As a journalist -- okay, a "journalist" -- I take great schadenfreudic glee in seeing a peer get eaten alive by his interview subject. Whenever you talk to somebody for a story, you're always worried about whether the other person likes you, thinks you're smart enough, feels as if you have a strong enough grasp on the topic, et cetera, et cetera. And a good deal of the time you walk away with absolutely no idea of what the other person thinks of you. (Probably because they rightfully don't care enough to develop a fully-formed opinion, having lives and such.)
But I digress: thing is, I love it when you know straight away when the subject thinks you're an imbecile of the first order (particularly when "you" is not "me.") And rarely does this happen as much as when rock stars are being interviewed. It's as if they have a secret pact, the musician and the journalist: the journalist will try to play it straight and ask the questions he's supposed to ask, and the rocker will look at him with this delightful mixture of disdain and abject boredom and then say
something pithy, and wry, and deathly brutal. It's really so much fun to watch. For instance, this post-Pistols Johnny Rotten classic (editor's note: the interview starts about a minute in, and we don't think we have to warn you about the profanity, which starts well before that):
Here's a pretty sweet one, too, this time with the Beach Boys, or specifically Dennis Wilson, acting up. Behold how total his contempt for Joan Lunden and the entire Good Morning America enterprise is:
Very rarely, though, you get a complete reversal of the roles, where the interviewer takes the reins and belittles the bejesus out of the musician. The first rule of this is...
You better be a big star to do it. I'm not there yet. Dave Letterman is:
Anyway, that's enough for now. As always, if you have more to add on this topic, or if you have any other YouTubes you want me to check out, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fine, fine, one more. Yes, it has rivaled George Allen's "macaca" spot as the most watched of the last week, but it's still pretty sweet. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Kelly Clarkson (and if the profanity in the Johnny Rotten video put you off, you should probably just watch this one instead):