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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  December 23, 2012 2:00am-3:00am PST

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>> gabrielle douglas. plus, a true american icon, willie nelson back on the road again at nearly 80 years old. i'll ask him the big question, just how many girls has he loved before? >> the reason divorces are so expensive is they're worth it. the hits keep on coming for willie nelson, and not just his songs. did you wake up this morning and -- you know? >> i probably did. i probably did. >> a tv icon, also making a mark as an activist and an author. and incredible work with st. jude's children's research hospital. welcome to you.
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a veritable legend. how do you feel about being called a legend? >> i don't relate to it. >> how do you see yourself now? do you see yourself as an entertainer, as a fundraiser? as an author. i know you contributed over 100 pieces to the aol site about women every month. what do you see your role as these days? >> i am a woman interested in a lot of things. i did broadway, and played ellen barken's boss. i raise money for st. jude. >> your husband phil donahue called you an impure thought. your response? >> i like it. >> he said this about you.
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>> she had opinions, she was a feminist. she was someone you could argue with. she had something to say, someone you could push back or bounce off of. here i am. and 32 years later. >> he's the cutest. he really is. >> he's a fascinating guy. what do you think the secret of longevity in a marriage is? >> listening is one of them. and caring. you listen, you hear it, and you don't always have to fix it. one of the great things i learned because i'm a fixer was that most of the time, what phil really wanted was not me to tell him how to fix it, but just to listen so that he could get it all out. i think that's a big deal. and of course, all the other things, love and affection and sexual chemistry. >> do you still take baths together in a huge bathtub with wine?
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>> what about that? where did you get that from? >> my sources. >> yeah, i do. >> how big is this bathtub? >> come on over. >> the other thing you were obviously legendary for was free to be you and me. 40 years ago. seems amazing now. but talked of fairness, freedom, racial harmony, sexual equality. really was a trail blazer. how far do you feel america has now come since then? >> well, we've come pretty far. i think children who are bullied are not very free to be. and anti-bullying is something we should all be thinking about. but one of the things we felt with free to be, it really was part of the women's movement. we were working very hard to have women heard. and it seemed also that you kind of had to start with one 5-year-old at a time and try to get them to start to see that boys and girls could play together, could share the world together.
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so i think we're getting there. i mean, there are only what about 20 women who are now head of fortune 500 companies that we have about, what, 20 women going into the senate. late getting to leader of a country, but we are getting there. >> when you see what's happened with gay rights in particular, that's moving very fast in america isn't it? >> yes, yes. but it's a long time coming. people have been gay for a long time and had their rights taken from them. the gay rights movement is an exciting movement to really see it going from here to there this quickly. >> you pleased that president obama was re-elected? >> yes. very much so. >> why? >> i think he's a good man. i think he cares about people. as a health activist, i think he is trying very hard to help people get good access to care. >> your father said there are two kinds of people in the world, givers and takers. the takers may eat better, the
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givers will sleep better. >> yes, do you think that's true? >> do you sleep well? >> i do. how about you? >> probably not as well as you. i don't raise $800 million a year. it's extraordinary. the statistics, 7,800 children are treated there free of charge every year. between thanksgiving and new year, i think, since 2004, you've raised $312 million just in that period. >> yes, yes. >> which is amazing. it shows me also that america, for all of the faults that it has right now, and they get well talked about, it's a very giving, big hearted country. >> absolutely. and also a lot of people know about st. jude firsthand. it's amazing. no place i go to speak is there someone that doesn't stand up and say my cousin went there, my neighbor went there, we're using the protocols in our city. you know, our children are -- our laboratories may not be in every community, but our
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discoveries are. everything we're doing is being sent out worldwide, all of our discoveries. what distinguishes st. jude from all the other hospitals, all the other children's hospitals is that we're a research center and a treatment center. so every child has a scientist and a doctor work on their case. and every child is getting a customized treatment. that's why we've been able to raise these survival rates from all, the most common form of cancer in children is leukemia. 4% when my dad opened the hospital to 94% today. but what's exciting is working on that 6%, you know, to find the customized treatment that's going to bring every single one of those kids. >> it's amazing the break throughs that comes with all these treatments. i know somebody involved with bone cancers in los angeles, actually, who said just recently they had a new break through which meant that women who had to have a leg amputated for a particular type of bone cancer can now walk out. and that's happened in the last year. that must be replicated in all
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sorts of areas. >> we do with that osteosarcoma in children. we cut out the piece of bone that has the cancer. we put in a titanium rod and then every couple of months as the child grows, we have a magnet that makes that rod grow with the child. and years ago, you would amputate the leg. >> amazing. i want to hire you as our chief booker. you've managed to get jennifer aniston, robin williams and others all to do these commercials. i can't get any of them on my show. how are you doing this? >> bathtub is one of the ways. >> jennifer has been with you for a long time. >> some girls wish to grow up and be a princess. other girls wish to simply grow up. may and bailey are friends battling kidney cancer at st. jude children's research hospital. we developed a treatment for their cancer that's helping kids like them across america. >> you know what i wish for? >> what's that, honey?
