tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg May 7, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: written is going to the polls on thursday. the liberal democratic government led by david cameron faces an uncertain future. the anti-immigrant u.k. independence party is also expected to gain a significant share of national votes. john micklethwait is the bloomberg editor in chief. he edited the economist for nine years before.
even though he is no longer the editor, what does that mean? john: if you choose miliband, you are risking the british economy. if you choose cameron you are risking britain leaving the european union. charlie: with miliband, you risk the economy because of the austerity policies? john: osborne has done a fantastic job keeping the economy going. a lot of skepticism about it. britain is growing faster than most of the other developed countries, europe as a whole. you have the thing of reducing the size of government. the tough thing miliband is doing is issues interfering with business, micromanagement. he is a much more left-wing
leader then say tony blair and gordon brown. charlie: what are the big issues? john: this is a bizarre election. we are used to having conservatives and labour. you will end up with a weird thing where l;aabour, which came from scotland, could end up losing every single seat in scotland and still ed miliband becoming prime minister. it is like hillary clinton storming into the white house having lost california and new york. on cameron's side, despite the fact that he has done a good job he does not seem to be able to convert people into voting for him.
i think it is partly because miliband has run a successful campaign. he has made promises to pensioners and students. he has managed to did pick cameron as someone surrounded by people who talk and look like me. weirdly, this may come as a shock to you, that is not the most popular thing in britain. he has made it about the same kind of inequality that was done in france and barack obama did against mitt romney. charlie: david axelrod, in 2008, is advising miliband. john: he has done a good job. pretty much most of the main
hundreds said you have an election where you have a prime minister who is not loved. there is a big gap between him and ed miliband. conservatives are scoring better than labour. that plus other difficulties for cameron, especially the rival in a much greater strength in the u.k. independence party, their main thing is to take britain out of europe. cameron thought he had dealt with that by promising firmly a referendum. he said, there will be a referendum about whether britain can come out of europe. the one reason people have begun to think he might be pulling ahead of miliband.
there is at least a suspicion when they go into the ballot even that they don't like david cameron, they might think the worst thing they could do is let an miliband in. -- ed miliband in pyramid there some suspicion, may cameron is doing better than the polls suggest, but worse than many of us thought. charlie: jim the cnet is advising cameron -- jim mussina is advising cameron. talk about the scottish party. john: you have the united kingdom, scotland. if you have cameron getting in he will have a minority government and the whole of scotland being led almost entirely by scottish nationalist
mps. that is scenario number one scotland which is very anti-tory . the issue of the union of written and scotland comes up that way. the other way, perhaps even worse, ed miliband gets in paris despite his promises to the contrary relying on the scottish nationalists and that drives the english mad. that is because the scots have the right under the parliament to vote on english issues. but there are a whole number of issues that the english have devolved to the scots to read the english point of view, you could end up feeling more and more angry about that and have another election. charlie: was any of that because of the referendum on independence?
david: most of us thought the issue of independence had been put to bed for a bit. but during that campaign, there was enough frustration and annoyance, especially with the labour party. it had treated scotland as its fealty, victim. -- fiefdom. that has transported to the scottish nationalists. they have this potential career people think it is safer to vote for them in the general election. charlie: what you have another vote for independence? john: that is a possibility. you have a country where 50 out of the 57 mps come from the scottish nationalists. that is a big block. imagine ukip, they are at about
14% in the polls. that might translate into five or six seats. you have the scottish nationalists, 4%. that might translate into 50 seats. that raises questions. especially from the american point of view, there is at least a question that british politics used to be predictable. conservative and labour. two or three nationalist mps around the site. -- side. what has happened is people have gotten angry with it. in theory, they say they are angry with the republicans and democrats on a series of issues. the era of two-party politics remains in america but nowhere else. charlie: then yahoo! is -- in
israel, netanyahu is trying to put together a coalition. david: we may be heading -- john: we may be heading in those directions. charlie: do they have dramatically different views of britain's role in the world? john: when americans think ritesh influence has gone down they are probably correct. defense spending. it has been cut. various things where cameron tried to get backing, for the operation in syria. failed to read that is one of the reasons obama pulled out. under cameron, you are unlikely to see an aggressive british foreign policy. his concerns are domestic politics, the economy, and the big problem of europe rick turley: do you think he would
pull out of your of? -- charlie: do you think he will pull out of europe? john: i think he personally does not want to. but once you have a vote in scotland, that is a risky thing. the financial and business community in london. they see people who run big companies, in the city who have massive ties to europe and cannot imagine a life without the european union. if you go outside into the countryside, people who run service businesses which make a baby portion of the british economy. nothing big ones. the japanese car companies. a restaurant in leicester, close to where i grew up. what have you gained from european union? a lot of regulation. how big bananas can be. sadly, not a euphemism. you do not associate the
european union with more companies. or an insurance company. services are the bit of the european union you have not been allowed into. at that level there is a surprising amount of hostility. from the sort of business people you would expect to stay in the european union. if there was a referendum, i would bet on britain staying in. it is by no means a certain thing. if you spoke to senior tories they might say they might lose it if they tried it. under a miliband government where everybody -- even though he said he he would not have a referendum, that would be difficult. charlie: tony blair has no impact?
