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Intelligent Talk Shows

What are some intelligent talk shows that host a myriad of people- from politicians to entertainers to lawyers to scientists to business titans, etc.?

I'm not looking for silly, but people who get down to real life.

So far I have:

Charlie Rose

Dick Cavett

Oxford Q&A on Youtube

The David Rubinstein Show

by Anonymousreply 90December 2, 2023 12:28 AM

Desert Island Discs

by Anonymousreply 1April 30, 2022 6:23 PM

OP, they all used to be intelligent.

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by Anonymousreply 2April 30, 2022 6:25 PM

Real Time

by Anonymousreply 3April 30, 2022 6:27 PM

They no longer exist on American television. The Newshour has some good interviews. For politics, I liked to watch Friday night's lineup: the Newshour's Capehart and Brooks, Washington Week, and Margaret Hoover. She's a good interviewer. She lets the person she's interviewing talk. Charlie Rose never did that.

The BBC has some good chats with intelligent people.

by Anonymousreply 4April 30, 2022 6:35 PM

Michael Parkinson. He let people talk.

by Anonymousreply 5April 30, 2022 6:57 PM

The ones where celebs aren't allowed to talk.

by Anonymousreply 6April 30, 2022 7:36 PM

I wouldn't include Charlie Rose on that list. As noted above his show was mainly just a platform to display his smugness.

David Susskind pretty much originated the genre with a broad cross section of people who would actually discuss issues. His show was called Open End because they would allow them to continue past it's regular time slot if the discussion warranted.

Bill Buckley on Firing Line as well.

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by Anonymousreply 7April 30, 2022 7:40 PM

Graham Norton is entertaining, although he does pucker up a lot. Still a fun show if you want celebrity buzz.

by Anonymousreply 8April 30, 2022 7:47 PM

Are there any real interviewers left?

It seems like today’s interviews are just couched efforts to further an agenda. They are all like Fox News interviewing Trump.

Anyway so in 1981 I was camping around but got a motel in Sacramento specifically to see Tom Snyder interview Charlie Manson. It was a huge deal.

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by Anonymousreply 9April 30, 2022 10:56 PM

Dick Cavett and David Letterman are probably at the top of the interviewer list.

by Anonymousreply 10May 1, 2022 2:17 AM

Fresh Air on public radio.

As It Happens on CBC radio.

by Anonymousreply 11May 1, 2022 2:23 AM

When I need a real intellectual workout, I watch Andy Cohen on WWHL.

by Anonymousreply 12May 1, 2022 2:33 AM

I found him on youtube, he's pretty enjoyable.

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by Anonymousreply 13May 1, 2022 3:00 PM

What you want is on podcasts, OP. Not TV.

by Anonymousreply 14May 1, 2022 3:22 PM

I watched a couple of episodes of the David Rubinstein Show last night. John Kerry and Chris Nassetta were being interviewed.

by Anonymousreply 15May 1, 2022 4:22 PM


by Anonymousreply 16May 1, 2022 4:24 PM

R16 Donahue any link to a good episode?

by Anonymousreply 17May 1, 2022 4:27 PM

Phil interviewing Bette Davis in 1987. I remember I taped this and watched it over and over and over.

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by Anonymousreply 18May 1, 2022 4:29 PM

William F Buckley reminded me of ‘that wily Count from Budapest’ in that his demeanor was so unctuous that I’m sure ‘he oiled himself across the floor’. I found him unwatchable…

by Anonymousreply 19May 1, 2022 4:34 PM

Margaret Hoover is really good. She acts like an adult, no showboating. Treats her guests respectfully.

by Anonymousreply 20May 1, 2022 4:46 PM

The View?

by Anonymousreply 21May 1, 2022 5:00 PM

All the women on the View hate each other.

by Anonymousreply 22May 1, 2022 5:20 PM

I've found some decent stuff with Christiane Amanpour recently - but I find her on youtube and I'm not sure where her show airs. (lately about Ukraine - I think she is/was actually there for a while - or maybe in Poland)

by Anonymousreply 23May 1, 2022 5:31 PM

R23 She has a daily show on CNN International and weekly show on PBS.

