between Two Ferns where he interviews celebrities. In this two-part special, he interviews some of the people who have been nominated for Oscars this year, in which they are given roughly the same amount of time to speak as Oscar winners get at the ceremony. I think this is a wonderful idea that should be adopted by all talk show hosts.

Part 1

Part 2


  1. says

    The whole idea of celebrity interviews has always seemed suspicious to me.

    Suppose someone is really good at hitting a golf ball, like Tiger Woods. OK, now I can see someone might do a fascinating interview with Tiger Woods about how he learned to do that, what are the big obstacles, how does he train, what’s life as a golf ball hitter like, etc. But other than that? Who cares? I don’t care what his favorite color is, nor do I care whether he wears boxers or briefs or goes commando. I don’t even care what kind of jam he likes on his toast or if he even eats toast at all. I see absolutely no reason to care. I can talk to Ray Wylie Hubbard all day about song-writing but I don’t think Ray’s got much to say about golf – as much as Tiger’s got to say about songwriting. I don’t know about Tiger but Ray’s got enough sense to stick with what he knows. Why are so many Americans absolutely enthralled to hear someone talking about something that they surely know very little about?

    “Celebrity” is sometimes defined as “famous for being famous” which pretty neatly captures the circularity and emptiness of fame for its own sake. And, let’s be honest, the culture of celebrity is all too often about appearances as well. So Johny Depp is good looking, let’s ask him what he thinks about the Iraq War? This actress or that actor does a good job of pretending to be a space fighter pilot, what do they think about US policy in Darfur? I’m afraid that when I hear someone described as a “celebrity” I assume “celebrity” is used as a placeholder for “we had to say something special about them but otherwise they haven’t really done jack shit with their lives.” I mean, you only have to write a few columns in a Conde Nast publication to be a “polemecist” and a book or two to be an “author.” You have to study something – anything – for a year or two to be an “analyst” or hold the same job for 20 years to be an “expert” but – “celebrity”? Vacancy.

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