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>> my hair back. >> and no more cancer. >> well, girls, st. jude is working on that. >> is it hard to persuade the big stars? >> well, you know, i try to get them down there. the real secret is going to st. jude and seeing the children. i wasn't really expected to do this. i was never going to take this on. my father died 21 years ago. and he made it very clear to my sister and brother and i it was not our burden to carry, which was psychologically brilliant. we all came about it our own way. when you meet a father who tells you he had already picked the funeral music for his child, or you meet a mother who just a few days ago said to me the doctors at another hospital told her to take her child home and into hospice and she came to st. jude and we saved her child's life. and it's not that these other hospitals are bad. they're good hospitals. we collaborate. >> st. jude is amazing good. >> they're working with what
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they know and we're working with what they don't know. because we're a research center. my dad wanted to build a place to study disease. it's a completely different map for a hospital. you know, it's completely different mission is to say we don't just want to make kids better, we want to find out what makes them sick and get a hold of that disease, find the marker for that disease and put a drug on that marker. >> he would be very proud of you, your father, i think, for what you've done. >> thank you. >> and his legacy. >> thank you. >> you're unbelievably, despite all this, still finding time to act. i don't know how you find the time. but you're the guest star on "the new normal." let's watch a clip. >> i want to give up what i had in ohio. there's something better here. >> what you need to give up is that 1980 mervyn's power suit in the jewel tone. i see a lot of the old me in you and i don't like it.
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>> great to be acting with such great actors. >> and ryan murphy who writes and created that show is greet. >> are you enjoying the acting still? >> i love it. i especially love the stage. it's so much fun to hear the audience laugh. it's exciting. and to hear them open up their little purses and cry, too. i like that. >> lovely to meet you. send phil my best. for more, go to st. it couldn't be easier than that. best of luck with it. not that you need it. >> we need it, are you kidding? >> please contribute generously. lovely to see you. we'll be right back. of zyrtec®, i have the f plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed.
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>> and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. thank you. >> two-time olympic gold medallist gabrielle douglas who led the pledge of allegiance at the democratic national
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convention. she's known as the flying squirrel. she shares the title of essence woman of the year. welcome. >> thank you. >> this book you've written "grace, god and glory." my lope of faith. how has your life been since this extraordinary summer you had in my home city? >> it's been a whirlwind, but i'm having so much fun and i've gotten amazing opportunities and met amazing people. so just enjoying it. >> what has been the best moment? >> i would say going to the white house and meeting the president. >> what were his first words to you? >> well, we had talked to him prior when we won team finals and he said he was proud of me. and he was just proud and we were in the white house, we all were standing, like, really like serious and he walked in he was like you know what, don't do that. oh, okay. he's a really cool guy. >> you had an amazing achievement.
