BuildingNY:New York Stories – Bill Boggs: Television Personality/Author/Actor/Playwright

BuildingNY:New York Stories – Bill Boggs: Television Personality/Author/Actor/Playwright


♪[THEME MUSIC]♪>>>PHILADELPHIA,
PENNSYLVANIA, WARTON, UNIVERSITY
OF PENNSYLVANIA, A TEACHER? I’M GOING TO GO TO
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA. I’M GOING TO BE
INVOLVED WITH PUBLIC RELATIONS
FOR A CORE COMPANY. THESE GUYS ARE
REALLY GOOD. THESE YOUNG GUYS,
THEY ARE TALENTED. I’LL BECOME THEIR
MANAGER. NORTH CAROLINA, I
WANT TO GET TO THE BIG APPLE. I WANT TO GET TO
THE BIG APPLE. I WANT TO BE ON
TELEVISION. I WANT TO BE
INVOLVED. YOU KNOW WHAT, I’M
GOING TO GET INVOLVED WITH TV. I’M GOING TO GET
INVOLVED WITH MOVIES. I’M GOING TO GET
INVOLVED WITH BEING THE PRODUCER
OF MORTON DOWNY SHOW. I’M GOING TO BE
INVOLVED WITH THE FRIAR’S CLUB. I’M GOING TO WRITE
A BOOK. I’M GOING TO WRITE
MORE THAN A BOOK. I’M GOING TO WRITE
A BOOK ON WHAT MAKE’S PEOPLE
THINK. WHAT’S THE REAL
KEY TO SUCCESS. I HAVE THE MAN WHOSE BEEN
SUCCESSFUL, FOUR-TIME EMMY AWARD WINNER, BILL
BOGGS. >>YOU SOUND LIKE
ME AFTER A COUPLE DRINKS SPEAKING
ABOUT MY LIFE. >>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU VERY
MUCH FOR HAVING ME.>>SO TELL ME
ABOUT HOW THE GERMAN MOTHER –>>RIGHT.>>ENTERED PHILADELPHIA
AND THE SCOTTISH MAN WENT TO PHILADELPHIA. WHERE DID THEY
ARRIVE FROM?>>MY MOTHER’S
PARENTS ARE IMMIGRANTS WHO MET AT A GERMAN/AMERICAN CLUB. I’M HALF GERMAN,
HALF IRISH. I’M ALL CRAZY AND HALF SMART.
THEY HAD FIVE CHILDREN. MY MOTHER WAS BY
FAR THE YOUNGEST OF THE FIVE. LOT OF LONGEVITY
IN THE FAMILY, THAT IMMIGRANT MOTHER, MY
GRANDMOTHER LIVED TO BE 101. HER BROTHER LIVED TO
BE 101. MY MOTHER LIVED TO
BE 96. ON MY FATHER’S
SIDE OF THE FAMILY, THE BOGGS,
I LIKE TO FIND OUT HOW LONG THEY WERE
IN PHILADELPHIA BEFORE MY FATHER
WAS BORN AND MY MOTHER MET MY
FATHER AT A CARNIVAL.>>SOMEBODY WAS
WRESTLING ALLIGATOR YOU SAID?>>THAT’S RIGHT.
AS THE TALE GOES, THEY WERE AT A
NEIGHBORHOOD CARNIVAL THAT INCLUDED ONE OF
THESE CRAZY ATTRACTIONS OF A
GUY WRESTLING AN ALLIGATOR. MY MOTHER SAID,
THIS IS REALLY PHONY. MY FATHER HAPPENED
TO SIT BEHIND THEM. MY FATHER LEANS
OVER AND SAID, NO, THERE IS SOME
DANGER INVOLVED. I KNOW THIS GUY. MY MOTHER GOT
PICKED UP BY MY FATHER AT A CARNIVAL WATCHING
A GUY WRESTLE AN ALLIGATOR.>>YOU SAID YOUR
FATHER WAS ABOVE THE AGE TO GET
INTO THE MILITARY, CORRECT?>>DURING WORLD
WAR II, MY FATHER HAD COUPLE OF
CHILDREN, MY SISTER AND I, AND ALSO BEING MARRIED
AND BEING AGE 46 OR 47 HAD A VERY LOW DEFERMENT NUMBER. HE WAS THE AIR
RAID WARDEN.>>WE HAVE THIS
BENDIX RADIO — >>RIGHT.>>YOU WERE LISTENING, AS YOU
SAID TO ME TO THE GOLDEN AGE OF
RADIO.>>I CONSIDER MYSELF BLESSED
THAT I’M OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE CAUGHT THE
GOLDEN AGE OF RADIO. WHAT HAPPENED WAS
AS A VERY LITTLE KID, 4, 5 YEARS OLD, I HAD THIS
TINY RADIO AND I LOVED PARTICULAR ART
LINKLETTER AND PEOPLE ARE FUNNY AND ARTHUR GODFREY
AND HIS SHOW. AND I JUST
THOUGHT, GEE, WHEN I GROW UP, THAT
WOULD BE A FUN THING TO DO. SO IT WASN’T LIKE
I SAID, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I’M
GOING TO DO WITH A BEELINE, BUT I ALWAYS WAS INTERESTED
IN SHOW BUSINESS MY ENTIRE LIFE, SINCE
I GOT THAT RADIO.>>YOU SAID TO ME
WHEN YOU WERE GOING TO SCHOOL
WHEN YOU WERE VERY — YOU WENT TO A LARGE SCHOOL,
WERE YOU THE PRESIDENT OF THE CLASS DURING HIGH SCHOOL?>>ABRAHAM LINCOLN
HIGH SCHOOL, NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA, 400
STUDENTS, 100 ACRE CAMPUS, TREMENDOUS
PUBLIC EDUCATION. I WAS THE
TREASURER, VICE PRESIDENT.