john: he sits at the back of the visions of the labour party. what did blair stand for? a very effusive relationship with europe and a more pro-business version of the labour party. he was very pro-america. if cameron is instinctively pro-america, but has not been particularly good at delivering things, ed miliband in terms of what he has said, if you ask him where he would be different, he said he would be more robust. he says, i would be more robust standing up to america. that would be something from the washington point of view people would begin to worry about. you might end up with a divided britain. you might end up with one
that is not pro-the transatlantic relationship. charlie: how long will it take them to put together a government? john: there was at least some element it was unthinkable nobody ever thought how it coalition would or could work. that gave cameron quite a good hand. in the debate last time, that was an election where he was expected to win and did not read he woke up and said, i will do a deal. he got it pushed through. got the deal pushed through. this time, people have dimensions of -- demanded all sorts of things. charlie: you are the editor of "the economist."
john: i am sure he likes business week. charlie: you came here to work at bloomberg. why did you do that? john: the economist was one of the best jobs in the world. it was time for a change. i would rather change to something completely different than -- charlie: did you like the appeal of coming to america? john: i did. i think america continues, not just in terms of the economy and business, to be the most interesting place in the planet. charlie: you said the following in your farewell letter. any modern editor who is not paranoid is a fool. john: i think that is true. if you look at any modern editing decision, you look at
how the world has changed. i became editor of twitter six days -- "the economy" six days after twitter was invented. those were the days when social media meant a good lunch. every editor feels the same way. you look at the changes in the industry, it has upset all kinds of business models. one thing i repeat again and again is quality continues to sell. if you produce good value, high-value journalism, people will still pay for it. that is a reassuring thing to me. charlie: you just hope they will watch it. john: we live in an age of mass
charlie: david steinberg is here. the new york times called him a comic institution. he was the subject of a documentary. here is the trailer for the film. >> i think of one of the original visionaries of modern humor. he had a point of view and voice that was unique. >> when he did stand up, he had an impish look. any minute, he was going to go off script and tell you what he was really thinking. >> it is time to -- hard to bring a gentile girl home to a jewish family. you bring a black a girl home first. >> he was a reverend and unlike anybody i had seen at the time.
david: do you think it -- what do you pick it must've been like for him to think he is the screwup of the family? >> that is what makes him interesting. david: we think of critics as unix at a gang bang. -- eunuchs at a gang bang. >> he is a master craftsman of comedy. >> he represents 40 years of comedy in the u.s.. david: a jewish princess to me is the kind of girl who makes love with her eyes closed. charlie: in 2012, he started it
a series on showtime called "inside comedy." here's a look at season for. -- four. david: why is bryan cranston on "inside comedy? how long are you going to stay on television? >> is that what this is? david: how did you meet a russian girl? charlie: great to have you here. do you love inside comedy? david: pretty much at the top. charlie: all the appearances on carson. david: those were amazing. inside comedy allowed me to connect with the comedy community. people i love.
some famous, some less famous. it turned out to be one of my favorite things. charlie: i know you believe and everybody i have ever interviewed, believes you cannot diagnose comedy. you cannot try to explain why something is funny. what do you do? david: what i do that is not smart is i do not prepare anything. i want it to be a spontaneous conversation. i have the benefit of editing so i can go a little longer. a guy like bryan cranston surprised me with a piece of information i didn't think anybody know about me. charlie: is there a common denominator? david: they are comedians who are successful in some way. one thing about comedy that is similar to almost anyone
especially stand up comedy almost with all comedy, stand up especially, what is odd about it is you must fail to get better. it never ever comes easy for any of the people. chris rock says, he goes on the road for four weeks. i say, where do you land? he said, we play a little town outside miami. a lot of old jews, and sit there. -- old jews come and sit there. i try material that i think is interesting. mostly it dies. buy a month's end, i can go to madison square garden and no i am going to be secure. take away the month, not so secure. charlie: some work for years
developing routines. trying, adding to it. david: you have to keep changing it or else it will get stale on you. charlie: larry david, you directed curb your enthusiasm. he failed to read he needed a kind of badge of courage. david: larry lives by the powerful of no. i never realized how powerful it is to say no to people. charlie: you sometimes do two. how does that work? david: that is an odd thing. i don't decide who goes together until i finish the season. a rhythm will put two people together. sometimes it is how opposite they are. i overshoot.
