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Marcia Gay Harden, Jimmy Kimmel, Fran Drescher

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2024 3:03 pm

Marcia Gay Harden, Jimmy Kimmel, Fran Drescher

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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March 10, 2024 3:03 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, Tracy Smith talks with SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher about the success of last year's actors strike. Plus: Ted Koppel sits down with Jimmy Kimmel in advance of his hosting duties for Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony; Seth Doane profiles Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, now starring in the CBS series "So Help Me Todd"; David Pogue explores the many reasons why more and more people are watching TV with the closed captions on; Jonathan Vigliotti meets a young filmmaker whose short film, "Gruff," is practically made of paper; Robert Krulwich offers us a video essay about an intriguing property of vowels; and Luke Burbank has a radical suggestion for Daylight Saving Time.

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RocketMoney.com slash Wondery. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. It's Oscar Sunday, Hollywood's biggest night, as we'll be noting through the morning. From Barbie to Oppenheimer to Killers of the Flower Moon, it's been quite a year for moviegoers, but it almost didn't happen. Last year's paralyzing strikes by writers, actors, and other film workers all but shut down the industry, even putting tonight's Oscars in doubt. The strikes are now history, and screens, large and small, shine brightly, a true Hollywood ending, thanks in no small part to the efforts of one very leading lady, as Tracey Smith will tell us. Striking is one of the most powerful tools we have as union members. In a strike lasting nearly four months, Fran Drescher was the face of defiance. Now she's helping the town get back to business, and doing it her way. What about your career on camera and producing? What? I'm never going to work again.

There's a blacklist with one name on it. The Nanny and Hollywood's New Normal, coming up on Sunday morning. Millions of Americans are expected to tune in to tonight's Oscars, which means the pressure is on for host Jimmy Kimmel. Our Ted Koppel spent time with Kimmel and his wife, Molly McNerney, both getting ready for the big night. Right now the monologue is 40 minutes long. For four months, Jimmy Kimmel and an army of comedy writers have whittled roughly 5,000 jokes down to a precious few. We still need one naked person.

That can only be said by someone who hasn't seen my body. Preparing for the Oscars in The Belly of the Beast, ahead on Sunday morning. Oscar-winning actor Marsha Gay Harden has another calling when she's not in movies or on TV. She's a potter, and she's talking with Seth Doan for our Sunday profile. Hands covered in clay and hair in a bandana. Her kids tell us this is the real Marsha Gay Harden.

I go like, this is pushing there, and this is kind of on top. On vacation in Italy and on set in Vancouver. You have been in so many things, television and film, for a long time.

I don't mean it like that, as I said. The Oscar-winning actress, later this Sunday morning. Also this morning, David Poe gives us a read on the growing popularity of closed captioning. Our Josh Seftel is back with his mom, who's coming to terms with life in the spotlight. Plus a story from Steve Hartman and more.

It's an Oscar Sunday morning, March 10th, 2024, and we'll be right back. This episode is brought to you in part by Progressive Insurance. What if comparing car insurance rates was as easy as putting on your favorite podcast? With Progressive, it is. Just visit the Progressive website to quote with all the coverages you want. You'll see Progressive's direct rate. Then their tool will provide options from other companies so you can compare. All you need to do is choose the rate and coverage you like. Quote today at Progressive.com to join the over 28 million drivers who trust Progressive. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and Affiliates. Comparison rates not available in all states or situations. Prices vary based on how you buy. Want flexibility?

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They offer flexible, budget friendly medical, dental and vision coverage that may be right for you. More at UH1.com. She's a shoo in for outstanding leading lady in an industry crippling showdown. Tracy Smith takes stock with SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher.

It seems there's more to smile about now. The strike is over and red carpets are full again. But in Hollywood, it's not quite business as usual. The big labor dispute is still fresh in everyone's mind. Last year, writers and actors walked off the job after contract talks with film and TV producers broke down in a clash over things like compensation for streaming shows and the use of artificial intelligence. Striking is one of the most powerful tools we have as union members. The studios, facing strong economic headwinds and shrinking movie attendance, made some concessions early on. But for writers and actors, it was not nearly enough. Workers, you made it!