>>YOU WERE HELPING YOUR DAD,
RIGHT?>>WELL, MY FATHER
PUT ME IN BUSINESS — I LIKE TO SAY IF YOU’RE
FROM A WORKING CLASS FAMILY IN PHILADELPHIA,
YOU KNOW HOW TO HUSTLE TO MAKE A LIVING. I DON’T MEAN SHAKE
PEOPLE DOWN. I THINK — MY FIRST JOB WAS ON MY BICYCLE
WHEN I WAS AROUND SEVENTH GRADE SELLING
VACUUM CLEANER BELTS DOOR TO DOOR
AND I MADE $100 THAT SUMMER, LITERALLY LITTLE
KIDS SELLING STUFF, RINGING DOORBELLS.
I WOULD GO IN AND DO THAT. GET YOUR CLEANER
OUT. HERE IS A NEW BELT. HERE IS A NEW BAG.
GIVE ME YOUR MONEY. PARK MY BIKE AT
THE END OF THE BLOCK, DO ONE
SIDE, DO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
STREET. TRIED A NEW BLOCK.>>YOU GRADUATED
HIGH SCHOOL. >>YEAH.>>AT THAT TIME YOU JOINED —
BEFORE YOU WENT TO COLLEGE, YOU WENT INTO THE ARMY RESERVE,
CORRECT?>>NO. NO. I WENT INTO
THE ARMY RESERVE BETWEEN UNIVERSITY
OF PENNSYLVANIA UNDERGRADUATE AND
GRADUATE SCHOOL. >>LET’S COME
BACK. >>YEAH.>>YOU’RE IN PHILADELPHIA AND
YOU ENTER THE UNIVERSITY OF
PENNSYLVANIA. >>RIGHT.>>FOR LITERATURE, CORRECT?>>ENGLISH AND
SOCIOLOGY. WHATEVER THE EASIEST
COURSES WERE THAT I COULD GET
THROUGH, THAT WAS MY GOAL. SOMEHOW I GOT
SCHOLARSHIP TO PENN AND I
THOUGHT, WOW, THIS IS GREAT. I WANT TO GET THROUGH
AND I WANT TO GET TO GRADUATE SCHOOL
IN COMMUNICATIONS AND GET MY MASTERS
AND GET TRAINING THAT WOULD HELP
ME. >>SO YOU WENT TO
ADAMBERG SCHOOL –>>ANNENBERG SCHOOL
OF COMMUNICATION, GOT A MASTERS
DEGREE THERE. IT WAS GREAT. GREAT YEAR.>>AND THEN YOU WENT INTO THE
MILITARY FOR SIX MONTHS?>>NO. BETWEEN PENN
AND ANNENBERG I HAD THIS GAP BECAUSE I
GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN
JANUARY AND GRADUATED FROM PENN IN DECEMBER.