the editing takes a long time to read charlie: what do you shoot how long? david: 45 minutes. i end up with 24 minutes. charlie: you paired stephen colbert and john stewart? that was before he announced he was retiring? david: it was way before the retirement every of the first question was, how long are you going to be doing this? charlie: are you here to fire me? david: he went into this with of his that is amazing. there is never a presumption that god might have a sense of humor, no matter how you feel. >> the greatest example of that is the scrotum.
if he doesn't have a sense of humor, why would you hang something so sensitive outside the body? david: this word am god getting even in some way -- the scrotum was god getting easy. jon: or just an engineering oversight. charlie: that's good. john oliver was on the show. he gave so much credit to john stuart for what he has done -- jon stewart for what he has done. david: he had so many things to do, but he did not want to say no to me. he did an interview with me live years ago. we have done this before.
charlie: does anybody say no? david: sure. charlie: who have you wanted that said no? david: i want tom hanks. charlie: you include comedic actors. david: writers as well. tom could not do it. but he said, i will be there for season five and for the first show. i need that kind of pressure. charlie: i am happy to hear you sometimes have trouble getting people. we have these same issues. there are some people who are reluctant unless they have something they want to promote. jack nicholson. david: i can't imagine he would not love doing the show. charlie: i can't imagine either.
david: you know how to get him? tell him you will smoke a joint with him on the air. charlie: and willing olson. charlie: -- and willie nelson. you find surprising people watch your show. david: you cannot predict to the audience is. charlie: brando used to watch anything except actors. david: comedians don't like to watch other comedians. if you really admire them, you could sometimes absorb it and then copy it without even knowing about it. sometimes it is specific. you don't want to see be best and head that way. you want to go your own way. it is a difficult ingrid you see someone great, you think, that is and i could do.
charlie: i read several commencement speeches that were really good. one was conan o'brien. he did a speech at dartmouth. he talked about losing his job at the tonight show. what would he do? he paid tribute to carson first. what was it in the end that johnny carson did? david: he had a weight of listening. what i call, and deep listening. you have that as well. you know where something is interesting and where i should leave it alone. it is rare. you had that, johnny had that. jonny had it for comedy. he knows where to go with a comedian or author who is funny. be able to pull back. he would wait and wait and just give you one line that would be funnier than anything anyone said. charlie: talent and experience
and timing. david: also what you love. people get to know you from watching you. know who you care about and who you did not. johnny was wide open about that. he was fun. people talk about the dark so he might have had and all that. i keep saying, if you see a guy for 20 years every night for an hour, don't you think you know him pretty well? could hide that much -- who could hide that much? he had his favorites. newhart, he loved newhart and me when we failed. he would left the hardest at anything i said when it was not working. charlie: he left at it because he wanted to be amused at your failure? or because he thought it was funny?
david: he thought it was funny to see someone missed because we did not miss a lot. i was on the show so many times and so was newhart. i said to bob, we are i was flattered. the reason we were on is because people would cancel at the last moment. i would say to bob, what is more important to do if you are a comedian then be on with carson? bob hope would sit on. he lived three blocks away. he said, i have to leave. he lived towo blocks away. newhart said to me, you know why johnny once us on? he loves it when we mom. that made it great. it allowed you to have fun with it. ♪
meant to be. the premise of "the hollywood wives" is they are trying to convince us there are wives of celebrities who do nothing but shop and have lunch and weight until they take everything the celebrity has got. [laughter] [applause] >> what a fantasy. charlie: that is great. he was thinking about the line. david: he knew i could go on forever. he was surprised by it. i never told anyone.
people thought, that is a little long. where is he going? he caught it before anyone. david: halfway through. it was his question. it is not like it was a play on anything. i wondered, could i improvise enough about it? charlie: you could see him knowing this is a two shot. and then the last line is perfect. charlie: did he leave at the right time. david: yes. he left because he did not want to do it anymore. afterwards, we saw each other a lot. newhart.