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you were the first african-american ever to win this all-around gymnastics gold. quite a moment for you, for america, for your family, for everyone. and for the president. he was the first african-american president. did he say anything to you about that part of this? you also achieved this extraordinary milestone. >> yeah. he just told me that he was so proud of me and hard work pays off. it was really nice hearing that from the president. >> how much do you have to work out a day? >> every day. except for sundays. >> i expect your routine is agonizing, right? >> some days. >> i couldn't get into that position if someone paid me $1 billion. >> i could teach you. >> you couldn't teach me. i used to be a top gymnast. >> really? >> no, i lied. i've never been able to do this. it makes my eyes water looking at it. what is your routine? >> i wake up depending on the day. tuesday, practice in the morning. get up at 9:00, do school, eat
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breakfast, do more school. eat lunch, do some more school, go to the gym around 2, 2:30 we start. warm up, condition, finish about 6:30 and go home, twitter and school. go to bed. >> what does it take to be a winner? like a big winner? >> it takes a lot. not only the talent, but you have to be consistent and dedicate your heart to the sport. you have to work very hard and give 100%. >> no room for boys in your life? >> no. no room. >> you sound quite sad about that? >> i kind of am. >> do you ever say to your mom -- i met both of your moms in interview. but your mom is with you here. do you ever say you know what, mom, i'm fed up with this. i just want to go to a nightclub, meet a nice boy, give up gymnastics? >> i don't think that -- no, no. >> gymnastics is your real love, isn't it? >> yeah. nightclub? i'm not sure about that.
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>> the book is fascinating. you're god faring, a big christian. your father wasn't around when you were young. he was there, he was gone. in my heart, i have always carried a secret hope that my dad would change. that he would suddenly become the farther they craved i have chosen to free myself accepting the way things are for now. quite sad when i read that. did you feel sad when you wrote it? >> yeah. i mean, just those memories. he wasn't really in the picture and really didn't live up to my expectations. every girl dreams about having a father figure in their life and dreaming about the perfect dad. but i hope that in the future we can build a better relationship and a stronger one. when he reads this book i hope he'll relate and know how i feel so we can build a stronger and better relationship. >> do you talk to him much? >> no. unfortunately our relationship is not the best right now.
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>> is it nonexistent? >> it's pretty distant. >> why is it nonexistent do you think? >> first i've been traveling everywhere and i just really haven't found the time to sit down and talk to him about how i felt. >> you were pretty hurt? >> yeah. >> do you think he knows that? >> i think he knows that. i definitely do. >> you've had these two moms. tell me about that. >> i had these two moms. one in iowa, one in virginia. they've beeno supportive of me. >> they are awesome. >> your one mom is here, the other mom looked after you when you were training. you have this wonderful relationship with her, too. so in a way, two for one. >> it is. it's two for one. i'm so blessed to have missy, a mom like her.
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her and travis have just taken me in and treated me as their own. and they have four girls so i help them and play this big sister. and help them with school, gymnastics and anything they need help with. >> here's what they said about you. >> she was 11 and she started saying mom, i think that i can do this. you know, when your child is 11 and you think, they don't know what they're talking about. you know, wishful thinking. >> she glows when she smiles and she's just a doll to be around. it didn't take long for us to completely fall in love with her. >> that's sweet. thanks, missy. >> i'm told the greatest moment for you wasn't necessarily winning the gold medals, it's when you appeared in "vampire diaries." is that right? >> i love "the vampire diaries." >> as good as winning gold? >> yeah. different atmosphere. but it was just fun.