SO I HAD A PERIOD OF TIME, DID NOT WANT TO GO TO VIETNAM. DID NOT WANT TO BE
DRAFTED. DID NOT WANT TO
BE — >>WHEN YOU THE
SUBSTANTIVE TEACHER?>>ONCE I GOT MY
DEGREE FROM PENN TO MAKE MONEY,
HUSTLING I BECAME A SUBSTITUTE
TEACHER. I SUBSTITUTE
TAUGHT ALL THE WAY THROUGH GRADUATE
SCHOOL DURING THE TIME I WAS WITH
THE COMEDY TEAM. ANY TIME I NEEDED
A BUCK, I SAID I’M AVAILABLE.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS. YOU GRADUATE AND
HOW DID YOU GET TO ARMSTRONG TILE IN
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA?>>WELL, WHEN I
GOT OUT OF ANNENBERG, MY GOAL
WAS BASICALLY TO TRY TO FIND A JOB
IN TELEVISION, IN SHOW BUSINESS. BUT I THINK THE
LARGER PICTURE SHOW BUSINESS. I WENT TO A FILM
PRODUCTION COMPANY. I WAS KNOCKING ON
CHANNEL 6, CHANNEL 3, CHANNEL 10 TRYING TO GET
MY FOOT IN THE DOOR AND THE PHONE RANG AS
GLORIA VANDERBILT SAID YOUR WHOLE LIFE
CAN CHANGE WITH THE PHONE CALL. THE PHONE RANG AND
IT WAS ARMSTRONG CORE COMPANY
RECRUITING ME. AND THEY SAID, WE
HAVE VERY CREATIVE JOB FOR YOU. IT INVOLVES
SHOOTING FILMS. IT INVOLVES
WRITING SPEECHES. >>IN THE AMISH
COMPANY. >>FORTUNE 500
COUNTRY THROUGHOUT IN AMISH COUNTRY.
I RATIONALIZED, WOW, THIS IS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS. I CAN GET A CAR. I WON’T BE LIVING
WITH MY PARENTS. I CAN’T BELIEVE
I’LL MAKE THIS MUCH MONEY. SURE. AFTER ABOUT THREE
MONTHS OR LESS REALLY I REALIZED
I MADE PHENOMENAL MISTAKE BY
SETTLING TO TAKE THAT JOB RATHER
THAN CONTINUE TO TRY TO GET –>>EVERYTHING IS MEANT TO BE.>>THAT’S CORRECT.>>AND SO WHAT
HAPPENS IS YOU MEET THESE TWO
GUYS — >>NO. ONE GUY I
ACTUALLY ENCOURAGED TO COME TO ARMSTRONG
BECAUSE HE WAS WORKING FOR ALLEN
FUND, HAD A DAUGHTER JAMIE WHO
WORKED ALONGSIDE, PRESIDENT OF ABC
BROADCAST, A SON ON THE WAY. COME ON DOWN HERE.
THEY HAVE A CREATIVE JOB. IT’S BORING BUT
YOU’LL MAKE MONEY AND REGROUP. SO HE COMES DOWN.
THEY WHERE COMEDY. OUT OF BORE DOM
ONE DAY WALKING DOWN THE HALL,
THEY’RE DOING A ROUTINE. I SAID, DO ANOTHER
ROUTINE. IN THE MIDDLE OF
THIS ROUTINE, I HAD A BLINDING
REVELATION AND IT. THIS IS HAND TO GOD TRUE.
THEY’RE GREAT. I LOVE COMEDY. RIGHT. WE’LL GO INTO SHOW
BUSINESS. I’LL BE THEIR AGENT. SIX MONTHS LATER
THEY WERE ON THE MURV GRIFFIN
SHOW. THEY WENT ON TO BE
HUGELY SUCCESSFUL.>>FORGET TV.>>I WAS A MANAGER.>>I KNOW. THAT’S WHAT I’M
SAYING. YOU WERE AN AGENT.>>I ACTUALLY
ENDED UP BEING THEIR MANAGER. AGENT WAS THE GUY
NAMED IRVIN ARTHUR.>>BECOME THEIR MANAGER. YOU GET THEM
BOOKED — >>LOT OF BOOKS.>>THEY DO RATHER WELL.
>>VERY WELL.>>AND THEN
BERNIE — >>WELL, WHAT
HAPPENED WAS WE WERE DOING
EXTREMELY WELL. THE COMEDY WAS SET
TO MOVE TO THE WEST COAST AND
THEY WERE CREATING A NEW MORNING SHOW
IN PHILADELPHIA. AND DEBBY MILLER,
WHO WAS WORKING FOR THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW
TRAINED BY ROGER RAILS WHO IS THE PRODUCER
OF MIKE DOUGLAS AT THAT TIME, CAME TO ME AND SAID, LOOK,
I THINK YOU HAVE WHAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE A
GREAT TV PRODUCER.>>REALLY?>>YEAH. I WOULD
LIKE YOU TO BE MY ASSOCIATE PRODUCER ON THIS
NEW MORNING SHOW WE’RE REPLACING
TOM SCHNEIDER. DEBBY, THAT’S
REALLY FLATTERING, BUT I’M SET TO
MOVE TO THE WEST COAST. MAKE A LONG STORY
SHORT, WHAT WOULD IT TAKE YOU STAY? YOU TOLD ME THE
SHOW WILL HAVE A HOST AND FIVE
PEOPLE AND ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WILL
BE ON TV ONE DAY A WEEK? YOU LET ME BE YOUR
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER ONE OF THOSE
PEOPLE, NO AUDITIONING. I KNOW I CAN DO
IT, I’LL FIND ANOTHER MANAGER
AND I’LL STAY HERE. AND SO I ENDED UP
CONTACTING BERNIE BRILSTEEN. HE ENDED UP
BRILSTEEN GRAY. THEY WENT TO THE
WEST COAST. START PERFORMING. BECAME THE HEAD
WRITERS FOR BOB NEUMEIER.>>NOW YOU’RE OVER THERE. YOU’RE THE
PRODUCER, ONE OF THE PRODUCERS AND
YOU’RE ALSO — >>ON ONCE A WEEK.>>ONCE A WEEK.>>THAT WAS MY FIRST JOB ON
TELEVISION.>>WHAT HAPPENS
NEXT? HOW DOES MR.
