Better Know a Guest: July 18th – 21st

Hello, everyone

What an awesome week this was, with four amazing shows and three Emmy nominations. All we need now is the win. I love Jon, but it’s time already.

As for the upcoming episodes: Okay, Mr. Colbert, where are the women? Four men again? And the same seems to be true for Jon, although his Thursday guest has not yet been announced. But there should be some glee for one specific Daily Show visitor. (Hint, hint: THE CORRAL! Oh, please, Stephen, stop by. If we can’t get a toss, this would be the next best thing, Maybe even better.)

And now, let’s meet this week’s honored guests:

Monday, 7/18: John Prendergast

John Prendergast

Human rights activist John Prendergast helped found the Enough Project, an organization whose mission is “ending genocide and crimes against humanity, and preventing them from occurring in the future.” I subscribe to their e-newsletter which, for the past few years, has focused closely on war-torn Darfur. Prendergast has succeeded in garnering the attention-raising support of several celebrities, most notably George Clooney, Don Cheadle and Angelina Jolie—many of whom used him as a guide when they visited Africa. He has appeared on a wide variety of TV shows, including 60 Minutes (several times), Nightline, and the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer.

He is also the author of Unlikely Brothers: Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption, which tells his tale of doing good a little closer to home. When he was just 20 years old, Prendergast became a “Big Brother” to Michael Mattocks, a Washington, DC boy from a homeless family.  Their relationship continued despite the amount of time Prendergast spent away in Africa—and even as Michael grew up in and embarked on a life of crime and drugs. (Read a review at Kirkus Reviews.  And by the way, congratulate him: he just got married this summer!

Read his blog on the Enough site.
Follow him on Twitter.
See the book video.
Read a New York Times Magazine article on Prendergast.

Tuesday, 7/19: David Carr

David CarrDavid Carr writes a weekly column on media-related issues in the business section of The New York Times, and also covers cultural matters for the newspaper. (Here’s a recent article on the phone hacking scandal, done July 10, and I hope he’ll discuss that topic with Stephen.) But just a few years ago, the story that garnered Carr a lot of attention was his own: the harrowing account of his severe cocaine addiction—and of raising his daughters while still on drugs. It was the subject of his book The Night of the Gun, published by Simon and Schuster in 2008, and of a lengthy New York Times Magazine article. The book, in which he interviewed people about his past behavior, became a bestseller. At the time of its release, he made his first appearance on The Colbert Report.

Carr also was instrumental in inspiring the recent documentary on the Times, Page One, when he got furious after reading that the esteemed newspaper was “on death’s door.”

Go to the Simon and Schuster website for The Night of the Gun, which features many great reviews and endorsements from a range of journals as well as writers such as Richard Price.
Here is the New York Times bio for Carr.
Follow him on Twitter.

Wednesday, 7/20: Michael Sandel

Michael SandelI want to take this class—and I can, in a way! Michael Sandel, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard, teaches a course on justice at the University—a class that, since 2007, has been available on the web and through podcasts.  You can watch episodes that focus on torture, taxation of the rich to help the poor, the draft and whether it should be okay to send someone in your place if you have the money to pay (which was in fact done in the Civil War and previous conflicts), and whether you can ever put a value on human life. In his devil’s advocate way, Sandel even makes the case for cannibalism! I’d say that will be red meat to a querying Stephen, who always delights in philosophical and ethical discussions. (And who’s a pretty mean devil’s advocate himself.)

Sandel has written numerous books on the topic, including Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, published in 2010, and others on public philosophy, ethics and morality, and democracy. Upcoming in April 2012, and available for pre-order, is What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. He is also a former Rhodes scholar who studied at Oxford, and lectures around the world. His work is particularly popular in Japan.

Watch a talk he gave at the TED conference.
Read an article he wrote on Obama.
Like him on Facebook.

Thursday, 7/21: David Eagleman

David EagelmanNeuroscientist and author David Eagelman has written several books about the workings of the human brain—but also an acclaimed and bestselling collection of fictional stories called Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives that speculates on what life after death could be like. Since Stephen has his more biblical view of what the afterlife is, this promises to be a really good conversation. He has also written Why the Net Matters, which he published on the iPad rather than in traditional physical form, and has authored articles for magazines and journals, including The New York Times, Atlantic, Scientific American, and Discover.