by Anonymousreply 24May 1, 2022 5:36 PM

Even Anderson Cooper has done some on-site good reporting from Ukraine - last week, he went to an underground basement or something, I think in Kviv or maybe Lviv? Anyway, a woman was there with her 6 month old baby and two other young children, and he did a fairly lengthy interview with her about how she's coping and her worries that her husband would be killed fighting the Russians. Also the effect on her children - they went outside during the day but hunkered down every night in their new basement quarters.

He's been really touched by the people he's interviewing. Good stuff really. I always thought he was a great on-site type reporter - and ok on a panel or whatever but they made him have Santorum or some other shithead there with him, ruining everything. (back when I watched tv before the election - I'm on hiatus till the 2024 nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue starts up...

by Anonymousreply 25May 1, 2022 5:45 PM

Drew Barrymore

by Anonymousreply 26May 1, 2022 5:47 PM

I have a VPN and especially like Dateline London lately. Also the BBC World News, just to get the latest blurbs.

by Anonymousreply 27May 1, 2022 5:47 PM

The early Donahue years were usually very good.

by Anonymousreply 28May 1, 2022 8:26 PM

I agree R28. I remember reading that Phil was supposed to be in the original primetime lineup for MSNBC but Chris Matthews threw a fit and somehow managed to block him being on the network.

by Anonymousreply 29May 1, 2022 9:03 PM

James Lipton, Inside the Actor's Studio

by Anonymousreply 30May 1, 2022 9:09 PM

Even the Merv Griffin show back in the 1960s when he broadcast from Times Square.

And of course the David Susskind Show.

by Anonymousreply 31May 1, 2022 9:15 PM

R25 - that started well but for me he's overdone it with her.

by Anonymousreply 32May 1, 2022 9:20 PM

He's a joke here now but Larry King, for a long time. He just let people talk. Larry King, for a period, was where you went to make or break news or to deal with a problem.

by Anonymousreply 33May 1, 2022 9:21 PM

The theme seems to be hosts that aren't about themselves and know that when it comes to talking, less from the host is more.

by Anonymousreply 34May 1, 2022 9:22 PM

R28 yes, he also had AIDS focused episodes early on when virtually no one else was talking about that. He did that with a lot of issues, actually. And he addressed issues intelligently and with nuance.

The 25th anniversary special was on YouTube for a while - not sure if still is, but it gives you a an idea of how very good the show could be.

by Anonymousreply 35May 1, 2022 9:23 PM

I still say CNN could fill that nine o-clock hour like it used to be filled.

Michael Smerconish is a good and informed interviewer. Probably comes too close to talking too much but I listen to him in the car Saturday mornings whenever I'm driving and I am always absorbed by him and his guests.

by Anonymousreply 36May 1, 2022 9:23 PM

60 Minutes - they still do the tough stories.

by Anonymousreply 37May 1, 2022 9:24 PM

R36 CNN has such a losing line up in primetime. Michael Smerconish should have a primetime Larry King style show. He has a nice tough old school energy about him.

And dump Don Lemon and replace with Victor Blackwell.

by Anonymousreply 38May 1, 2022 9:29 PM

For three years Donahue co-hosted a program with a Russian KGB agent pushing their propaganda. MSNBC would have fit Phil like a glove.

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by Anonymousreply 39May 1, 2022 9:30 PM

R29 He did have a show on MSNBC in 2002, but it was cancelled in 2003 because being Anti-War at that time was surprisingly not wanted on MSNBC. Which is crazy because by 2004 MSNBC was anti-war wall to wall.

by Anonymousreply 40May 1, 2022 10:15 PM

Red Table Talk

by Anonymousreply 41May 2, 2022 2:19 AM

Unfortunately, by today's standards, the current talk shows ARE intelligent.

by Anonymousreply 42May 2, 2022 4:13 PM

OP here, I have found some good podcasts and shows:

The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg

WSJ Freedom of Expression with Gerard Baker

BFI has some good interviews

Any interview with a Supreme Court justice.