WEEKEND END UP IN NORTH CAROLINA?>>WELL, MR.
WEEKEND WAS — FIRST OFF, MY JOB
WAS MR. WEEKEND IN PHILADELPHIA. IN THE EARLY ’70s,
WEEKEND WHICH IS PRIMARILY GET OUT
OF TOWN IN PHILADELPHIA, GO TO NEW YORK, NOT NOW. BUT WHAT HAPPENED
WAS IT WASN’T ENOUGH. I MEAN, IT WAS
LIKE PLAYING FOR THE PHILLIES,
BATTING ONCE A WEEK. I MADE A NEW YEAR’S
RESOLUTION WHICH I’M BIG AT MAKING RESOLUTIONS
AND STICKING TO IT, THAT I WOULD GO ANYWHERE
IN AMERICA TO GET MY OWN SHOW. AND I REALLY JUST
STARTED TELLING EVERYBODY A FRIEND
OF MINE SAID, WAKE UP IN THE MORNING
AS IF YOU ALREADY HAVE YOUR SHOW. TOLD EVERYBODY. ONE THING LED TO
ANOTHER. THREE WEEKS I GOT
A CALL TO AUDITION. WENT TO HIGH
POINT, NORTH CAROLINA. REPLACED FARM,
HOME AND GARDEN PRODUCED MY OWN
SHOW CALLED SOUTHERN EXPOSURE
AND BEAT THE TODAY’S SHOW THREE
YEARS. >>SO WHAT WAS
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE WITH BILL BOGGS?>>A ONE-HOUR LIVE
MORNING, NIGHT AND THE MORNING TALK
SHOW THAT WAS PRODUCED BY ME. SOMETIMES WE WOULD
HAVE MAYBE DAN RATHER WAS ON. I WOULD HAVE HIM
FOR WHOLE SHOW. SOMETIMES WE WOULD
HAVE COOKING SEGMENTS AND IT
COULD BE LIKE A MAGAZINE SHOW. WHATEVER I THOUGHT
WOULD WORK. WE WOULD HAVE LIVE
MUSIC. I WOULD INTERVIEW
SUNNY AND CHER. THE SHOW ENDED UP
GETTING INDICATED THANKS TO PHIL
LIMB BAR DOE THROUGHOUT THE
SOUTH AND DID EXTREMELY WELL.>>YOU’RE THERE
THREE YEARS, RIGHT?>>THREE AMAZINGLY
HAPPY CREATIVE YEARS.>>SO WHAT HAPPENS HERE? YOU HAVE THE BUG
TO GET BACK TO PHILLY OR TO THE
BIG APPLE?>>NO. WHAT HAPPENED
WAS THE SHOW MADE NOISE. YOU HAD THIS GUY
DOING SOUTHERN EXPOSURE FROM THE
FIRST SHOW. AND SYNDICATED A
COUPLE OTHER STATIONS. SO I WAS SOUGHT
OUT BY MIAMI, SAN FRANCISCO AND NEW
YORK CHANNEL 5 IN THOSE DAYS. AND I DECIDED TO
COME TO NEW YORK. THAT’S HOW I GOT
HERE. >>SO YOU COME TO
NEW YORK. >>RIGHT.>>WHAT DO YOU GET THEN? MIDDAY AT THAT
TIME?>>IT WAS MIDDAY
LIVE WHICH I ADDED WITH BILL BOGGS.>>SO THAT’S HOW I
GOT TO NEW YORK. BUT FIRST IT WAS
INTERESTING WHEN I CAME TO NEW YORK,
IT WAS REALLY IMMERSING MYSELF
IN NEW YORK CULTURE. IN NORTH CAROLINA
I LIVED OUT IN THOMASVILLE. I HAD A HOUSE, A
SWIMMING POOL, 250 ACRES BEHIND ME
WITH DOING THE SHOW THAT I HAD
COMPLETE CONTROL OVER HAD SEVEN
WEEKS, I TAPED ONE EXTRA SHOW A WEEK. HOW COULD YOU
STAND LIVING IN NORTH CAROLINA?>>SO YOU COME TO
NEW YORK?>>YEAH.>>YOU’RE IN MIDDAY. AFTER MIDDAY YOU
HAVE ANOTHER SHOW.>>DURING THE
MIDDAY YEARS, IT WAS 13 YEARS, I
HOSTED A GAME SHOW FOR CBS. I HOSTED A CABLE
SHOW FOR CBS. THE LATE NIGHT
THING CALLED UPSTAIRS. RICHARD BAKER AND
I PRODUCED SHOWS FOR MTV. I HOSTED COEXECUTIVE
PRODUCED COMEDY TONIGHT FOR TWO YEARS, 120 STATIONS. AND OTHER STUFF.