For the actors, union president Fran Drescher led the charge. We are being systematically squeezed out of our livelihoods. And to studios who say it's unrealistic what you're asking? It's not unrealistic.

It's realistic. What the hell are we doing? Moving furniture around on the Titanic.

We're all going down unless we rescue ourselves right here and now from people that really are doing bad things to good people. And she said the same things to the studio heads face to face. Some of the new deal was hammered out here at the Screen Actors Guild headquarters in Los Angeles. So this is the room where it happened.

It is indeed. Let's see, this is my chair. I sat right here day after day and the four CEOs across from us and their lawyers. This is really where we duked it out.

In the glass-walled conference room, the two sides were physically close, but often miles apart. And at first, neither side was in much of a mood to compromise. I mean, here are the most powerful people in Hollywood saying to me, best, last, final. And you said? And I said, I understand what those three words mean, but I'm telling you, if we don't get this and that, it's a deal breaker.

This is, of course, a gigantic contract. Drescher says the tone in the room was mostly civil, but she says the negotiations were overall a brutal experience. You know, sometimes I would get so nauseous. You would get nauseous? Oh, yes. When I walked out, I would be like, oh my God, I need to sit down, I need something cold to drink, I need to go to the ladies' room, I need everything all at once and right away.

Because it just, it takes a lot out of you. Do you think people underestimated you? Yes, absolutely. Not the people that know me very well. They know me and they didn't expect anything less. The studio bosses? They didn't see me coming. No, not them.

Hi, everyone. And after nearly four months, there was agreement on a new deal that gave union members a lot of what they were asking for as SAG-AFTRA's Duncan Crabtree Ireland spelled out. The total package achieves more than $1 billion in new wages and benefit plan funding over the term of the contract. In essence, the deal gives actors and writers, among other things, a brand new residual for streaming programs and a say in how their AI-generated images will be used. The new contract was, frankly, better than some expected.

I mean, George Clooney said, I would have bet my house and lost that you couldn't have gotten this deal. To be sure, the contract negotiations were a trial by fire, but Fran Drescher is no stranger to being tested. For instance, The Nanny, the 90s show that Drescher helped create and that made her a household name, almost didn't happen. How about a little tennis? The main sponsor felt that Drescher's character, Fran Fine, would be more relatable to middle America if she was not Jewish, but Italian.

Good in the bedroom. But Drescher, a Jewish New Yorker from Queens, held her ground. I actually said, Fran Fine has to be Jewish because I knew that that was the world that I was most comfortable writing for and the most easiest for me to play because it was so second nature to me. From here on in, I'm going to give him everything that he was deprived of as a child, love, warmth, comfort.

But first, I'm going to make up for him being bottle fit. The sponsor relented. Fran Fine was Jewish and The Nanny was a hit. You stuck to your guns and went with what was authentic to you.

Yes, exactly. Because if I didn't and the show failed, the feeling of regret that I didn't follow my own instincts would have tormented me for probably still. And she'd been through even worse. In 1985, she was raped during a home invasion and forced herself to memorize her attacker's face so she could identify him to a police sketch artist.

We captured him just by me describing to him what was still in my head. My name is Fran Drescher. I'm a cancer survivor.

And after she was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2000, she founded a women's health movement, Cancer Schmancer. Sag after strong! Sag after strong! The way she sees it, the bad times helped toughen her up for the challenge of leading a union through a very public and often very nasty strike. Do you think you were made for this moment? Without question.

This was a defining moment and the amalgam of my life experience. Everything. Good, bad. The worst of it. The best of it. My ego as a star. All of it.

Everything. Went into this one moment of truth. Thank God it paid off. But it might not be over. The Hollywood strike of 23 is said to have emboldened other unions to take action themselves. And when I asked her if her own union might strike again, she wasn't making any guarantees. Do you think there could be more strikes in Hollywood? You know, here's the thing.

Let's make a deal. And we won't have to strike. We don't want to strike.

We never want to strike. But it took them longer than it should have to realize that we meant business and that there was, you know, a new girl in town. Everybody else tinkers around our artistry, but actions speak louder than words. Now they know. Maybe now they'll think differently. It's like, let's not go through that again.