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i got to do my cameo shot on it. and the cast was very nice, very sweet. down to earth. >> let's turn to your endorsement deals. $3 million this year? apparently you may make $100 million in your lifetime. kellogg's. proctor and gamble, all sorts of stuff. >> oh, yeah. i bought these shoes. i splurged on them. >> wow, look at those. >> how tall are you without those? >> i'm five foot. i grew an inch after the olympics. >> i bet you're 4'11". you're just pretending to be five foot. >> don't burst my bubble. >> you spending the money as fast as it's coming in? >> i save my money. i only splurge on a couple of things here and there. other than that, i'm a good girl. >> what's your ambition? rio? >> yeah. >> go there, kick butt, win more golds? >> i hope so. it would be so fun to attend two olympic games and along with my gymnastics career, it would be fun. a new floor routine, a new
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skills. so i'm up for the challenges. >> who is your hero? >> definitely my mom. she's a fighter and always told me to never give up and to always push through no matter what you're going through, your sacrifice will pay off. >> what's your sporting hero? >> dominique dawes. role model growing up. >> i interviewed her, too. lovely lady. >> she is. >> i have a great admiration and respect for martin luther king. >> i do. >> why? >> i really respect what he stood for. and i'm living his dream, being the first african-american to win the individual all-around and for everyone to come together, united no matter what color your skin is. as an example, living with a white host family. i mean, they've come in and opened their hearts, opened their homes and taken me in and treated me as their own. and i respect what he stood up for and what he believed in. >> you're a fantastic talent. it was amazing watching you kill it in london. and good luck in rio.
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>> thank you. >> your terrible training would kill me if i did one day of it. "grace, gold and glory." very good read, very inspiring. you're an american treasure. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> pleasure. we'll be right back. i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms
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♪ on the road again just can't wait to get on the road again ♪
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♪ the life i love is making music with my friends ♪ ♪ and i can't wait to get on the road again ♪ >> willie nelson is a force to be reckoned with. he has recorded 100 albums, he won the lifetime achievement award at the cmas earlier this month and he wrote his own book, "roll me up and smoke me when i die." a book that only willie nelson could have written. i always wanted to meet you. >> same here. >> you're a great american icons. >> thank you. >> how do you feel about that? >> i don't think about that. i'm not sure what means. i would have to look it up. >> you don't look in the mirror some mornings and think i'm an icon? >> no. i don't think i've ever done that. in the morning maybe i will now that i've been here. >> let's imagine you walk around, you are one of those entertainers that just everybody likes. >> well, i --
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>> anyone ever have a go at you? >> of all the saying who don't like me, just think of the millions who have never heard of me. >> you've written this brilliant book, "roll me up and smoke me when i die -- musings from the road." what a hell of a journey it's been. when you finished your book, what did you think of your life? >> it was actually a really easy book to write. i was going down the highway looking out the window and writing what i was thinking off the top of my head. when i get bored with what i was thinking, i would throw a song in there. so that's about all there is to this book. it's not heavy. >> what i meant was you're nearly 80 years old, extraordinary career, four wives, seven children. all sorts of fistfights and drinking and your well known love for marijuana. what do you make of what's happened to you in those 80
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years? >> well, it's kind of -- you can't think about all of that at once. it would wouldn't be healthy, i don't think. >> have you ended up in a happy place? are you a happy guy? >> i'm happy right now. >> as happy as you've ever been? >> as happy as i hope to be right now. >> sinatra is said to have named you as his favorite singer. what a moment that must have been. >> that was. that was. and of course, he was a great singer. and to have him say that is a great compliment. >> did you ever meet him? >> yes, i did. i played a couple of shows with him. and we got to hang out a little bit a couple of times. >> did you go drinking together? >> we had a drink together. >> a few jack daniels. >> i didn't check the label. >> now, when you last did an interview with this show, larry king was the host. >> yeah. >> and you said halfway through that you were actually high at the time. you had infused yourself with
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marijuana. so i've got to ask you the question, have you come similarly infused today? >> what's today? >> it would be any day you like. did you wake up this morning and have a quick, you know -- >> i probably did. i probably did. if i remember. that short-term stuff. >> do you take a lot of it now? >> i think some people have more tolerance, you know, for smoking pot than others. and i know people who can take one hit and just go to sleep completely. and other guys that can smoke a lot. you know, me and snook smoke a lot. and in every country we've been in, i guess. i was in amsterdam one time and snoop called me and asked me to sing on his record. and says where are you? i said in amsterdam. got on a plane and we record a song together.