Eagelman teaches at Baylor College of Medicine, and he is the director of the Laboratory for Perception and Action, as well as the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law.  He focuses on the perception and physiology of time, and particularly on synesthesia—which students of poetry, especially Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, will recognize as the way one sense triggers another. (For example, when I smell the scent of certain old-time store freezers, I remember the taste of the ice cream I used to buyback when those freezers were commonly found. I also visualize the exact store where I would buy that ice cream.) As Baudelaire put it so beautifully:  “Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent. (“The perfumes, colors, and sound speak to each other” or “respond to each other.”)

And, okay: got to say my brain is also telling me that Mr. Eagelman is very, very pleasant to look at, as well as brilliant!

Visit his official author website or his lab website.
Read a fascinating New Yorker profile that explains how a life-endangering fall when he was only eight years old triggered Eagelman’s interest in the nature of time.
Follow him on Twitter.
See a video where he discusses the brain and the law.

And now, let’s check in with our good friend Jon!
Once again, as of press time, only three of Jon’s guests are listed.

Monday, July 18th: Daniel Radcliffe

Hello, Harry—but also a lot more. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Harry Potter in the newest and final film in the Potter franchise, which has just broken all records for its opening day. He also is currently appearing on Broadway in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying. Radcliffe is clearly NOT going to get typecast, and he is certainly doing right by his career. But now it’s time to say goodbye…

Go to the film site for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, where you can see the trailer.

Tuesday, July 19th: Pervez Musharraf

This interview is a really plum one for Jon, and I feel fairly certain it will be extended and continue on the web. Musharraf is the former army chief and president of Pakistan, a country that obviously is giving us a lot of trouble in the wake of the Osama bin Laden killing.  (We have responded by suspending aid, a move that Musharraf has called disastrous.) He is also the author of In the Line of Fire: A Memoir, published in 2006.

Wednesday, July 20th: STEVE CARELL!

Look who Jon has corralled! His former correspondent is coming back for a visit to promote his film Crazy Stupid Love, in which he stars with Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon, and Marisa Tomei. He has also nabbed an Emmy nomination for his final season as Michael Scott in The Office.

Of course, I must include a clip of Carell’s amazing appearance on The Colbert Report, with a drop-in from Jon. One of the very, very, very best.

And Steve Carrell visiting The Daily Show.

Finally, the trailer for Crazy Stupid Love.

That’s it for this week, everyone. Let me know which guest you’re most looking forward to!

  • colbaby

    Not that these gentlemen don’t sound interesting. But indeed, where are the women? I’m looking forward to David Eagleman. His line of work sounds really fascinating and yeah, he’s easy on the eyes. I gotta say though, I’m more excited for Jon’s line up. First off, let me out myself as a total HP nerd. And Musharraf? You got some splainin’ to do, sir. Jon asked him point blank during his last appearance “where is Osama bin Laden?” He looked straight into those puppy dog eyes and (apparently) lied. For shame, sir. Oh and Steve effing Carell?! Is it Wednesday yet? I’m still hoping for a Produce Pete comeback one of these days.

    • Arkadina

      Yes, and I’m hoping that Musharraf knows that Jon lied about reading his book in return – take that, sir!

    • karenatasha

      I’m sure Jon will bring up the issue of how bin Laden could hang out in Pakistan for so long without anyone supposedly knowing he was there. It won’t be an easy interview for Musharraf, I suspect.

      And Arkadina…LOL!

  • lockhart43

    I’m looking forward to tonight’s interview. Prendergast has been a big difference maker when it comes to policies regarding Darfur and the Sudan since the conflict began (he and George Clooney are actually the reason I found out about the war in Darfur in the first place when I was a senior in high school). The mere fact that he’s coming on the show makes me happy. And Wednesday’s interview sounds amazing, too: Stephen Colbert and a discussion about ethics? Count me in!

    As for Jon’s guests….STEVE CARELL! Fingers crossed Stephen makes an appearance. For my sanity. Please.