Let's just sit down and come to a meeting of the minds. You know, there's ways to spend less money, folks, but don't look in my direction. What about your career on camera and producing? What? I'm never going to work again. There's a blacklist with one name on it.

But these days, she's basking in the glow of having helped the industry through a tough time and of doing it her way. And I don't care if I'm reelected. You don't? No. I make my case.

It may not be popular. And I'll respect that, you know, democracy is messy. I'm not a dictator, but I will stand on my ground. And tonight, Fran Drescher will be standing here on the Oscar red carpet, a small screen star who's found her place among the big screen giants. I'm going.

You're going? I feel like a shrinking violet because I'm not in anything because I'm in everything. You feel like this year you earned your spot? I do. I do. I won't feel inadequate.

I feel adequate. You are a great artist. I believe in Jackson Pollock. There's you and there's the painting in you.

You need, you need, you need, you need. Marsha Gay Harden won an Oscar for her role as artist Lee Krasner opposite Ed Harris in the movie Pollock. Turns out Harden is quite the artist herself, both on screen and off. Seth Doan has a Sunday profile.

That's so hard. This is one Marsha Gay Harden role you may not be familiar with. Amateur Potter. I'm a practical potter, so I like to do things that you can use. The Oscar and Tony award winning actor had come on vacation with her kids, Uleyla, Julita and Hudson Harden-Sheil, to Faenza in Italy, where local artisans had been making ceramics since the first century B.C. The main thing our teacher said to us was, Calma, Calma, because we're all Americans. We're like, hurry it up. Harden's love of pottery began in the 1990s in New York while in a Broadway show.

What I'm trying to do is I'm trying to get smaller at the top, and that means you have to learn to pull the clay in a bit. I feel like we're peeking under the Christmas tree right now. Totally. Hold on. Yep, that's me. At Faenza Art Ceramic Center, they were revealing a week's work. I like them, Uley.

And another side of Harden. When I think of my mom, I think of her in her clay covered pants and bandana and like some old sweatshirt throwing pots and sort of being that down-to-earth person that we know intimately. What's your mom like as a mom? When we started asking about her, she was just off camera. Marjorie, go away. She was right there.

Go ahead, guys. What is she like as a mom? It's that playful side, they say, that often does not come across in her roles. I used to say it's because I'm brunette. You always cast brunettes as a series. Well, it's not necessarily true, but I just think I've been cast in a way that has a lot of gravitas.

Harden got her break playing the femme fatale in the 1990 film Miller's Crossing, opposite Gabriel Byrne. Admit you don't like me seeing Leo because you're jealous. Admit that you've got a heart, even though it may be small and feeble. The Coen brothers gave you a chance for the world to see what you could do. There, they opened a door.

They gave me a chance to play. You know, you want to be seen, and I think that's one of the best gifts we can give to somebody is to see them. I see you. And she's been seen a lot.

I see the head. She won her Oscar for portraying Lee Krasner in Pollock. You're not just randomly putting paint on the canvas. You're painting something. She got the Tony for God of Carnage on Broadway. I told you, Michael, everything's for sale.

On TV, she's been a socialite, a hard-edged reporter. If I'm writing the piece, Fred, whether it's good for you or bad for you, I don't know yet. But there's nothing you can do about it either way. There have been crime dramas, medical dramas... Feel that little thing wiggling around like a worm trying to get away? Okay, that's a crowded artery.

Your finger is now the only thing keeping that man alive. ...and just drama dramas. You've done a lot. I do.

I'm a bit of a workaholic. Can you remember all these parts that you've played? No. Hell no.

Have you ever counted them up? Hell no. I think I'm not interested. Is that awful? What do you mean? Once it's done, it's done? Yeah. Your Honor, dismissing this lawsuit... She's now on to her next role, lawyer Margaret Wright in CBS's So Help Me, Todd.

They're trying to scare us, but we don't scare. Todd, I have a huge presentation. We were on the set in Vancouver as they were shooting season two. I like that she is hoity-toity and flawed at the same time.