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mecca of dope and write music together. >> now we can go to colorado. >> what do you make of that? >> i think it's progress and a great step forward and people are finally growing up and looking around the room and checking things out. it seems ridiculous, i think, and have thought for years to let all the illegal drug dealers make all the money and the gun buyers, trading guns for dope and getting people killed all over the border down there when it's a simple thing to legalize it, tax it, regulate it. and fortunately, colorado and washington saw that. >> planning any vacations? >> maybe they'll have a coffee house over there. >> you can have the willie nelson coffee chain. >> why not. >> let's take a break. i want to come back and talk politics with you. >> sure. >> a lot of stuff going on in the middle east. the election. get your take on that. ♪ on the road again
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♪ can't wait to get on the road again ♪ ♪ the life i love is making music with my friends ♪ ♪ i can't wait to get on the road again ♪ but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed. to come home for the holidays. that's double miles you can actually use... sadly, their brother's white christmas just got "blacked out." [ brother ] but it's the family party! really jingles your bells, doesn't it? my gift to you! the capital one venture card! for any flight, any time! that's double miles you can actually use! how illuminating. what's in your wallet? let me guess, am i on the naughty list again? ho ho ho! he opened up jake's very private world.
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♪ i'm sorry i was blind ♪ but you were always on my mind
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you were always on my mind ♪ willie nelson's classic "you were always on my mind." he is the author of two new york time's best sellers. the latest book "roll me up and smoke me when i die -- musings from the road." i love that song. >> always on my mind, yeah. >> one of my favorite ever songs. if you were consigned to a desert island and you could only listen to one song endlessly on a permanent replay, what would you choose? >> that would be really hard to say because, you know, this is -- i just recorded a song with dolly parton that i think is the best song -- she wrote it. and i told her, i said this is the best song i've heard in a long time. >> let's turn to politics. you've all been political, but liberal, quite in an interesting way.
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for a guy brought up in texas. you have, i wouldn't say massively liberal views, but more liberals than most texans would have from issues like guns to drugs to so on. let's go through a few of these. you started the teapot party. you said we should bring home more of our troops, put them on the borders, legalize drug and save thousands of lives and millions of dollars. we touched on that a little bit before the break. you really believe that? >> i believe that. that could be a strategy that works? >> i know it would work. it would be better than the one we have where there's still drugs available for anybody who wants them. i haven't had any problems buying marijuana anytime that i can remember in my -- ever since i've been smoking it. so it's a shame to let other people, illegal drug dealers make all that money. there's plenty of money being lost there. and i think eventually the grown-up in the room is going to see it. >> when you look at the wars in iraq and afghanistan, what do you think about america's position in the world, foreign
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policy in particular in the last 12 years let's say? >> well, as you probably know and have -- i'm completely against war. i believe in self-defense. i believe if you get hit, you hit back. but preemptive wars, i don't believe in them. i don't think they're necessary. i think wars are started to make money. and make money for the people who start a war over here and a war over there and sell bombs to both sides. >> when you look at what's happening in the middle east, it's been a crisis most of my lifetime, i can remember. pretty much most of yours. do you see any hope there? do you see any chance of actual peace? the middle east? >> well, if you believe in the bible, where it says two things. it says is there there will always be wars and rumors of wars.
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and it also says that for 1,000 years somewhere down the future, we're going to have peace. so hopefully those thousand years are coming up on us. >> were you pleased that barack obama got re-elected? >> i'm glad he got re-elected. i think he has a lot of things in his favor, the things that he has ran on. the women all believe in the things that he's talking about. the blacks and the hispanics and the women and if you got those three things on your side, you're going to win. >> are you a democrat? i mean, how would you describe yourself? >> i'm not really -- you know, what was his name? that said i wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me in there? >> groucho marx. >> you never voted for anybody? >> i have voted, yeah. >> did you this time? >> no, i didn't.