I do not understand the Charlie Rose hate? I like him and usually learn something from the interview.

by Anonymousreply 43September 14, 2022 3:19 AM

Charlie Rose, OP?

He was an insufferable boor, who dominated his interviews, rather than letting his guests speak.

Good Riddance to the old leach.

My vote goes to Margaret Hoover on Firing Line or Jeffrey Brown of PBS' NewsHour

by Anonymousreply 44September 14, 2022 3:25 AM

Jeez Louise!! I commented twice on this thread, not realizing it was an older one!!

by Anonymousreply 45September 14, 2022 3:26 AM

R7 As a South Carolinian one thing that I am unquestionably proud of is the fact that Firing Line was presented to the rest of the country by South Carolina Educational Television, through PBS. We also gave PBS The Magic School Bus.

But, I will say. There are few intelligent talkshows, left. So find some podcasts.

by Anonymousreply 46September 14, 2022 3:27 AM

Here is a Charlie Rose interview with soprano Catherine Malfitnao.

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by Anonymousreply 47September 14, 2022 2:02 PM

OP here.

I have been enjoying Firing Line! Thank you for the recommendation.

I also like American Masters. Attached is an interview with Fran Drescher. She comes off as intelligent and down to Earth.

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by Anonymousreply 48July 20, 2023 12:43 AM

I also like Margaret Brennan

by Anonymousreply 49July 20, 2023 12:44 AM

I used to enjoy a Colortini with Tom Snyder

by Anonymousreply 50July 20, 2023 12:46 AM

I feel like Larry King was a good mix of intelligence and middle brow or mass culture.

by Anonymousreply 51July 20, 2023 12:49 AM

I always liked that Larry King interviewed older celebrities. I worked days during the OJ trial so I didn't watch it but most nights I would watch Larry King discussing it.

by Anonymousreply 52July 20, 2023 12:52 AM

Fareed Zakaria is a great show with international guests.

by Anonymousreply 53July 20, 2023 1:28 AM

During the 70s when Geraldo Rivera was completely different then he is now, Goodnight America was a very good show.

by Anonymousreply 54July 20, 2023 1:48 AM

Sally Jessy Raphael

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by Anonymousreply 55July 20, 2023 1:53 AM

I lived for Dick Cavett. Best talk show ever.

by Anonymousreply 56July 20, 2023 1:56 AM

David Letterman was pretty intelligent.

by Anonymousreply 57July 20, 2023 1:58 AM


by Anonymousreply 58July 20, 2023 2:15 AM

R58 I like Montel’s style very much. Back when I wanted to have my own I looked up to him. But his stuff was very low brow.

by Anonymousreply 59July 20, 2023 3:22 AM

Keep them coming

by Anonymousreply 60July 20, 2023 11:48 PM

Kamala the Vice Pres. liked Montel's style too

by Anonymousreply 61July 20, 2023 11:50 PM

Sally Jessy Raphael!

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by Anonymousreply 62July 21, 2023 12:52 AM

Charlie Rose was not a talk show. It was an interview program.

by Anonymousreply 63July 21, 2023 1:14 AM

The short lived Carnie Wilson show

by Anonymousreply 64July 21, 2023 1:16 AM

Why in the hell won’t you give Sally Jessy some fanfare???

by Anonymousreply 65July 21, 2023 1:29 AM

Alan Partridge - first series.

by Anonymousreply 66July 21, 2023 1:49 AM

OP, David Rubenstein is always good.

I loved Tom Snyder.

by Anonymousreply 67July 21, 2023 2:37 AM

I never liked Charlie Rose, I thought he interrupted his guests too often.

I liked Tavis Smiley. He had uncommon guests. His Johnny Mathis interview was the best.

by Anonymousreply 68July 21, 2023 2:49 AM

Tomorrow with Tom Snyder was fun and he occasionally got some good interviews from guests because it was so laid back.

