With CNN’s upcoming “The Story of Late Night” now publicly announced, the NDA everyone signed is now partially no longer in effect. Partially, because those involved can now talk about it to a limited extent but agree to divulge no specific details nor say anything disparaging.
Which is easy, because the director, producers, and crew were an absolute joy.
I had been approached in September 2018 to be interviewed for the series. I initially turned it down, because I’m well aware of how I turn into Elmer Fudd when a camera and microphone are aimed at my face.
But when I subsequently learned that Bill Carter was involved, I reconsidered, and we set up a date for early October. The interview took place in the Lower East Side in a private triplex rented out for various film productions. I had assumed that one of the producers would be handling the questions, but when I got there, someone pointed me to Bill, and I knew then that I had to step up my game. I met Mark Malkoff as he was leaving; he was the first to be interviewed. I’d be the second. I was introduced to Bill, who, amazingly, knew who I was. So that put me at some ease.
We began at around 2 PM and finished at 4. There was a multi-page set of questions prepared for Bill, but I don’t think any of them were asked. I’ll post the sheets after broadcast. During one break (due, I think, to a truck driving past) I managed to sneak a short video with my iPhone.
Afterwards, Bill and I gabbed about “The Late Shift,” Late Night music, and other topics.
Near 5 PM, the crew (without Bill) and I Ubered to my place, where we spent another two hours having me pretend to so stuff — walk up the stairs, enter my apartment, search for a videotape, stick it in a VCR, and start digitizing — all the while talking about this, that, the other.
That finally ended at around 8 PM. Over the next year, I was asked to supply clips and information for them. I’m confident there’ll be an acknowledgement.
I recently learned that the day was all for naught: For reasons I can’t explain yet but fully understand, my segment won’t be included in the series. In the meantime, though, in addition to the video, here are two photos I took: Bill and me after the interview, and the director, John Ealer, and me in the Uber riding to my place.
It should be a fantastic series.