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>> why not? >> well, i had all kinds of excuses. i was traveling and i had to do an absentee and i couldn't do it and all that. but there's, you know, there was really no excuse. i just didn't do it. >> you didn't feel passionatel enough about either candidate? >> i really felt like obama was going to win. he didn't really need one more vote. he had it sewn up. >> you grew up around guns. what do you make of the gun debate in america? >> well, you know, i hunted all my life and, you know, when i was young, i had a b.b. gun. i had a shotgun and rifles and all those things. and i went deer hunting and bear hunting. and i have no problems at all with that. but, you know, i don't know what i would do with a gun that would shoot 100 times. >> i find it staggering that you
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can just walk into stores in america and buy high-powered assault weapons and on the internet get 6,000, 7,000 rounds of ammunition and blow up a movie theater if you want to. >> i don't agree with that. i think it should be more regulated. those guns, there is no need for civilians to own those. those are for military. >> take another break, willie. let's talk about music and also all the girls you've loved before. >> good. >> which could take some time, don't you think? even half the stories i've heard are true. >> how much time we got?
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♪ every time he drinks he thinks of her ♪ ♪ but every morning her memory fades away ♪ >> every time he drinks he thinks of her. willie's son wrote it. it's from "heroes" talented guys your sons. >> yes, they are. >> they did the illustrations for the book, writing for the album. proud of them? >> very much, yeah. >> the wife you've had for every 20 years is here also in the audience. was it practice, the first three? >> what? >> practice, the first three marriages? >> well, i'm not sure practice is the right word. if i was practicing, i should have learned. >> either that or an incurable romantic. >> you can say that, yeah. >> do you think you've become a better husband? >> i think age has a lot to do with that.
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you get older, you get wiser, i guess. >> what have you learned about marriage? >> nothing. >> you had a great line about divorce. >> yeah, the reason divorces are so expensive is they're worth it. >> and yet although you say that, you've always stayed fond of your exes. am i right? >> oh, yeah. >> i always thought that was important. >> i do think it's important, you know, especially if you have children, which we do, you know? to stay friends with your ex-wives. >> how many times have you been properly in love? i can't think of a better person to ask. because you actually sang "to all the girls i've loved before." so if i were to ask you how many of all the girls you've before we would reach, how many would it be? >> well, you said properly. >> properly in love. >> we have to define properly. >> how would you define properly?
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>> well, i wouldn't have put it in there. >> given i've now thrown it out there. go on. >> i don't think there's anything improper. love is love is love, god is love is love is love. >> how many times have you been in love in your life? >> i don't know. today? i just signed 300 books a while ago and i met a lot of pretty girls. >> does your wife put up with this kind of humor? she obviously does. she's laughing. >> well, yeah. she knows me. >> you get on extremely well. i can tell the short time you've been together. is she the real love of your life? >> well, for the moment she is. >> she's quite relieved. >> no, we get along fine.
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and it's unusual for people who are as independent as we both are. she's had a career of her own before her and i met. she was a makeup artist in a movie. in fact, that's where i met her. in a movie. >> do you ever sing your songs to her? >> ever sing songs to her? oh, i guess i have. i play a lot of records for her. you know? >> are you a romantic at heart? >> oh, 100%, yeah. >> if i was to say to you come on, tell me the greatest moment of your life, it can't involve women or children, can't involve marriage or children, would would you choose? >> the greatest moment of my life that doesn't involve women or children? >> if you could relive a moment, what would you choose? >> that's a difficult one. i've had a whole lot of really good moments. you know.
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>> what's the great one for you personally. whatever reason. >> every time i go do a show where i show up and they show up and they clap and pay good money to hear me sing songs, it doesn't get any better than that. and the last show i had was too far ago. i need another show. i'm ready to go play. >> willie, i could talk to you all day. unfortunately, we've run out of time. your new album is "heroes." your book, a terrific read, very entertaining. "roll me up and smoke me when i die." it's been a real pleasure. >> you too. ♪ every time he drinks. he thinks of her ♪ ? [ nyquil bottle ] just reading your label. relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you? [ nyquil bottle ] dude! [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't.