Bob Costas is a good interviewer. He is a bit overprepared sometimes, but still he can get guests talking fairly openly.

Charlie Rose was tedious, but did book good guests when he was still on the air.

by Anonymousreply 69July 21, 2023 2:50 AM

Craig Ferguson did some good interviews.

Granted, like most network level late night hosts, he spent a lot of time on comic bits.

But he was one of the few hosts to really invite book authors/writers and people otherwise unexpected for network TV.

Colbert did the same in his former CC show.

by Anonymousreply 70July 21, 2023 2:53 AM

I have a hunch that Kelly Clarkson isn't up to your intellectual standards, because she can barely speak English.

by Anonymousreply 71July 21, 2023 2:53 AM

R70 In his first season, Craig Ferguson regularly had authors on his show and had interesting conversations with them. My guess is that didn't pull in the ratings the network was looking for so he had to stop booking them. He really seemed to enjoy talking with interesting guests.

by Anonymousreply 72July 21, 2023 3:28 AM

R72 He had them at other times too.....it was never super frequently but every once in a while he had on writers and intellectuals, and they were great conversations, in the vein of what Tom Snyder did.

For all his manic comic energy, Ferguson makes a damn good listener, as well.

by Anonymousreply 73July 21, 2023 3:30 AM

r65 my red glasses gave her fanfare

by Anonymousreply 74July 21, 2023 3:39 AM

OP here. My favorite shows:

Firing Line with Margaret Hoover

Any interview conducted by Judy Woodruff

60 Minutes

Freedom of Expression with Gerard Baker (a WSJ podcast)

Charlie Rose

Dick Cavett

PBS Frontline

by Anonymousreply 75September 22, 2023 6:38 AM

David Rubenstein

Bloomberg interviews

by Anonymousreply 76September 22, 2023 6:39 AM

You guys might like Graham Bensinger. His interviews are on YouTube. My favorite interview was Bob Costas. I liked Bob Costas ever since I saw him interview / cross-examine Jerry Sandusky.

Until I saw Bensinger's IV w/Costas, I didn't realize how openly critical BC was of Donald Trump. Bob Costas can't stand D. Trump and doesn't hide it.

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by Anonymousreply 77September 22, 2023 6:47 AM

This is pretty high brow and intelligent, no?

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by Anonymousreply 78September 22, 2023 7:17 AM

Bill Boggs.

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by Anonymousreply 79September 22, 2023 8:38 AM

Regardless of your opinion of his interview style, Charlie Rose should have been banned from TV hosting long ago just because he says "liberry" and "amblance."

by Anonymousreply 80September 22, 2023 9:26 AM

R80 He's from North Carolina lol

by Anonymousreply 81November 1, 2023 12:58 AM

Back in the olden days, I enjoyed the Tom Snyder and David Susskind talk shows.

by Anonymousreply 82November 1, 2023 1:02 AM

Phil Donahue sometimes had some very good , intelligent shows.

by Anonymousreply 83November 1, 2023 1:06 AM

Red Table Tale starring Jada Pinkett-Smith, the wisest and most important person on the planet.

by Anonymousreply 84November 1, 2023 1:09 AM

Mike Douglas and Dinah Shore both had a great gift for low-key but very thoughtful discussions with their guests. They always let their guests take front and center and shine. I miss the dignity and modesty they brought to the talk show format.

by Anonymousreply 85November 1, 2023 1:58 AM

Michael Parkinson

by Anonymousreply 86November 1, 2023 2:53 AM

Inside the Actors Studio

by Anonymousreply 87December 1, 2023 11:58 PM

Sally Jessy Raphael

by Anonymousreply 88December 2, 2023 12:00 AM

I’d hate to be the poor bastard assigned to wipe her ass

by Anonymousreply 89December 2, 2023 12:01 AM

⬆️ Agree re: Bob Costas.

by Anonymousreply 90December 2, 2023 12:28 AM
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