Here’s the Thing

2 – 3 days a week I have a slight commute (45 minutes at its worst) to work. Highly impatient person that I am, I have relied heavily on podcasts as a means of distraction when traffic slows. They work like a charm, tempering my frustration with the clogged highway and assuaging the feeling that I am wasting time, that valuable commodity that forever slinks from my grasp.

This American Life and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me are good for about a full commute and a half, so that leaves a good 30 – 75 minute gap (depending on how many days I’m working in the office that week) that needs to be filled. The remedy: WNYC’s Here’s the Thing, which, coincidentally, is the newsweethottness.  It’s a biweekly podcast, usually around 30 minutes long, that basically consists of Alec Baldwin sitting down and chatting with a wide array of famous folks — his interviewees range from Chris Rock to Ed Rollins to Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast to Kris Kardashian Jenner, et al.

Baldwin clearly suffers from an acute bout of narcissism, which keeps his celebrity guests on their toes. A few of his guests are personal friends, so that air of familiarity (inside jokes with Mama Kardashian about the school where both their daughters attend) gives you the idea that you’re listening in on a coffee date conversation shared by old pals. It’s refreshing to have a media outlet that humanizes the celebrities whose lives our society is so eager to sensationalize and pedastalize.

Go ahead and listen — you’ll likely learn something new about people who are perhaps more interesting than you anticipated.

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