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Best long-form interviewers ever? Podcast, TV, etc
December 8, 2013 11:21 AM   Subscribe

What long-form interviewers would be great ones to study and internalize? I've got my own list (Cavett, Rose, Maron, etc) but curious as to what you think.
posted by michaeldunaway to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Terry Gross
posted by libraryhead at 11:24 AM on December 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dave Davies, who regularly fills in for Terry Gross on Fresh Air, also does excellent interviews. In fact some of my favourite words to hear on the radio are "in for Terry Gross, I'm Dave Davies" because I know I'm in for a really great show. He even manages to make interviews about baseball, a subject I have no interest in, fascinating.

Jesse Thorn of Bullseye also does a great interview.
posted by Emanuel at 11:31 AM on December 8, 2013


I think Jesse Thorn is a great current day example.
posted by umbĂș at 11:31 AM on December 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Edward R. Murrow
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2013


Came into say Jesse Thorn. His interviews have gotten me interested in people I previously couldn't care less about.
posted by something something at 11:49 AM on December 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Studs Terkel
posted by icemill at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2013


Eleanor Wachtel on CBC radio for the arts. Love her.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:07 PM on December 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding Studs Terkel!
posted by SisterHavana at 1:34 PM on December 8, 2013


Long long ago, when there was still a Soviet Union and Nelson Mandela was still in prison, there was a wonderful summer public radio show called HEAT. The host was John Hockenberry, freestyling two hours of interviews on arts and politics. Very loose, intriguing pairings (Joyce Carol Oates & George Foreman), families (Mose and Amy Allison), and weird/wired essays from Hock at the top of the hour. There are ten hours of HEAT archived at the Public Radio Exchange.
posted by Jesse the K at 2:27 PM on December 8, 2013


Chuck Mertz at This Is Hell dot net .
posted by hortense at 2:59 PM on December 8, 2013


Nth-ing Terri Gross, Dave Davies, and Studs Terkel. Luckily, you can catch Terri Gross and Dave Davies on Fresh Air and the archived Fresh Air programs that are available for streaming.

Something I don't know exists, and would be a great service to all if WFMT in Chicago would provide it, would be an archive of Studs' show that ran there for many, many years.

Also a guy named Milt Rosenberg who used to do an hour long program years ago in the evenings on WGN AM in Chicago. A little fatuous but worth putting up with.
posted by hwestiii at 3:07 PM on December 8, 2013


I like Jian Ghomeshi (on CBC's Q), Tavis Smiley and Cornel West on Smiley and West, Ray Suarez (now on Inside Story on Al Jazeera America, but I started to like him waaaaaay back on NPR's Talk of the Nation), and Dave Miller on OPB's Think Out Loud.
posted by feets at 3:56 PM on December 8, 2013


Kevin Pollack, the actor and comedian, interviews show business people. He is not the best interviewer ever ("...hey-look-at-me disease...") but he will let his interviews run to twohours or more when the guest is good and the conversation is rolling. Look for his podcast.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:56 PM on December 8, 2013


David Livingston's The Space Show has about a thousand hour plus interviews in the archives. Elon Musk was interviewed pre-SpaceX / tesla.
posted by Sophont at 4:37 AM on December 9, 2013


I'm going to dissent on Terri Gross. She interviews interesting people, but if you listen to her questions, they are almost all "Yes/No" questions, which is not a mature interview style. I think she gets away with it because the people are inherently interesting with interesting things to say and they pick up the ball for her.
posted by Dolley at 11:47 AM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dolley, as someone mentioned a few times so far on this list, not to mention someone who really spends a lot of time thinking about this subject for professional reasons, you're completely, 10,000 wrong about Terry Gross. She is every bit as good as her reputation suggests.

I would be inclined to add a couple more: Dick Cavett... Howard Stern... Marc Maron (admittedly a friend of mine, so I'm biased) and Ira Glass (though not usually presented in a long-form format). In terms of insightful interviewers, tough to top Elvis Mitchell.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:20 PM on December 11, 2013


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