December 7, 2001
4:40 PM   Subscribe

Many people have not yet experienced Nardwuar the Human Serviette, one of most enthusiastic interviewers around. He's tackled Ian MacKaye, the Degrassi Kids, Olivier Stone, Snoop Dog and a host of others (some the interviews you can also listen to or watch). Do I dare ask...who is your favorite interviewer?
posted by gluechunk (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Offtopic: What is it with all the "What's your favorite?" posts as of late?

But as far as my favorite interviewer goes, I'd have to say Conan O'Brien or Matt Pinfield (When he was on MTV, of course. He knows way too much about music for his own good.).
posted by dincognito at 4:55 PM on December 7, 2001

Favorite interviewers, Charlie Rose and Warren Olney.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:59 PM on December 7, 2001

If you get the chance, by all means listen to Nadwuar's interview with Henry Rollins. It's pure comedy gold.
posted by mathowie at 5:03 PM on December 7, 2001

Thanks for posting that - especially for the interview with Ian MacKaye. Also, I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but does anyone have an answer to the "is it pronounced Mac-KAY or Mack-EYE" debate?
posted by GriffX at 5:21 PM on December 7, 2001

As much as some people hate them, I have always liked the styles of Tom Snyder (Flash required) and Larry King.

My favorite interviewer of all, though, is Phil Hendrie, although since he's usually interviewing himself I'm not sure he counts.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:23 PM on December 7, 2001

Bill Moyers. His interviews with Joseph Campbell had a huge impact on me when I was a teenager.

I also thought that the interviews he did after September 11th (particularly with Diana Eck) helped me to cope better than almost anything else the media produced.
posted by shylock at 5:31 PM on December 7, 2001

does anyone have an answer to the "is it pronounced Mac-KAY or Mack-EYE" debate?

He's been helping a friend of mine with the launch of her record label. She pronounces it mack-EYE, and since she knows him, I'm going with that.
posted by videodrome at 5:36 PM on December 7, 2001

I prefer the occasional fake interview conducted by Joe Frank in his radio noir.

I don't know that Dr J of Changesurfer Radio is an excellent interviewer, but he typcially has excellent content.

The most informative interviews I've seen in a long time are those conducted via /.'s moderation system.
posted by mlinksva at 6:02 PM on December 7, 2001

Ali G! Although I haven't seen anything new from the warped mind of Sacha Baron-Cohen for about a year now. Boyakasha!
posted by Hypnerotomachia at 6:30 PM on December 7, 2001

I've been following Nardwuar's exploits for a couple years, and finally got the chance to meet him over lunch at the famous Tomahawk BBQ in West Vancouver. He's an amazing person, a walking, talking encyclopedia of music and "Vancouveriana" and one of the friendliest people you'd ever want to meet. His brushes with greatness (including asking Mikhail Gorbachov which world leader has the biggest pants) haven't spoiled him yet.

And don't visit his site without hearing the band he fronts for - Thee Mighty Evaporators! A good number of their tracks are available for download [1|2|3].

Nardwuar is a multimedia god.
posted by at 7:25 PM on December 7, 2001

The most informative interviews I've seen in a long time are those conducted via /.'s moderation system.

Oh, you're kidding! A disconnected bunch of random fanboy burble with the occasional out-of-context question that is so technical only eight people in the world can understand it, five of whom are currently in John Ashcroft's pokey.

OK, too strong. Which Slashdot interviews are good? Zeldman's sucked, Wil Wheaton's might as well have strapped on a Slashdot-sized set of Spock ears...
posted by rodii at 7:32 PM on December 7, 2001

I'm afraid I don't know who Zeldman is, and I hate Trek, so I didn't look at Wheaton's. I usually find the tech interviews very interesting and entertaining, the Lisp double header most recently. The questions are often more pointed than you'd get from an individual journalist, who usually doesn't want to piss off the interviewee too much so as to not scare off future assignments.
posted by mlinksva at 8:31 PM on December 7, 2001

Yes, Nardwuar is an excellent interviewer! I also have a great deal of respect for Larry King's old-school journalistic ability to keep firing questions at his interviewees. Charlie Rose, too, on the same tip.

