Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin From WNYC
Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

From WNYC Radio


Most Recent Episodes

Donna Schaper, Radical Reverend

The Reverend Donna Schaper of New York's Judson Memorial Church leads her flock of 300 through life's sacraments like any pastor. But she has a national profile, too, appearing in print and on television to reject the idea that Christian values necessarily lead to conservative politics. She tells Alec her story of spiritual awakening, from an abusive working-class home, to parting ways from the Lutheran Church of her childhood, all the way to Judson Memorial Church, a Christian outpost in Greenwich Village that ministers to sex workers, doubters, LGBT folk, the undocumented, and Village gentry alike. Alec in return tells Donna about his own journey of faith.

Matthew Landfield's Wildly Deep History of His Childhood Home

Alec Baldwin and Matthew Landfield crossed paths one time before their Here's the Thing interview. In early 2001, Alec was shooting a movie in front of 31 Desbrosses Street in New York's Tribeca neighborhood. Matthew had grown up in the building in the 1980s, raised by a performance-artist mom and modernist-painter father. Matthew and Alec said hello as Matthew walked in to visit his parents. The bohemian scene on the block stuck with Alec over the years — so much so that when in 2015 he was driving by and noticed that the building was gone, he researched what had happened. Online, Alec discovered Matthew's labor of love: perhaps the best, most deeply researched article ever written about a single address. The Lenape, the Dutch, the English, the factory workers, junkies, artists and bankers — every stage of New York history had some brush with the land (or water) that is now 31 Desbrosses. Alec was transfixed, and this funny, fascinating conversation is the result.

A Major Conservatory President Who Knows the Life of a Working Musician

Six years ago the Board of the Manhattan School of Music faced a daunting decision: who would guide the school into its second century? They turned to someone with a long history with the school, James Gandre. Gandre joined MSM as an administrative assistant in the mid-1980s and rose through the ranks. But before then, he'd been auditioning for gigs as a tenor with symphonies and choirs. He continued to do so even after he began in administration. He tells Alec about his journey from small-town Wisconsin, to being an out gay man in San Francisco in the early 80s, to his long rise through the ranks at MSM — and he shares his thoughts on the future of his venerable institution.

Brian Lehrer Comes to Here's the Thing

Brian Lehrer is a unique figure in the public life of New York City. Beyond hosting the city's defining daily talk show, he's our conscience and our conciliator. When New Yorkers want a fair mayoral debate, they often call Brian. When WNYC needed someone to help us process our own #metoo moment, we called Brian. The Peabody Awards honored The Brian Lehrer Show for "reuniting the estranged terms 'civil' and 'discourse.'" Of course, civil doesn't mean soft: he can be unsparing in his interviews because, as he tells Alec, "there's plenty that pisses me off." Alec is fan of — and a regular caller on — Brian's show, so who better to turn the tables? Alec interviews Brian about his path to prominence, and the two discuss their shared love of radio, and of New York.

Julie Brown UPDATED: Acosta's Epstein Explanations Are "Ridiculous," "Disingenuous"

Alexander Acosta has resigned from his position as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. That's because of the sweetheart deal he cut politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein back in 2008, when Acosta was a federal prosecutor. In the swirl of news following Epstein's re-arrest, but before the Acosta resignation, Julie Brown stepped out of Acosta's press conference to speak to Alec on the phone. We learn her reaction and that of Epstein's victims who called her up after the arrest. That conversation is at the end of an extended cut of their live conversation at the Greene Space this spring and a phone call from Alan Dershowitz addressing the accusations made against him.

Julie Brown UPDATED: Acosta's Epstein Explanations Are "Ridiculous," "Disingenuous"

These Three People Say They Can Fix the Subway

Corey Johnson wants to be the next mayor of New York, and the press seems to think he will be. His plan to fix transit is the centerpiece of his platform. Tom Wright is the CEO of the powerful Regional Plan Association. That organization imagines the future and comes up with ideas for infrastructure and bureaucracy that could meet its needs. Nicole Gelinas, a reporter and a Manhattan Institute scholar of Urban Economics, also believes in big, innovative projects. But for the past 15 years, she's been reminding New Yorkers that we will not get a transit system worthy of our great city if we cannot get costs under control, and our financial house in order. Combine these three experts with Alec's curiosity and strong opinions about all things New York, and you get a great conversation about congestion pricing, organized labor, the MTA, and future of transportation everywhere.

Adam Schiff Tells All: Could Have Gone to Med School, Mom Livid

California Congressman Adam Schiff weighs both sides of the impeachment debate and speaks out forcefully on Iran. Plus why his childhood in Massachusetts had an influence on his future career, why his his mother was so disappointed that he went to law school instead of medical school, and whether President Trump has done more to encourage or discourage aspiring progressive public servants.

How Julie Brown Broke Open the Jeffrey Epstein Story

Julie Brown of the Miami Herald conceived, reported, and wrote one of the most explosive criminal justice stories in recent memory. She revealed the shutting down of an FBI investigation that may have been on the verge of discovering the full extent of a child-sex-trafficking operation run by politically-connected billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The prosecutor allegedly behind that decision, Alex Acosta, is now President Trump's Secretary of Labor. Acosta offered Epstein a plea deal in which Epstein pleaded guilty to recruiting underage girls for sex and spent about a year in the local lockup, with work release. The deal also proactively protected from prosecution any potential co-conspirators. Brown pored over internal emails to see exactly how Acosta and other powerful law-enforcement officials made these decisions. While in New York to receive a Polk Award for her work, Brown stopped by WNYC's Greene Space to talk to Alec about her reporting, and the personal background that drove it.

Moby on Living Large and Falling Hard

Moby had already put out four studio albums when Play was released in 1999. He was solidly into his 30s, playing gigs in record stores and thinking about a career-change. But Play, against all expectations, started selling. Then it started selling out. There was champagne, then vodka, then cocaine. He swung between drug-induced euphoria and thoughts of suicide. The stories of stardom he tells Alec are both funny and troubling. But Moby saw his way out of the spiral. Now a decade without drugs or alcohol, he's remarkably open about his darkness, and the weird hippie childhood that laid the groundwork for it. He and Alec sat down last month and swapped stories of sobriety and celebrity. Moby's new memoir is Then It Fell Apart.

Jeff Daniels Was Supposed to Take Over the Family Lumber Business

By 1976, college student Jeff Daniels was pretty sure he didn't want to follow his father into the Michigan lumber trade. But he wasn't sure he could make it as a working actor — until one of the founders of Manhattan's legendary Circle Repertory Company spotted him at Eastern Michigan University. It was a short hop from Circle Rep to his screen breakthrough in Terms of Endearment, but Daniels' commitment to the stage has never waned. That commitment bore a Tony nomination this year (Daniels' third) for his magnificent performance in Aaron Sorkin's To Kill a Mockingbird adaptation on Broadway. Daniels and Alec discuss the craft required to play Atticus Finch, the very different craft required to play alongside Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber, and Daniels' unusual decision to move back to his Michigan hometown with his wife and child while building a Hollywood career.

Back To Top