In the series, Hardin's character hires her son to be a private investigator for her firm. You're a ridiculous face. You look fantastic. Just keep telling yourself that. Why do I let you talk me into these things? Family drama and a fair share of mishaps ensue. There's a lot of physical comedy in this role. Isn't it fun? I love the physical comedy. For me, it's a blast.

After a cut is finished, I just feel I can hear someone going, Shameless, shameless, like I have to go. What do you mean it was too much? What do you mean falling over the chair and showing my panties was too much? Was it funny?

Was it funny? Until now, that side of Hardin's personality has largely been reserved for her off-screen life. This is the first time I've sort of opened up my private life to so many people. Why? To protect me and my kids, because it seems more like a celebrity than an actor.

What do you mean by that? What's the distinction? Well, an actor works. An actor has a script.

An actor approaches the role. A celebrity is sort of, it's who they are. It's their life. And to me, they don't really need to go together. What drives me is because it's right.

Because what is happening right now is wrong. But Hardin has been uncharacteristically public about her family recently, sharing during a televised fundraiser that all three of her kids identify as queer. For which I've been accused of being a groomer. You know, wouldn't we all be so lucky if we could just groom our little children to be whatever?

It's such as if people's gender identities are able to be manipulated. My eldest child uses they, them pronouns. And my son is gay. And my youngest daughter, I would say is fluid, understands loving a human being.

So I love that about them. But it was a process for you. It's a process to be the parent I want to be in it. So what guides you?

How did you... They. They guide me. And my love of them guides me.

Because what's the alternative? Will you be who you are and go outside of this house then? Where'd my kids go?

Hardin divorced in 2012 from director Thaddeus Schiele. Now 64, she calls herself a single mom. This is also what I always have for... From what we saw, the role of caregiver comes naturally. Chocolates for the TV crew in her fake office. When I come back after a week or two and they're empty, I feel so happy.

They can be long days of shooting and she's on location sometimes for months. You finished last night at 1130 at night and you could have in theory come here. We did stop by. Are you kidding me?

You did? Yeah, we came by. So she finds community in something familiar. People are like real artists here. A local pottery studio in Vancouver. You've got your initials here. I do. My daughter gave me this stamp that I have. Cool, you're online. Coming to you soon.

We're now on QVC. Marsha Gay Hardin does put her own stamp on whatever she does, even if it means removing a bit of herself in the process. I like to garden.

I like to do pottery. These are slightly isolationist things to do. Because otherwise I do think one can start worrying too much about what they all think, right? What people say about me and do they like my whatever.

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David Pogue spells it out. There are a lot of TVs in the Pennsylvania household of Jason and Marilyn McMunn. We have about ten. We have a lot of TVs. And out of the ten, how often are you watching with subtitles turned on? Pretty much the TVs on the subtitles are on. They're not unusual. Over half of Americans keep subtitles turned on some or all of the time.

Especially younger people. Technically, the term subtitles means translations into your language. But these days, people use the word subtitles to refer to closed captions, which were invented to help the hard of hearing.

And you, sir, should have surrendered when the empire collapsed. But the McMuns' hearing is just fine. They keep subtitles on for all kinds of other reasons. The parent will be screaming, the kids will be doing stuff.

It's a little bit of a circus. I found that I was missing things. So with the subtitles, it just made that all a lot easier. Also, because we're seeing more actors with accents.

That broomstick trick only works in old films. I like to watch some of the British mystery things, and sometimes they're hard to understand. And because thin TVs have thin speakers, usually firing out the back. As a kid at bedtime, Rihanna even had a secret reason for turning on subtitles. I'd turn the sound all the way down, and I would turn on the subtitles.

That way I could still watch my little YouTube videos without getting caught. But according to the experts, the biggest reason of all for the rise of subtitles is this. Dialogue is getting harder to hear. Oscar winner Tom Fleischmann has mixed the sound for some very famous movies. It's his job to balance the levels of the various audio tracks. Paulie hated phones.

He wouldn't have one in his house. You got rain, you got pop music, you got dialogue. It was a real dance doing this mix. But advancing technology has made his job harder. Decades ago, there was one microphone overhead. Actors were trained on stage, and they had to let the audience hear them. With the advent of lapel mics, acting styles have changed.