he felt good not doing the show. and then it got harder and harder for him because he had never developed a life because he had done at his entire life. charlie: he had a boat and sailed with alex. he would go to wimbledon. i would see him at wimbledon. i never met him in my entire life. david: i'm surprised someone like you did not know johnny carson. charlie: i would hear stories. i talked to david about him. as did conan, every good comedian. his place was the place to be. he was the king. david: absolutely. he had his dislikes. why started with him early on he didn't like saturday night live.
when he didn't like about it was, in its second or third week the new york magazine had a story on chevy chase was going to take over for johnny carson. he said, the show has been on for two weeks. how could they be pushing me out at that time? he did have his dislikes. charlie: it was a slight to him. david: he did not deal with it. charlie: did you ever talked him about the late joan rivers? david: i never talked about joan. my own experience with joan, i was at university of chicago before i got into second city. joan rivers was in that company. she was in second city.
i could not get over the company. i had never seen anything like second city. they took improvisations. they were smart. they were funny and interesting to read and joan in those days very pretty and sexy. really good. that is the memory i take from her. i could not get over how good she was. charlie: what would you talk about lunch? several years after he left. david: with johnny? in truth, it is healthy for comedians to bond by the people they hate together. charlie: that is so good. david: that is why johnny and i bonded. we didn't like whoever those comedians worker. he would know who i would not like ..
charlie: was he tempted to come back? david: he wasn't into to come back on "the tonight show. he liked astronomy and other interests. he loved carl sagan. alex said, a you could get him on the discovery channel and have a special. i thought, that is a great idea. he entertained it for a while and said, i don't know. he might not have liked the way he looked. he was not in shape. he was not in television shape from his own point of view. coming back as a comedian, a comedy presents. -- presence. charlie: what did david bring? david: david letterman?
charlie: david steinberg. [laughter] david: david letterman is one of the host unique individuals on television. he is willing to show the bedside so comfortably. you can tell when he does not like someone/ . he is a totally authentic version of himself almost all the time. charlie: he talked to me, about how it was his life. he would go and watch the show in the audience. thought about it all day did it, thought about it after he did it. then there came a time, after the birth of his son maybe, he began to have other things. begin to not do it five days week. begin to not be obsessed by it.
it didn't necessarily change how good it was. it just was not everything for him. david: to leave at the right time is a difficult thing when you have been doing something your whole life. the moment johnny chose was the right time. just for some reason, it felt good even though everyone wanted him to stay on. david you feel the same way, too. you are struggling to get the guest. they have been on to me kimmel jimmy fallon. -- jimmy kimmel, jimmy fallon. i could see what johnny would take a read not sure what david is going to do. i can't imagine what a letterman hobby might be. charlie: his son. i don't know that he plays any sports. johnny loved tennis. david: david plays baseball.
charlie: he is identified with the indy 500. david: you know what interests me about letterman, when there was a serious issue, he would be the first one on because he is topical. when something sad, like 9/11, big issues -- it was so surprising, even when he dealt with his own heart attack and had his own doctor. it was surprising to me how articulate and sort of depth he had about the serious issues. the only reason you could be surprised is because he is light and playing all the time. but i thought he was remarkable when there was a crisis in the country. charlie i also loved that he loved sports. i would always know, doing this show, whoever won the masters was going to be on cbs. i would expect today for floyd
mayweather to show up on david. david: he still could. charlie: he always had the masters winner or the world series champion. the nfl and bp. -- mvp. but look at you. the amazing thing is, you have walked away from things. you are at the top. you said, i just want to do something else. what is that about? david: my own interest. i know of my interest is not there, it is going to get stale. directing was something i always wanted to do. i never thought i would end up directing situation comedies. when i started, sitcoms were a dirty word. you don't want to do sitcoms. now it has become an art form.