And videodrome is correct; "MacKaye" is most assuredly prounounced "mack-EYE" -- or even "muh-KAI," more phoenetically.
posted by redshifter at 8:38 PM on December 7, 2001

Narduwar is good, but lest anyone forget, his career took off at one of the greatest magazines ever.
posted by hipstertrash at 9:07 PM on December 7, 2001

Terry Gross, although the way she says "Fresh Air" is goofy.
posted by samuelad at 10:16 PM on December 7, 2001

Terry Gross is awesome. Charlie Rose suffers from David Letterman syndrome: he was more interesting when he couldn't get brad pitt on the show. I saw Charlie Rose interview George McGovern on CBS overnight about 12 years ago and I still consider it a turning point.
posted by chrismc at 10:55 PM on December 7, 2001

Mike Wallace! Followed by Bob Costas who I think is very intelligent and well-prepared for his subject.
His show 'Later' was more often than not, quite brilliant.
posted by black8 at 3:06 AM on December 8, 2001

I last saw Charlie Rose when he interviewed Jacques Barzun. Rose was too much, too cocky and went beyond the challenging question level. And with a figure like Barzun no less. I sent an email complaining about his cockiness and got no reply, heh. What a dork. I look for an interview to learn about and from the interviewee.
posted by mmarcos at 3:16 AM on December 8, 2001

Oh hipstertrash: thanks for that link I'd otherwise never in a million years get to know about.
And, while I'm at it, for the brave, balanced and brilliantly argued Custer's Last Stand on that smoking thread I never got around to commending you for!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:08 AM on December 8, 2001

I can't even believe we're discussing Charlie Rose as a favourite interviewer. The guy can barely string two words together.

Re: Nardwuar -- his best interviews are the ones were he's hit a nerve, like getting hung up on by Alice Cooper and getting his ass kicked by Sonic Youth. It's such a great indicator of who's really got a sense of humour about their fame. He used to make occasional guest DJ appearances on CBC's late, great Nightlines with David Wisdom which were invariably crazy.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 5:53 AM on December 8, 2001

even i know whom the ever-present Zeldman is. Wm. S. Shirer is my favorite.Phil Hendrie is great- the best is 'Bobby' from Western estates. Phil is a genius.
posted by clavdivs at 6:37 AM on December 8, 2001

Holy jumping electrified Jesus! I never woulda thought I'd see a link to Nardwuar on MeFi.
He came out of the UBC alter-nay-tive music community - CiTR campus radio and Discorder magazine - with a big extended family of wacky rock'n'roll friends. He was a mainstay of the Vancouver scene back in the mid-to-late 80's, and I'm just insanely happy that he got linked here. Holy memories flooding back, Batman! A whole bunch of drunken Live-At-CiTR-Radio-Parties...various Vancouver punkrock illuminati, and Nardwuar with his perennial toque, interviewing anyone who would stand live on CiTR rock'n'roll birthday party, starring *Mary*....

The circle is somehow complete, and now I can die complete...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:04 AM on December 8, 2001

Living in Canada and enjoying CBC Radio, I've long been amused and confused by the antics of the human serviette. However, I have to say the best ever nardwuar appearance was last week during Sloan's appearance on muchmusic.

They showed some old footage of Chris Murphy (lead signer of sloan) playing the role of nardwuar and a Halloween party. A few minutes later, nardwuar phoned in from Vancouver and got on the air with sloan - much folly ensued.

Do doodle oo do...
posted by stevengarrity at 9:05 AM on December 8, 2001

CBC's late, great Nightlines with David Wisdom

Nightlines is dead? I haven't listened to the radio much in a while (obviously), but I loved that show. (Also, though not as much, Brave New Waves with Brent Bambury (sp).) Crap.

One of the pluses of growing up in Detroit was getting CBC alongside the American media.
posted by rodii at 11:07 AM on December 8, 2001

possibly his most outrageous interview was with televangelist ernest ainsley - nardwuar went on stage and was 'saved' and everything - all the while being videotaped by his partner - he then asked the preacher if he could cure the summertime blues - then if he could cure stupidity. somewhere in there the guy realized he was being set up, and went into full-on exorcist mode - "you're going to hell, boy!!" etc - fabulous!
posted by dinsdale at 12:36 PM on December 8, 2001

Yeah, Nightlines has been gone for several years now, ever since it got folded in with Real Time (hosted by Leora Kornfeld) as, I believe, Radiosonic. Last time I heard about it, Wisdom was co-hosting, but that was a while ago.

Brave New Waves is still pretty great, and I'd probably listen to it a hell of a lot more still if it didn't require staying up till 3 AM every day.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 1:52 PM on December 8, 2001

Wow - I remember reading Nardwuar in my campus newspaper -some very great stuff back then - had no idea he had ended up doing so well for himself. His homepage is a scream.
posted by kristin at 3:12 PM on December 8, 2001

I'm also one of those Vancouveritte mid-late 80's punksters, that is shocked to find The Human Serviette, aka Nardwar, is on MeFi. Back then, I liked his insane band antics with The Evaporators more than his interviews on CITR, but that was a long time ago. Everyone should experience Nardwar's rapidfire interview style. It hovers between hyperaware silliness and offbeat smartassedness [it's a word if you believe it to be]. And be prepared for his screechy, modulating voice. It's truly annoying, yet irresistably funny.
posted by giantkicks at 12:07 PM on December 9, 2001

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