Damn, I love a good interview.
So it stands to reason that I also love The Interview Issue, (614)’s fourth annual celebration of intriguing Columbus personalities through a series of inventive and in-depth profiles.
For this issue alone, I’ve recorded an interview on the side of the highway, mentally recorded quotes during a spin class, and donned a chicken suit—all useful, if silly tools to get a little something extra out of your subject: a moment that belongs only to you and them, and eventually, your readers.
My point is, a one-on-one interview can take many forms, and unless you’re sitting down with Bill Cosby or Kim Jong-Un, it’s an incredibly illuminating device—especially for people who find their words between quotation marks more often than the average citizen.
So, before you engage with the 11 subjects in this year’s issue (starting on page 42), allow me to offer some of my favorite non-Columbus interviews as a primer:
Jim Rome vs. Jim Everett
Probably the original viral video in a pre-Internet age—conducted by the preeminent pre-Internet sportscaster asshole. If you’ve never seen it, you should rectify that as soon as possible. Rome, with a clever smirk that lasts about two hot seconds, insists on calling quarterback Everett “Chris,” an attempted emasculating comparison to women’s tennis star “Chris Evert.” It only lasts that long because after three Chris calls, Everett dumps the table and a cup of coffee on Rome before pouncing on him. I don’t condone violence, but seeing a smarmy sports pundit literally on his heels results in a Schadenfreude comparable only to seeing TV reporters fall down in the snow.
Glenn Beck vs. Glenn Beck
You’ve got to hand it to Beck. He’s the only person I can ever remember who comes off as crazy even when being interviewed by himself. Last month, I watched him do a 20-minute monologue into the camera where he praised himself for beating a fictitious disease (adrenal fatigue), one that he briefly suspected was poisoning, all while name-checking past presidents and legendary athletes as comparisons. It’s like watching an acceptance speech at the Delusional Hall of Fame.
CNN and early mornings vs. James Brown and cocaine
Just simply one of the best. Fresh off an assault charge for firing a weapon at his wife, James Brown appears on camera in what appears to be yellow safety goggles, and kicks off the interview (via satellite, by the way) by singing one bar of “Living in America,” and then blurting, unprovoked…“he he, nothing wrong.” Later, in response to whether he was high, he replied quaintly, “High off God.”
Charles Bukowski vs. wine, the French
The infamous drunk flies all the way across the pond to tape a French TV show called Apostrophes, and makes it 31 minutes and 40 seconds before he succumbs to a good wine buzz and presumably a burning hatred of the French. He mumbles, “Your ideas are ugly,” among other English-Francais interruptions, which is met with a sarcastic chorus of au revoirs for Old Hank.
Interview Magazine vs. Paris Hilton
and Lil Wayne
I tend to conjur this interview whenever I am worried that our copy isn’t up to snuff. I always aim high, but it’s nice to know that as ambitious as our standards are, some of the stuff in the national magazines you just can’t match. Like this exchange:
HILTON: What’s your favorite club in Miami?
WAYNE: My favorite club in Miami is a club called LIV. It’s in the Fontainebleau Hotel.
HILTON: Oh, I love that club.
I think we’ve at least topped that last one.
Here’s to a new year—another chapter of (614) and more characters in the ever-evolving narrative of Columbus.Cheers, Travis Hoewischer, Editor-in-Chief