charlie: you directed television. very good television. "golden girls." good actors. david: what i could not get over, the communities that have formed around the situation comedies are the most delightful communities. it wasn't prima donnas acting out. "curb your enthusiasm," jerry seinfeld. quality balls, that is his term. i was against this documentary. charlie: i love the fact that for jerry, it is fun. he is being created. david: he is so smart. being a comedian when you are
slapstick, crude -- if you can entertain an audience for years, you are smart. it is about information. charlie: comedians will tell me i was not the funniest guy and he never made it. david: there are always guys who did not have the staying power. there are rumors of guys better than lenny bruce. charlie: who was your inspiration? david: i was at the university of chicago. i started doing second city. someone said coming you have to -- someone said, you have to see lenny bruce. standup comedy had not had its place at that point. it blew me away. i could not get over, i thought of comedians as goofy looking people. red skeleton was the goofiest
person. i thought that is what it was going to be like. here he was so cool, nice looking, like an actor. his language was, he mimicked jazz musicians. he would improvise around his ideas. it wasn't that his language was bad. his ideas were incendiary. he would talk about black white things and it was uncomfortable for an audience that was prejudiced. charlie: was there it a movie with dustin hoffman who plays lenny bruce? david: he was remarkable for me to see. i put that in the back of my head, after years of doing second city and improvising, i thought i would try it. charlie collected did you grow tired of stand up -- charlie:
did you grow tired of stand up? david: i didn't get tired of it. i could not eat on the road anymore. you can't be in new york and l.a. and chicago trying out material. you have to go around the country. the family, i was lonely. i was in cleveland and i saw all these cars during the rush hour home. there was a big picture of me in the newspaper. i thought, i'm not going home. i'm going to be on stage. it will work or won't work. the road was hard for me. i thought, i'm going to try something else. charlie: at the same time people like jerry, i think he defines himself as a standup comedian. he wants to go back to it and has gone back to it.
as rich and successful as he was, he went back to stand up. david: on the other hand, he has a says not in his own name. -- cessna in his own name. but he is as pure of a standup as you can find. we talked about this. i said, what happens when you have a new piece of material? he said, i will be killing the audience. that is the term. they will be going crazy. i have the new piece. i try to figure out what the right moment is. and then i sneak it in. david: what happens like that? it is like a bathtub draining.
they can sniff out the new piece of material. the only way i get to work this out is on the road. charlie: how good is louis? david: he has as good a comedian as ever. the way he deals with kids, family, life. he is amazing. charlie: he has an acute observation of life. every level in terms of social issues, interpersonal things. david: he is willing to shine a light at himself that makes him look awful. he doesn't care about it. i agree he is amazing. charlie: how do you like interviewing? you have done i enough of it. david: carson trained me with the tonight show. i love exploring comedians, i
want to know what they are thinking about and how they do it. charlie: that is what i am curious about. david: that is why you are still here and you are doing so well and get up so early in the morning. i keep thinking, even as you are talking to me you are so engaged i have a pillow and blanket. you have an enviable career. charlie: what did carson tell you about doing this show? did he give instructions? david: we used to have lunch together. a legendary executive producer would join us. we would have a lunch and we would have fun. i would be funny. johnny would be funny. i would go on and it would not be that funny. we noticed that after about three lunches. johnny said, no more lunches. we never talked to each other
before the show. then it was just, see what happens. charlie: jon stewart is leaving the daily show. david: you see him in front of an audience, no matter who the comedians are. seinfeld, larry david, jon is as good as anybody. charlie: my impression is the following. jon stewart wanted to see you at your best and would do something to help bring the best out of you. david: it is the opposite of the bad rap most comedians have. their ego is bad. they are negative. you are a student of your own
craft. that makes you pretty good. charlie: you have changed your notion that every comedian comes from some painful childhood. david: it is a cliché. charlie: clichés are not always accurate. david: if you have had a really great life and a little money in the bank, you might not make the best comedian. you have to be hurt a little bit. charlie: you have to be hungry to be the best. whether it is athletics comedy. journalism, politics. david: you are drawing on the sadness of your life and making it a celebration in some ways. charlie: there is also a sense
of people on the outside looking in. they want a clearer view. david: people say, why are all these comedians from canada? when you grow up in canada, you are looking at the window to america. the best prerequisites for character in a comedian is to be an outsider and insider at the same time. all of us in canada we grew up watching -- there was a radio in my day. you get to the stage where you are in the inside of everything and you can ask her what is going on. that is my version of the theory of why. charlie: i have this other theory. they can be competitive with each other but they like each other and respect each other because they share and hang out
with each other. a herd. david: they are a strong community. conan, we had just met the night before. i asked him to do the shoe. his mind was off the charts, he was so funny. charlie: i had a conference in aspen. they asked me to do something with him. he didn't want it structured. he did not want me to do a traditional interview. we just came and started off. it caught a rhythm. it was the funniest thing i had ever done of that kind. he made it possible because he was so giving. david: he is a generous person and a great comedy mind. charlie: what haven't you done that i want=== -- that you want to do? david: i haven't made enough
money. i don't really know, just more of the same. i feel very fortunate. so many options in my career. charlie: that is the thing i most admire about you. you have not been afraid to shift horses. david: i am not afraid of that. i'm not going to take your job. charlie: you don't want to get up at 4:30? david: not really. charlie: season four of "inside comedy" premieres on showtime. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