Charlie Rose

Every weeknight from midnight to 1:00 a.m. you can watch The Charlie Rose Show on WGBH Boston (and, I’m sure, other PBS stations at other times).

Charlie Rose is the consumate interviewer. This week I’ve watched him interview Martin Scorsese and Daniel Day Lewis, Denzel Washington, and Nicole Kidman. Each of the interviews were interesting and insightful — much less “so I hear your kids did something wacky on the weekend” than Letterman and Leno and less “what is the heart of your oeuvre” than James Lipton.

If midnight is too late for you, I can’t imagine a better use of a VCR or Tivo.

Comments

Johnny's picture
Johnny on November 5, 2002 - 23:07

Most of all I like Charlie Rose’s voice. I only remember Carol Channing from ‘The Love Boat’… she must be what… 103? Perhaps 104 years old by now? Is she somehow connected to Stockard Channing?

Oliver's picture
Oliver on November 6, 2002 - 20:06

I think Charlie Rose impresses only partly because of his questions and partly just because something about the whole presentation of the show, in particular his interviewing style, for some irrational reason impresses. Terry Gross is like this. I used to think she was this masterful interview savant—and I suspect I was unconsciously encouraged in thinking this by hearing others spontaneously opine a similar view. But then I met someone who hated Terry Gross so much he would have to leave the room or turn off the radio when she came on. I couldn’t for the life of me fathom his attitude, but then I listened with more of an open mind and I realized that half of her magic is her delivery. She drenches the most vulgar and duh-obvious question in a wash of false profundity—vulgar as in “So did you get excited when you made that love scene with J Lo?” (note I’m not saying I’m not sometimes glad she asks those questions, or that there aren’t many people who want to hear the answer, I’m just saying that they don’t influence our perception of her like they would another interviewer and like we might expect. I think she gets away with stuff.). The reason I’m talking about Gross is because, I must confess, I haven’t seen Rose a whole lot of times (6?). But my sense is that something similar is going on. After my first couple shows I was thinking, oh my god, it’s Brad-Pitt-meets-Noam-Chomsky. But then I saw him interview Steve Martin and Rose was a dork and an ignoramus, flustering every attempt that Martin made to say something intelligent and revealing. I’ve been unimpressed by Rose in several shows since then, though not every time. I think a lot of the credit has to go to the guests and to the chemistry between Rose and his guest. I imagine no interviewer is immune to the effects of chemistry and I suspect nobody bats 1000 in picking guests (I suppose Rose selects his own guests). It may be that Rose is above average in these regards—I don’t have the stats to judge. But the man is mortal, banks on schtick and charisma and he does show moments of pure lameness.

Eswyn Lyster (Mrs.)'s picture
Eswyn Lyster (Mrs.) on November 10, 2002 - 03:48

In other words Charlie is human. It IS the chemistry
that is so great. See the interview with Judi Dench when
she was in New York acting in “Amy’s View” and in a few
days was going back to the UK with two awards, one being the
Oscar. Ms. Dench is an extremely private person, but Charlie
charmed her into being relaxed enough to show her puckish
even saucy humorous side. It must the the Southern Gentleman
in him. He is usually remarkably informed despite the wide
range of topics discusse, and usually brings out the best in
his guests, yet I’ve seen him show discomfort, even dislike,
which is also human, and so refreshing after the usual bland
humorless and uninformed people who attempt to do the same
thing. Eswyn Lyster

Eswyn Lyster (Mrs.)'s picture
Eswyn Lyster (Mrs.) on November 10, 2002 - 03:55

In other words Charlie is human. It IS the chemistry
that is so great. See the interview with Judi Dench when
she was in New York acting in “Amy’s View” and in a few
days was going back to the UK with two awards, one being the
Oscar. Ms. Dench is an extremely private person, but Charlie
charmed her into being relaxed enough to show her puckish
even saucy humorous side. It must the the Southern Gentleman
in him. He is usually remarkably informed despite the wide
range of topics discussed, and usually brings out the best in
his guests. Yet I’ve seen him show discomfort, even dislike,
which is also human, and so refreshing after the usual bland,
humorless and uninformed people who attempt to do the same
thing. Eswyn Lyster

Psych Prof's picture
Psych Prof on July 22, 2004 - 05:59

I think Rose is extraodinarily lucky in his or his producer’s contacts to get the guests. However, his arrogance, self-serving comments, CONSTANT interruptions and what I perceive as middling intelligence is embarrassing to listen to. I have often turned the show off after he has interrupted, talked over, contracdicted and chastised men and women who are world leaders or authroities in their own fields. Rose is largely ignorant in his behavior and attitude; he lacks self-discipline and self-control in his interactions with most of the guests he has been privileged to meet.

I honestly have no idea how he has stayed on TV, much less been cosseted by 60 Minutes! Just now I am listening to him talk over every single comment of a Movie director. His arrogance leads him to believe he knows more about the guest’s own field than the guest does! Obviously not true.

I would love to train him (if he is trainable — his ego is absolutely enormous) in gentlemanlike behavior and conversation.

Psych Prof

Quasi-Anonymous Professional S's picture
Quasi-Anonymous... on July 22, 2004 - 16:51

…and perhaps how to criticize and challenge without actually putting yourself on the line, anonymously. “Would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”

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