COUPLE SPECIALS FOR NBC. 13-YEAR PERIOD OF
MIDDAY AND I DID WEEKENDS — I DID
SATURDAY MORNING LIVE, I WAS REALLY
GOOD. I REALLY WORKED HARD, REALLY HARD. AT ONE
POINT I WAS ON CAMERA NINE SEVEN-DAY WEEKS,
63 STRAIGHT DAYS. >>NOW, THEN MR.
RUPERT MURDOCH DECIDES TO BUY
METRO MEDIA AND IT BECAME FOX.>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>THEN YOU RETURNED BACK
HOME FOR A LITTLE WHILE.>>WELL, WHAT
HAPPENED WAS THEN SO THEY CANCELLED
MIDDAY, WHICH I WAS VERY HAPPY. HONESTLY, MICHAEL,
I WAS REALLY HAPPY TO SEE WHAT ELSE
MY PATH WOULD OFFER AFTER 13
YEARS. I WENT TO THE WEST
COAST WORKED FOR DICK CLARK TRYING
TO DEVELOP SOMETHING. THAT DIDN’T
HAPPEN. AFTER NINE MONTHS
MY SON TREVOR IS OUT ON THE WEST
COAST WITH HIS MOTHER LINDA. I WENT BACK ON THE
AIR IN THE INTERVIEW WITH
CHER IN PHILADELPHIA WITH A SHOW CALLED TIME OUT.>>FROM TIME OUT,
YOU WERE ONE OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH FIRST SHOWS
ON THE FOOD NETWORK –>>WELL, THERE’S A BIG
JUMP FROM TIME-OUT IN PHILADELPHIA TO
THE FOOD NETWORK. AND WHAT HAPPENED
WAS I GOT SICK. I HAD BEEN
INTERVIEWING PEOPLE CONSIDERING
NORTH CAROLINA AND NEW YORK FOR
18-STRAIGHT YEARS. AND IT WAS THIS
DAY, I’LL NEVER FORGET IT, I’M
INTERVIEWING FOR THE 18th TIME IN
MY CAREER. AND SHAVED GREASY
CHEST AND ASKING THE SAME STUPID
QUESTIONS THE WOMEN IN THE AUDIENCE ARE
SCREAMING THE SAME STUPID STUFF AND I THOUGHT,
YOU KNOW, IT’S TIME TO DO SOMETHING
DIFFERENT. SO ONCE AGAIN I
MADE A RESOLUTION THAT I WANTED TO
CHANGE MY LIFE AND I BECAME EXECUTIVE
PRODUCER OF THE MORTON DOWNY JR.