There's a lot of whispering. You know, when they talk like this. Kids are the only thing that matter, Maggie. They're the only reason for this old man-woman drama.

Wait, what did he say? Kids are the only thing that matter, Maggie. They're the only reason for this old man-woman drama. The invention of digital sound recording didn't help either. Suddenly we were able to run 200 tracks at once.

A lot of layering, a lot of sound effects, a lot of music. It makes it harder to get the dialogue to read through it. Finally, in this era of too much TV, often there's too little time and money. You have to cut corners.

You just can't spend enough time making sure every syllable is there in a word. But does it ever happen that you send the final mix off, knowing in the back of your head, well, that one line no one's going to get? Yeah. Really? Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Happens a lot. Well, on behalf of the world, thank you for doing whatever you can do to make this stuff intelligent. I'm trying. I'm trying. And then there's the Christopher Nolan problem.

And action. The dialogue in the movies he directs is famously unintelligible, whether it's Oppenheimer. You've got this going to tell you the implosion test failed. Hello, Hans. Yes, he's here. Dunkirk. She's turning.

You must have damaged them. Where's he? Let's go. Or The Dark Knight. Another evil bicycle where we try to bury it. Nolan has said he sometimes likes to use dialogue as a sound effect. So we get this. We're working our way back to the full team.

But without knowing where the big drop is, there's only so much I can do. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime began adding captions to all their shows in the 2010s under pressure from the National Association of the Deaf. The subtitling profession got a huge boost. I like to watch an episode or a movie through at least once. As the playback is continuing, I'm typing the captions in, I'm typing the subtitles in, I'm adjusting timing.

Jeff Tashige, through a subtitling contractor, writes the captions for Netflix shows like Stranger Things. His exuberant descriptions of sound effects have earned a cult following. Oh, tentacles undulating moistly. There it is. Boom.

This became a viral... Yeah, it definitely elicited some reactions. Alright, so I want to try something. Sure. I would like you to close your eyes. Okay. I'm going to make some weird noises. Okay.

And I want you to tell me what you would say. Okay. Okay. Alright, so here's the first noise. Okay.

Eratic clattering. That's good. Okay, here's your second cue.

Okay. Furtive wickering. Furtive wickering!

Woo, man! You are a poet. So now you know why the world's gone subtitle crazy. Because you're in a noisy place. Because you can't understand the actors. Because your speakers are terrible. Because there wasn't time or budget for proper sound mixing. Because the subtitles can add to the storytelling.

Because the director was Christopher Nolan. And sometimes because you're hard of hearing. Is there a downside to having the subtitles on? Yeah, I just don't like the interference with the picture. If the subtitles are on, I find myself reading instead of watching and listening.

But otherwise, for the McMunn family, there's no going back. So let's say you win the audio-visual lottery. And they buy you fancy surround sound systems for every TV in the house.

And the audio quality is no longer an issue. Do you think you would still turn the subtitles on? Yes, I would. I would.

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Not my iPad right here, but I don't know how to hook into you. Hello. How have you liked doing these conversations? Oh, I love it. First of all, I get to spend time with you.

And second of all, it's kind of fun to see myself on TV. Josh Seftel and his mom are back. Josh Seftel and his mom.

And, of course, his mother. Hello. Do you feel like you're starting to get famous? I don't know how else you'd call me famous.

But one day, I was in Publix food store in the vegetable department, and I was looking at lettuce. And this man said to me, are you the mom? And I said yes.

And he said, oh, my God, he got so excited. Hello. How many people recognize you in Publix?

An awful lot. Really? Any time I go to a restaurant or a concert, people, they'll come running up from behind, from the side. Do you think this is changing your life? Yeah.

It put some excitement into my life. My friend said to me the other night, I think those people recognize you. They keep staring at you. And I said, nah. I doubt it. And as I was walking by, the woman grabbed my hand, and she said, you are the mom, aren't you? We had a bet. And I said, I am. How many times a week would you say you get recognized?

Maybe eight, nine times. Really? Yeah. What do people say to you? You're the mom. Oh, my God, they want to take my picture. They get all so excited. Then I get excited. I think they think I'm some kind of a celebrity, and I'm not. I'm just a mother.