    • karenatasha

      Absolutely agree, Lockhart. He’s a very interesting man.

      Am certainly dreaming of a Stephen appearance on Carell night–although I know that’s harder for him than Jon, who’s films earlier than Stephen and can make the end of TCR. But Stephen’s done it before, so, let’s hope!

      • lockhart43

        Tonight or Wednesday would be the only possible days for a Toss (as far as Jon’s schedule goes), and Lord knows when one of those is gonna happen again. So I’m really, really hoping for a Stephen appearance in some way, shape or form on Wednesday’s show. Or they could do a Toss tonight and he could still show up Wednesday. That would work also. 😉

        • karenatasha

          Lockhart, why would Tuesday or Thursday not work for a toss?

        • lockhart43

          Because I feel like Tuesday’s TDS interview will run long, and I don’t know who the guest is for Thursday’s TDS, so I can’t gauge how much time the interview will take.

          Maybe if we just say the word Toss over and over again or keep talking about it, a Toss will happen. Toss.

          • Arkadina


          • karenatasha

            Well, the guest is announced: it’s Scott Miller, author of “The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century.” Miller is a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal (owned by Murdoch, so that may be an interesting line of questioning) as well as for Reuters. This may not be the longest interview, but who knows? I think the best option for a toss (TOSS! TOSS! TOSS TOSS!) is probably Carell.

            • lockhart43

              Well then, fingers (toss) AND toes (toss) crossed (toss) for (toss) a (toss) Toss on Wednesday. Toss.

              I realize that was confusing. But I had to toss do it. Toss. (Do you ever stare at a word for so long that it starts to look like it’s not spelled correctly? Toss.)

            • karenatasha

              LOL, Lockhart! And…


  • susan209

    All of the guests sound interesting and wonderful on both shows… but I have to admit, I’m breathlessly waiting to see what the first Colbert SuperPAC commercial is going to be, and I hope we get to see it this week!

    • karenatasha

      We shall see, Susan! He may hold it off for a bit, until there’s a more designated Republican candidate. Or not. Maybe he’ll just go after them all. Anyway, the fun did begin tonight and I’m sure we’ll get lots more.

  • anais0509

    I’m with colbaby in that I’m more excited about Jon’s line-up than Stephen’s this time, because I’m also a Potter-head (I had a “Potter-gasm” when I heard that Daniel was going to be on TDS, and boy, was he wonderful and funny last night!) and Steve Carell(!!) coming back with another movie in tow. Please please please, Late Night TV Gods, let the Comedy Fates smile upon us lowly fans of punditry and give us a FREAKING TOSS ALREADY!!!

    • Karenatasha

      I know–Jon has a great lineup. And I too LOVED Daniel Radcliffe! It’s amazing how well-adjusted all those Potter actors turned out. They chose well. By the way, have you ever seen him pre-Potter as (the young) David Copperfield? He was wonderful. It was a BBC-TV version, I think.

      And yeah…TOSS TOSS TOSSSSSSS!!!!!! Or a visit from Stephen on the day Carell is on. I’ll definitely take that. Besides, turnabout is fair play and Jon made an appearance for Stephen. I mean, if this keeps up much longer, I’m going to have to assume these two guys have had a fight. (NO.)

      • anais0509

        They ARE wonderful, aren’t they? I’ve loved being part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter and not sparkly vampires (emits a rough imitation of a “Stephen”-like heave). And YES. I DID see that movie! I didn’t watch all of it, but I remember watching the part with young David Copperfield (young Daniel Radcliffe – he was such a baby, now look at him!!). Isn’t Maggie Smith in it too?

        And NO. G– forbid, G– forbid that these two have had a real fight of any kind. Okay, I know that even very close friends have arguments, but at the Comedy Awards they were their usual lovely, happy selves with each other, and they still mention each other on their respective shows. I also don’t want to think that the Toss is (no no no) dead and/or on life support. Maybe they’re “fighting” because of Stephen’s BFFSM-ship with Jimmy Fallon and they’ll resume normalcy with each other after September 3rd. *hopes and hopes*