SHOW. THAT WAS A LONG
WAY FROM FOOD NETWORK.>>SO THE MORTON
DOWNY JR. SHOW WAS — DID EXCEPTIONALLY
WELL BUT MORTON DOWNY WAS HIS OWN WORST
ENEMY. >>HE WAS EXTREMELY SELF
DESTRUCTIVE.>>AFTER THE MORTON
DOWNY JR. SHOW, WHAT CAME NEXT?>>THEN I WORKED AT A JOB
THAT WAS NOT WELL SUITED. I WAS UNDER THE
UMBRELLA OF BOB PITTMAN’S COMPANY.>>RIGHT.>>SO THEY WERE LAUNCHING
SOMETHING CALLED CORE TV. A GENIUS
GUY FROM AMERICAN LAWYER, SO I WAS THE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER WHO HELPED FORM
WHAT BECAME COURT TV THAT ULTIMATELY
WAS PURCHASED AND BECAME TRU
TELEVISION. IT WAS NOT A GOOD
FIT FOR ME. I DID NOT A
INTEREST IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEMOTHER THAN
STAYING OUT OF JAIL.>>WHEN DID YOU WRITE THE NOVEL?>>THE NOVEL AT
FIRST SIGHT WAS WRITTEN IN 1980 IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE YEAR. RENEE ZELLWEGER
OPTIONED IT A FEW YEARS AGO.>>WHAT SHOWS WERE YOU DOING
AT COURT TV OVER THERE?>>I DID NO SHOWS. I WAS EXECUTIVE
PRODUCER HELPING LAUNCH IT. AFTER THAT ENDED
AMICABLY WITH STEVE BRIL, I DECIDED I WANTED TO
GET BACK ON TELEVISION. I HAD A PERIOD OF
NOT MAKING ENOUGH MONEY. FORTUNATELY I HAD
SAVINGS. I DID ALL MY RADIO
ON WOR AND I WAS INTERESTED IN
FOOD. ALWAYS INTERESTED
IN THE CONCEPT OF INTERVIEWING
PEOPLE AND EATING AT THE SAME TIME
WHICH WE DID ON MIDDAY. WE HAD THESE ROUND
TABLES. AND SO I STARTED
TO — MY AGENT GOT ME AN AUDITION FOR
WNBC. SO FOR TWO YEARS I
WAS ANCHOR OF WEEKENDS TODAY IN
NEW YORK. I WAS WORKING
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. SO THE REST OF THE
TIME I WAS JUST TRYING TO HUSTLE
AROUND, MAKE SOME MORE MONEY. WHEN I HEARD THAT
THE FOOD NETWORK WAS BEING CREATED,
I WENT TO THEM AND SAID, LOOK, YOU
NEED ME. I’VE BEEN DOING A
RADIO SHOW ON FOOD.>>WHEN DID YOU
DECIDE BECAUSE I KNOW THE ONE-MAN
SHOW WHICH IS STILL ON TODAY –>>TALK SHOW CONFIDENTIAL?>>I’LL BE DOING
THAT PLAY AUGUST 25th TALK SHOW
CONFIDENTIAL. I WAS WORKING FOR
THE FOOD NETWORK. THE FOOD NETWORK
HAD THREE DIFFERENT SHOWS. AND
ROBIN LEECH WAS HOSTING SOMETHING CALLED
FOOD NETWORK LIVE WHICH WAS VERY
LABOR INTENSIVE. I WAS WORKING ON
THE WEEKENDS GOING AROUND THE
COUNTRY. ONE CHEFS WE WERE
WORKING WAS JACQUES PEPIN. AND JACQUES PEPIN IS
BEAUTIFUL, HANDSOME MAN. HIS ACCENT IS, BILL, YOU SHOULD
GO ON CRYSTAL CRUISES. THEY WOULD LOVE
YOU AS A SPEAKER. YOU’RE SUCH A GOOD
STORY TELLER. YOU MUST MEET
THEM. SO I’M DRIVING TO
MEET CRYSTAL CRUISE. WHAT CAN I TALK
ABOUT? I’LL MAKE UP
SOMETHING. TALK SHOW
CONFIDENTIAL. I HAVE THESE FUNNY
TRUE STORIES. I WENT ON ONE
CRUISE AND BEEN DOING IT EVER SINCE, ONE OR TWO
EVERY YEAR. I CAME BACK AND
THE TALK I GAVE CONFESSIONS OF A
TALK SHOW HOST WENT OVER SO WELL
I SAID TO MYSELF, I HAVE IT IN ME TO
DO MORE ON STAGE. SO I CREATED A
FULL-BLOWN SHOW WHICH WAS
UNDERWRITTEN ON THE THEATER ON
42nd STREET AND THEN PETER MARTIN
HAD THE TRYOUT THEATER LOVED IT
AND HE PICKED IT UP AND SAID,
BILLY, YOU CAN DO IT HERE AS LONG AS
YOU WANT TO. SIX YEARS, ONCE A WEEK, ONCE A MONTH
WITH VARIOUS CHANGES I DID TALK SHOW
CONFIDENTIAL CONFESSIONS OF A TALK SHOW HOST
WHILE DOING LOTS OF OTHER THINGS. I’VE ALWAYS LOVED
STAGE WORK, STAGE PERFORMING. I’VE BEEN IN A COUPLE
MUSICALS AND PLAYS AND ALWAYS LOED
THAT FEELING OF A LIVE AUDIENCE. STILL
TO THIS DAY MY FAVORITE THING TO DO.>>NOW, WHEN YOU WROTE THIS
BOOK IN 2007 BUT YOU STARTED IN ’04, HOW DID YOU
DECIDE TO WRITE THE BOOK ABOUT KEY
TO SUCCESS FOR PEOPLE?>>WHEN I INTERVIEWED
FRANK SINATRA BACK IN 1975, AND HE OCCASIONALLY
WOULD WATCH THE SHOW WHEN HE WAS AT THE
WALDORF. HE SAID YOUR SHOW
IT’S LIKE THE TODAY’S SHOW TO
ME. I WAKE UP IF I’M LUCKY 1:00 P.M.