I mean, you know, if it was Taylor Swift, I'd understand. When you go out now, do you think twice about what you're going to wear and your hair and everything? I have to be careful how I look. Like sometimes if I go to Publix, I normally wouldn't bother putting on lipstick, but now I do. I see a lot of people in Publix. They seem to recognize me there a lot. What do your friends say?

They're getting used to it. They sort of stand there and say, yep, she's the mom. I said, my son made me a little star. Have you gotten any fan mail? Yes.

Like what? Letters, and one woman draws pictures of me. Oh, right. Didn't someone send you mahjong pieces too? Yes. Didn't someone send you chicken soup?

A retired dentist told me that he thought that it would make me get better faster. Why do you think this is happening? Why do people care?

Because I think I might remind them of their parent conversations maybe they had with their mom, or maybe their mom's gone now and they can kind of identify with me. Did you ever expect that this would happen at your age? Are you kidding? No, never.

But it's all your fault. You did it to me. What do you want to say to your fans? I want to say thank you for watching. I love talking to you when you recognize me. I really do.

It makes my day. What advice do you have for your fans? To stay healthy. Try to enjoy yourself as much as you can each day.

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When I look around this room, I can't help but wonder, is Ozempic right for me? It's an Oscars Sunday morning, and here again is Jane Pauley. Turns out being the host of the Academy Awards is no laughing matter, or is it? Senior contributor Ted Koppel is talking with the man who will be center stage tonight, Jimmy Kimmel.

It's great to meet you all. Making them laugh is easy. All 21 of them are comedy writers. It's Jimmy Kimmel Live! From Jimmy Kimmel's regular late night show.

Jokes for the Academy Awards, that's a little more daunting. Okay. Start with a prayer. We should start with a prayer.

We should end with a prayer. Molly McNearney is co-head writer and executive producer on Jimmy's nightly show. All right, so I'm going to take everyone through the show, the grid. Molly is also an executive producer of tonight's Academy Awards. Our announcer, David Alan Grier, will announce Jimmy. He likes to be called Dag.

Yes, Dag. Jimmy will do a 10-minute monologue, and then we're going to present best actress with five former winners in the category. Don't say any of their names, because then we will have... I'm going to say their names. No.

We're giving them 30 to 45 seconds directly present to the person they've been assigned. Mostly these are personal relationships that these actors have with each other. Mostly? Yes, mostly. Yes.

We'll let the audience at home figure out who that's in the room. If you're beginning to sense a familiar chemistry, yes, Molly and Jimmy are married and have two children. I am told you don't drive together most of the time. No, I like to keep it separate.

I really do. Well, we go home at a different time. Molly goes home a little more quickly. Yeah, but since we started dating and working at the same place, I really like to keep it separate, and it really is. My work life and my home life, even though they involve the same human, feel very, very different. I have a lot much more respect for him here, and then at home, I'm like, all right, clean up your ****. Yeah, sometimes you get home and you're like, well, what's going on? I just walked in.

No one's applauding. Do you guys ever disagree about the nature of comedy? Yes. Yeah, we do. Molly tends to be a little more cautious than I am. Yeah, definitely. Because? I'm very protective of him, and he's not that protective of himself.

He is much more of a risk-taker, and I don't like him ever getting attacked for anything. I just want to hear the laugh, that's all. It doesn't really matter how it comes. I sometimes wake Molly up in the middle of the night because I've thought of something funny, and I cannot wait. And I just can't wait.

You can, you can't wait. You know, there is nothing less funny, Jimmy, than being awakened in the middle of the night to hear somebody's idea of humor. Yes. Yes, if you're the person being awakened in the middle of the night.

However, if you're the awaken-er, it's different. This is, keep in mind, we still have a week to go before the show. There's a very old line beloved among comedians, dying is easy, comedy is hard. A packet of the jokes we've written so far. I mean, this is not just 20 copies of the same 10 pages. This is two trips to staples worth of paper, okay? And some staples. So how many, how many jokes have we got there, roughly estimated?

This is what we did, probably 5,000. Oh, come on. Yeah.

Really? For a 10-minute stand-upper? Well, you forget, I have to introduce best animated short, that's part of this.

