You would think that after all these years doing radio, I would have this interview thing down. But to be honest, I’m really, REALLY bad at interviewing celebrities. First of all, I love them. I believe they’ve all been shown God’s favor, which automatically makes them way better than me. And I don’t want to offend, irritate, or waste their time in any way whatsoever. In fact, I just want them to love me. But then I start to get freaked out. I think I’m gonna suck. I think THEY think I’m gonna suck. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to ask them. I worry that I’ll re-live that whole Reese Witherspoon incident where I flew all the way to Beverly Hills to interview this woman and ended up talking the entire time about myself. UGH!!!
So I was told I was the only radio person getting to interview Katie Couric about her new talk show. What an honor, right? And this is America’s sweetheart! She’s been a part of our lives for DECADES! It’s sorta kinda like Katie is friends with ALL of us! So what’s the big deal, right? It would be like sitting down with an old friend and catching up, right?
But I started to freak out. Again, the ghost of that Reese Witherspoon started haunting me. I decided that I just HAVE to get better at this interview stuff because, obviously, I can’t avoid doing it. So!
I sat down with a pen and paper and tried to come up with questions that would be different than the same old stuff she always has to answer. There was no order to them, I just wrote whatever popped into my head. Then I looked back over my notes and re-wrote them in an order that made sense. Then I typed them in my computer. Then I edited myself and re-wrote them again. And then I role-played the interview. Out loud. In my car. Thankfully, we are now at the point where people can talk to themselves in the car and everyone driving by assumes they’re talking on Bluetooth…….right? Otherwise, I just looked like an idiot talking to myself in the car. And then I decided that perhaps my questions weren’t good enough. So I reached out to people I know. I reached out to the Twitterverse. Apparently, not everyone sees the gravity in interviewing Katie Couric and some of their questions were less than helpful.
From Psycho Shanon: Did Matt Lauer ever try to take advantage of you?
From Gabe Saporta: Can she past lives? (I don’t even know what that means.)
From my handyman, Mr. Nacho: Will she vote for Obama again? And how does she feel about the Mayan calendar? (He thought that one would help lighten the mood.)
From Twitter: Does she take Xanax? Why are you still on TV? Why does your lower eyeliner always look smudged?
These are not helpful questions, people!
But here’s the thing about Katie Couric. She’s a professional interviewer. And she’s been on the receiving end of great interviews and not-so-great interviews. So I’m assuming that she wants to be a good interview, so when she answers a question, she answers it THOROUGHLY. And that conversation that you played out in your head over and over? It’s not going to go that way. At all. And suddenly your 10 minutes have passed and you only got to ask two questions and you realize that Kidd’s not gonna want to use any of this stuff so you just start throwing rapid-fire questions and hope to get some “radio gold.” Did I get it? I don’t know. Of course, when it was all over I was sitting there thinking how much I sucked. But then Katie told me I ought to be on TV and wondered why I wasn’t doing celebrity reporting on the local station. Of course, she was just trying to make me feel better about my suckle, but huh! What a coincidence! “Dish Nation” starts the same day as “Katie” — on September 10! But I didn’t go into all that with her……After all, this interview wasn’t about ME.