IN THE AFTERNOON. YOU’RE ON.>>RIGHT.>>SO WE HAD HAD THE FORMER
PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL WAS ASSASSINATED
ON MIDDAY. AND FOUR DAYS
LATER I WAS AT A PARTY ON THE EAST
SIDE, JILLY, FRANK, FEW OTHER PEOPLE AND
FRANK WANTED TO KNOW ALL ABOUT YITZHAK RABIN.
HE HAD SEEN THE SHOW. NOT THE POLITIC
STUFF. SINATRA WANTED TO
CUT TO THE CHASE. WHY THIS COUNTRY
OF TOUGH MEN AND TOUGH WOMEN, WHY
DID THAT GUY RISE TO THE TOP? I HAVE NO ANSWER. LISTEN F YOU’RE
GOING TO BE INTERVIEWING
PEOPLE, DOING THIS ALL YOUR LIFE,
PARA PHRASING, YOU HAVE A UNIQUE
OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY THESE
PEOPLE, TAKE NOTES. TOLD ME ABOUT HOW
HE USED TO STUDY DORSY’S BREATHING
TECHNIQUES. SANATRA HAS ME
INTERESTED IN GOING BEYOND THE
INTERVIEW AND REALLY STUDYING
THE LIVES OF PEOPLE. I HAD TWO I WAS
INTERVIEWING. I HAD THIS IDEA
FOR A BOOK CALLED SECRETS OF
SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE. I HAD IT FOR MANY
YEARS. I WAS AT THE PARTY
AT FOUR SEASON’S RESTAURANT. MET THE PRESIDENT
OF COLLIN’S BOOK WHO HAPPENED TO BE
A FAN OF MINE, MEANING HE WAS VERY INTERESTED
IN MY CAREER. HIS KIDS USED TO
WATCH ME ON SATURDAY MORNING
LIVE, LAUGH, LAUGH, LAUGH. I TOLD HIM I HAD
AN IDEA. ONE THING LED TO
ANOTHER.>>SO HOW DID YOU
GET TO THESE 42 SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE?>>THAT’S THE EASY PART. I
STARTED OUT AS THE TALENT COORDINATOR,
PRODUCE MID OWN SHOW COMEDY
TONIGHT. I KNOW HOW TO BOOK
PEOPLE. IF I WERE HOSTING
A TALK SHOW NOW, THAT’S WHAT I
WOULD DO. I BOOK PEOPLE.>>YOU BOOK THE 42
PEOPLE FOR THE BOOK.>>SURE.>>PART OF WHAT YOU’VE ALSO BEEN
DOING THE LAST COUPLE YEARS
YOU’VE BEEN WITH –>>I’VE BEEN —
SINCE I WROTE THE BOOK WHICH IS ABOUT SUCCESS AND
SELF EMPOWERMENT, RIGHT? SINCE I WROTE THE
BOOK, THERE WAS A DEMAND FOR ME TO
SPEAK. OH, WE’LL TALK
ABOUT THE BOOK. MOTIVATE US. GIVE A KEYNOTE. AND
SO I FELL IN WITH THE CEO ORGANIZATION AND
I’VE GIVEN ABOUT 150 TALKS AROUND
THE COUNTRY BASED ON THE BOOK ABOUT
HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF
YOURSELF, ONE DAY AT A TIME. AND I ALWAYS HAD
THE DREAM THAT MAYBE WHEN YOU
CALL THE THIRD ACT OF YOUR LIFE THAT
I COULD DO THIS INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY OF INTERVIEW, HAVING INTERVIEWED
THOUSANDS OF AMAZINGLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE. SO THAT’S A LITTLE
BIT OF WHAT I’M DOING NOW, TOO.>>WE HAVE A PICTURE
OF YOU. IF WE CAN SEND –>>I DO A LOT OF MC WORK. THAT’S ME WITH THE
GREAT MONTY ALEXANDER, TWO NIGHTS OF REMEMBERING
GILLES. HE SAID YOU’RE ONE
OF THE FEW PEOPLE AROUND WHO
REMEMBERS GILLES. I NEVER THINK OF MYSELF LIKE
THAT BUT I GUESS I AM.>>THE PEOPLE THAT
YOU INTERVIEWED IN YOUR CAREER, WHO WAS THE MOST INTERESTING? WAS IT FRANK?>>OTHER THAN