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the teenage wiz kid, taking the tech world and wall street by storm. nicholas and apps changing the way news is delivered on mobile devices. the boy genius behind it, just 17. looks about 15. how does somebody who looks as young as you and is as young as you take the tech world by storm? explain yourself. >> sure. i started programming when i was 12, and i've been doing apps for a few years, and the way i thought of this idea, though, revising history exams using google and bing, all of these search results and so much content in the world and i
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thought, if i could build a piece of technology that could take pre-existing content and summarize it, condense it, it would everybody everyone my age and everyone else use it. >> if you've got an iphone or something, you will take any new story in the world and cut it into 400 characters, about three times the length of an average tweet, say, and that appears in every readable form on the iphone. kind of -- aggregated, condensed news for everybody. >> exactly. it's in a beautiful form. we wanted to work very hard on the visuals of the app and combine it with an automated process so we have no human intervention and can take any news article and summarize it down. into core essence. >> a hong kong billionaire, lee kong shing, invested $300,000 into this and many other people donating cash. you then got all sorts of charities behind you, lady gaga, business manager. troy carter. took off big time.
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were you surprised? this kid, really, and all of these people rushing to support you? >> yeah. i thought at first, why did these people want to help me, and then i realized there's something in the idea itself. the idea of taking any piece of news and summarizing it. so many are time-pulled. they don't have enough time. we're making it easier to consume all of this content on the web. >> how do the people who supply the original content feel about you nicking their stuff? >> we're not substituting it. we still read the full story, you can use the summary to evaluate what you want to read. signed a deal with news corp. we give the summary for free. if you want to read free, the payroll kicks in and you pay for that. >> a very smart thing. i'm sure they wish they thought of to start with. right? how do you make money out of this? you've had the investment. where's the money? >> what i kind of have taken aback, 500,000 downloads.
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over 500 million summaries on service. a lot of users reading this content. show advertising, turn it into a subscription model. we provide content you can't get anywhere else on the web. keep the summaries on, the only place on the web you'll get a beautifully summarized content. >> when you look at things like television and conventional forms of media, does your heart sink? do you think you guys just don't get it anymore? you should be doing x, y, z? >> i think the problem with the digital space, publishers around print form, 50, 60, 70, 100 years, only in the last five, six years mobile devices have come into play. even on the web, taking a newspaper and putting it on the screen, fine. take it down to a phone size, unless you can build a technology like we have, automatically summarize it or make it fit the screen, hard for publishers to make their content easily read. >> i use a blackberry still. i'm not migrating to iphone.
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find it hard to tap on them. i get annoyed even on a good blackberry the way the stories come up. not easy to read. i like your app. user friendly and making perfect sense. my question, have i missed the boat with you? what's your next great idea? >> i was thinking about this. i think there's a few more years left definitely. apple featured us as app of the week. 50 countries, where about you can build over the next two to three years. we don't want to stop at iphone. we're going to be honor device and it's language independent. >> on other phones? >> yes. even though the screen is smaller, you'll have a summary that fits the screen. no scroll bar, no trying to find -- >> excellent. i like this. i think this is the future. how are you going to deal with becoming stinking rich, if that happens? >> that would be a great day. to the honest, the thing at the moment i'm focused on is the hundreds of thousands it of
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users, rating it five stars on the app store. we've awoken the industry to a new opportunity and the i just want to work with our team a people a great team of team and help build this out. >> what about school? nicholas? >> i know. >> are you at school? >> i'm on a sabbatical leave at the moment. had a scholarship to my school. they've been very supportive. >> are you going back? realistically? >> realistically i think i can find a way to do both. >> i want to? >> i like the education. >> what on earth will they teach you, given you've created this app? >> a lot of technology i want to do. i enjoy philosophy, history. things like that. i've been doing personal study. the thing that help me build it beyond science, different perspective on the industry. >> who are your heroes in the tech area? >> steve jobs i told myself to program. read a biography and got into teaching myself programm


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