Do the math. 21 writers, each of whom does a few jokes every day for four months. Right now, the monologue is 40 minutes long. So we're going to have to whittle that down. Mr. Koppel, would you like to ask any questions or anything?

I can't think of anything funny to say. It makes 38 of us. This is like the 6,000 Nightline meetings that we had over the years. And just about as funny. Ouch.

We just got Koppel. Here's the problem. Some of the best comedy writers in the business are gathered here, and all of them are worrying about the same thing. I can read a few jokes if you want them. We're going to have disappointed writers because the jokes I read will probably not be the ones that are in the show.

All writers are disappointed writers. This was the year we found out there's a little Barbie inside all of us, and not just metaphorically. According to a recent study, over the course of a year, we all ingest approximately one Barbie doll worth of plastic. Have you been losing anything with that one yet? Someone got Koppel today. Ted, you're not invited to the show. What a great year in film. Barbie, Oppenheimer, finally Matt Damon in the movie About a Bomb.

You've got to use that one. Come on. Poor Things is about a woman who's brought back to life but has the brain of a baby.

It's like Frankenstein meets Marjorie Taylor Greene. Let's talk politics for a minute. Sure. But when I say politics, I mean it is as though the Oscars have become, the Oscars belong to the left of center. I don't think folks out there who are Trump supporters have the same passion for the Oscars that they used to have. Would that be a fair statement? I think it's probably accurate. I think if they did watch the Oscars, they probably wouldn't tell their friends.

They're not posting about it. I have a feeling there are some closet Oscar watchers in that group, but I think, yeah, I think there's an expectation there are going to be a lot of speeches that they don't agree with. I guess what I was driving at is back in the day when Bob Hope was doing it.

You didn't know what Bob Hope's politics were. I want to tell you this is our big night because winning an Oscar means never having to say you're sorry. These days there is an expectation that the host of the Oscars is going to be, in that respect at least, a little more left of center.

Terry? Sure, yes, absolutely. But you can't really think about that and if it makes any of those folks feel any better, I will guarantee you that 90% of the jokes that I deliver on Oscar Sunday will be targeting those very left-wing celebrities that they claim to despise and yet go see all the movies. Yeah, but when you say target, gentle?

Some gentle, some less gentle, but sometimes people are a little upset afterwards. Really? Yeah, but you really can't consider the night to have been a success if nobody's mad at the end. To the Oscars, man. There's an online promo for tonight's show borrowing from the movie Barbie. Here we are, the Oscars.

To underscore what a thankless task hosting the Oscars can be. I don't know if I can do this. It's such a tricky thing.

America Ferrara delivers the warning. It's literally impossible to host the Oscars. You have to be extraordinary, but somehow you're always doing it wrong. Like, you have to make fun of people, but you can't make too much fun of people.

You have to criticize, but you can't be too critical. You have to deliver, but you can't go on too long. And you get paid. What for the average working Joe is a very nice hunk of change, but not really, not for the amount of work that you have to put into it. Yeah, you only get about $15,000 to host the Oscars. Seems like a lot of money to most people. Yeah, well, I think even most people go like, wait, how many months of work is this for $15,000? Exactly.

What constitutes a home run? Great monologue, great speeches. You hate to have a predetermined show.

And a show that doesn't feel like it was prepared in a laboratory. It's always fun when something unexpected happens. I hope something unexpected happens.

To a point. I really do. No, because I think you are the absolute best at navigating those situations. We don't want anybody to get hit. No, no, no.

We don't want any hits. That's where Jimmy thrives when something is off. That's where he really thrives. He lives for it.

I am most comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. You're a terrific ad libber. I don't think most people realize how great a skill that is. Did it ever occur to you to say, ah, where's that pile? Screw it. We don't need that. I'm just going to wing it. I will tell you without question, if I were to go on stage for 10 minutes on the Academy Awards and wing it, you would never see me again. No.

Not to mention those 21 unemployed comedy writers. And goodbye. Yeah. Have you heard you can listen to your favorite news podcasts ad-free?

Good news. With Amazon Music, you have access to the largest catalog of ad-free top podcasts included with your prime membership. To start listening, download the Amazon Music app for free or go to Amazon.com slash ad-free news podcasts.