SINATRA? ALL RIGHT. YOU CAN FIND ONE
OF HIM, PHILIPPE PETITE WALKED BETWEEN THE
WORLD TRADE CENTERS. MAN ON WIRE AND
DOCUMENTARY AND THE OTHER ONE THE
WIRE. I INTERVIEWED HIM
THE MORNING AFTER THE WALK. THAT WAS
UNBELIEVABLE. TO HEAR THIS MAN
SAY I WAS ATTACHED TO THAT WIRE. IT DIDN’T MAKE ANY
DIFFERENCE IF I WAS TEN FEET OFF
THE GROUND OR 1,000 FEET OFF THE
GROUND, I KNEW I WAS NOT GOING TO
FALL. TO HAVE HIM TELL
THE STORY OF THE BOW AND ARROW
SHOOTING THE ROPE ACROSS FOR THE
FIRST TIME IT IS SOMETHING THAT
SENT CHILLS DOWN MY SPINE, PARTICULARLY
BECAUSE I HAVE A FEAR OF HEIGHTS.>>BUT NOW, YOU
KNOW, WE’RE BOTH FELLOW FRIARS.>>WELL, THE
FRIAR’S CLUB, ANYBODY IN SHOW
BUSINESS IN THE NEW YORK AREA SHOULD WANT
TO BE IN THE FRIAR’S CLUB. I’M FORTUNATE TO
BE AN PEACE OFFICER TOGETHER
WITH JERRY LEWIS AND LARRY KING
COUPLE OTHER PEOPLE ARE
OFFICERS IN THE CLUB. FRIAR’S CLUB MEANS
A LOT. PEOPLE JUST THINK
OF THAT AS A PLACE THAT HAS THESE BIG ROASTS,
BUT PROBABLY ON A WEEK IN, WEEK OUT BASIS THEY
HAVE MORE INTELLECTUAL AND ENTERTAINMENT AK
HITS THAN ANY OTHER CLUB IN NEW
YORK. ALL MATTER OF STUFF, PLUS GREAT FOOD.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT
TWO OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS IN YOUR LIFE, ONE IS TREVOR
AND THE OTHER THING IS JANE.>>RIGHT. TAKE THEM
IN THAT ORDER. MY SON TREVOR
BOGGS, BORN ON SHAKESPEARES BIRTHDAY, A
UNIQUE ABILITY VERBALLY TO SET HIS SIGHTS ON BEING A
SUCCESSFUL WRITER. ONLY THING I CAN
BRAG ABOUT HIM IS THEY HAD TO TAKE
AN ERB TEST TO GET INTO EPISCOPAL
SCHOOL. TEACHER CALLED I
WAS AT COURT TV. I HAVE TO TELL YOU
ABOUT YOUR SON’S SCORE. WHAT? SHE SAID HE SCORED
BEYOND MEASUREMENT. WE NEVER HAD A
CHILD IN THE HISTORY OF THE
SCHOOL SCORE THIS WELL VERBALLY AT
AGE 4. >>THAT’S TREVOR.>>THAT’S MY SON.>>TALK ABOUT JANE.>>WELL, WHAT CAN
I SAY? I WANT TO SAY TO
ANYBODY WATCHING RIGHT NOW, ONE OF THE GREAT KEYS
TO LIFE IS FINDING THE PERSON WITH WHOM YOU
ARE TREMENDOUSLY, HAPPILY COMPATIBLE. MY
MOTHER TOLD ME A LONG TIME AGO AND SHE
WAS RIGHT AND IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO LEARN
THIS, A RELATIONSHIP SHOULD NOT BE A LOT OF WORK. JANE AND I MET,
THREE DAYS AFTER MY MOTHER WAS
BURIED. MYSTICAL PEOPLE
DEAD PEOPLE MAKE THINGS HAPPENED. MY
MOTHER SENT HER TO ME. JANE ROTHCHILD,
NATIVE OF NEW YORK, REAL ESTATE, SOMETHING
YOU’RE A TINY BIT FAMILIAR WITH, JUST A HEART OF GOLD. SMART, CLEVER,
FUNNY, RELATED TO SAMMY KHAN. SHE IS HIP. KNOWS MUSIC. JUST BRINGS OUT
THE BEST IN ME. THAT’S IT.>>FORTUNATELY THE
RADIO, THE RADIO PRODUCED EVERYTHING AND I’M
HAPPY I HAD YOU AS MY GUEST TODAY. THANK YOU.>>MY GOD, THIS
WAS FUN. MICHAEL, THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY
MUCH. ♪[THEME MUSIC]♪

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