Charlie Rose

If you can bear to stay up late enough, you should be watching Charlie Rose on PBS. Here in Charlottetown we pick up his show on the Boston PBS station WGBH from Midnight to 1:00 a.m., so you’ve got to be a dedicated fan to watch regularly. Or you have to have wonkly sleep habits, which is how I qualify.

Last night’s guests included Chris Matthews, author and host of the MSNBC programme Hardball, and Carol Channing, actor and singer of much fame.

Both Channing and Matthews confirmed my “the more you think someone will be blathering airhead the more you will be wrong” theory. Matthews, who on his own television programme plays a loud referee was promoting his book on America; he was well spoken, passionate, and obviously incredibly sharp. Channing, who I knew previously only through Rich Little’s well-known impression of her, was saucy, witty, smart, and not the least bit cloying.

Rose is sometimes a little bit too familiar with his guests, but he is mostly just a fantastic interviewer, and what plays out on his show is very different from the “interviews” that happen on Letterman, Leno and their ilk, which are mostly “excuses to get the movie/book/TV special in front of the public for 10 minutes.”

If The New Yorker had a television show — and writers and editors from the magazine are frequent guests — this would be it.