That's Amazon.com slash ad-free news podcasts to catch up on the latest episodes without the ads. If you love that chicken from Popeyes, you'll also love that flounder fish sandwich and shrimp tackle box from Popeyes. Made with Alaskan flounder, the flounder fish sandwich is seasoned with Louisiana herbs and spices, dusted in a southern crispy coating and fried to a golden crisp. And as for the shrimp tackle box, you'll get eight crispy pieces of butterfly shrimp, a regular side, hot buttery biscuit, and your choice of sauce. Does it make sense for a chicken place to have seafood this good?

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But only for a limited time, so sail over to your Popeyes and try the flounder fish sandwich or shrimp tackle box for just $5.99. You've heard the expression, it takes a village. As Steve Hartman discovered, sometimes it really does. In Cabot, Arkansas, just as the sun begins to set over the local Walmart, store janitor Bill Majuluski begins walking to work for his overnight shift. He will trek five miles, two hours, in any weather. Pouring rain, you're walking two hours each way.

Yeah, I don't call out. I want to work. He's going to go to work no matter what. Snow? Snow, I picked him up at nine degrees the other morning.

Let's go. A couple years ago, Christy Conrad saw Bill out walking and offered him a ride. She got to know him, learned about his daunting daily commute and how he's also legally blind. So she began driving him whenever she could.

At least, that's how it started. Why did you feel the need to do more? I can't be always there, you know. So what was your plan? Mr. Bill's Village. Mr. Bill's Village is a Facebook group Christy started a couple months ago. We're going to find just a few volunteers to keep an eye out for Bill when he's walking. And within days, it exploded.

It caught on really quick. And now it's like everyone's competing to give Mr. Bill a ride. He'll click and see, is Mr. Bill out walking? Is he headed to town? So people are just driving around the streets looking for him? Pretty much.

Just like where's Waldo, but where's Mr. Bill? Yeah. It's nice to see.

Today, the group has 1,500 members. In fact, here comes one now. Hey Mr. Bill, do you need a ride to Walmart?

Alright, come on, hop on in. You always get picked up now. Pretty much. And it's always somebody different. It's never the same person from one day to the next.

That's amazing. There's a lot of good people in this world, all over the place, you know. And on that note, here's one more good person.

I'm pretty good. Chris Puckett is a car dealer. He wanted to give Bill a vehicle. I wasn't aware that you couldn't drive. But since Bill can't drive. I'm legally blind. I got you.

He handed the key to Christy instead. For real? Putting the car in karma. I don't even know what to say. Bill, go get in that front seat. Go over there. Doing unto others.

It's how they roll here in Mr. Bill's Village. Thank you. Bye, babe. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning.

Hey, Prime members. You can listen to CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. Or you can listen ad-free with Wondery Plus in Apple Podcasts. Before you go, tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at Wondery.com slash survey. I'm CBS News correspondent Major Garrett, host of the podcast Agent of Betrayal, The Double Life of Robert Hansen. During the Cold War, FBI agent Robert Hansen traded classified secrets to the Kremlin in exchange for cash and jewels. In the podcast, you'll hear from Hansen's closest friends, family members, victims and colleagues for the most comprehensive telling of who Robert Hansen really was.

Binge the entire series now. Agent of Betrayal, The Double Life of Robert Hansen is available on the Wondery app, Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. Many put their hope in Dr. Serhat. His company was worth half a billion dollars. His research promised groundbreaking treatments for HIV and cancer. Scientists, doctors, renowned experts were saying genius, genius, genius.

People that knew him were convinced that he saved their life. But the brilliant doctor was hiding a secret. Do not cross this line that was being messaged to us. Do not cross this line. A secret the doctor was desperate to keep. This was a person who was willing to cold heartedly just lie to people's faces. We're dealing with an international fugitive. From Wondery, the makers of Over My Dead Body and The Shrink Next Door comes a new season of Dr. Death, Bad Magic. You can listen to Dr. Death, Bad Magic ad free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in the Wondery app or on Apple podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-10 16:22:10 / 2024-03-10 16:42:51 / 21

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