The Interview That Every Radio Geek Needs To Hear
June 2, 2015
Two of my favorite broadcasters are Terry Gross and Marc Maron. Both interview people for a living, but their interview styles couldn't be more different.
Terry is the host of Fresh Air on NPR. When she interviews people, she reveals very little about herself, instead letting the spotlight shine on her guests. Essentially, she sets them up and then gets out of their way.
Marc is a comedian and the host of the popular WTF podcast. He reveals a lot about himself in the course of his interviews. He often gives the audience the feeling that they are sitting in on a therapy session.
So when Marc interviews Terry, there's a healthy and hilarious tension as he tries to get her to reveal intimate details about her life. If you're a radio geek like me, I think you'll really enjoy this interview.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- "Life is harder than radio." --Terry Gross
- "I was brought up thinking there is some really positive value in negative thinking." --Terry Gross
- "I declined to be photographed because I thought radio listeners want you to be who they think you are visually. And I'd meet people and they'd go 'Oh, really?'" --Terry Gross
- "One time I made you snort-laugh and I was like, 'I win!' I heard you laugh and snort and I'm like 'I'm done with radio. I can wear that as a badge of honor.'" --Marc Maron
- "It's hard to sell that as riveting. Somewhere in middle, my brain went 'Is this good radio?'" --Marc Maron
- "That's a good question. 'Do I know how to have fun?' It's not probably what I'm most famous for. I'm in some ways better at working than relaxing." --Terry Gross
- "We've had publicists call and say, 'Please don't run that.' And it's like, 'Thanks for your input, it's our job to decide what to run.'" --Terry Gross
- "I know the vinyl addiction." --Marc Maron
- "Every time I talk to you on the air I always picture [you in] some weird bunker surrounded by books." --Marc Maron
- "I wanted interesting work. I wanted to fall in love with work and I wanted to fall in love with a person. And I'm lucky, I have both." --Terry Gross
- "I'm a risk-taker when it comes to radio. I'm not a risk-taker when it comes to the outside world." --Terry Gross
- "That's the best thing that ever happened to me, getting fired. That was a highpoint. It was like, 'Thank you for liberating me from this position. I really hated every second of it.'" --Terry Gross
- "At soon as I started doing interviews, I thought it, 'This is it. This is what I want to do.'" —Terry Gross
NEXT STEP: Listen to WTF's Marc Maron interview NPR's Terry Gross. (Marc's site has the entire interview. NPR has a condensed version.)