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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  June 27, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with the incredible results in great britain on the brexit vote. britain elected to leave the european union and we talk with that with john micklethwait, david miliband, david rennie and andrew roberts. >> it's a sad day for britain, it's a very bad day for europe because this isn't the end of the story and i think it speaks to a real indictment of the political leadership center right and left who's clearly lost a lot of confidence of the public and the fat of the campaign was defined as a revolt against experts and reason. the unanimity of economic opinion, widespread, other expert opinion speaks, i think, to the fundamental condition of our politics that's very, very
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dangerous. >> rose: we conclude with improvisational comedy, specifically the upright citizens brigade. joining me matt walsh, ian roberts, matt besser and amy poehler. >> the name started with the name of our comedy troupe but it's much bigger than that, with comedians and writers. it's a philosophy, a community and made up of the people that inhabit it. so there is many members. >> rose: an analysis of brexit and the joy of improvisational comedy, when we return. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and
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information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: in an historic decision, britain voted toned 43 years of european union membership. thursday's vote preceded by months of intense debate ended with the leave campaign winning by 52%. the decision sent shock waves across europe and triggered financial market turmoil around the world. the british pound fell to a 30-year low. britain's f.e.s.t. dropped below 100%. david cameron said he would step down in october. >> a negotiation with the european union will need to begin under a new prime minister, and i think it's right
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this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the e.u. >> rose: nigel farage called the decision independence day for britain. presumptive republican nominee donald trump also praised the result. >> the people want to take their country back. they want to have independence, in a sense, and you see it with europe, all over europe. you're going to have more than just, in my opinion, more than just what happened last night. i think you will have many other cases where they want to take their borders back, their monetary back, they want to take a lot of things back. >> rose: president obama remains steadfast saying the united states will maintain its special relationship with the u.k. the withdrawal process is expected to be complicated and contentious. boris johnson who headed the lead campaign said there was no
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need to rush britain's exit. martin schulz says the e.u. wants britain out as soon as possible. john micklethwait, editor-in-chief of bloomberg, david miliband, former british secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, now president and c.e.o. of the national rescue committee, david rennie, of "the economist," and andrew roberts, british historian and journalist. pleased to have them all. i begin with andrew roberts. what happened, andrew? >> well, there was a huge upsurge of opinion. people were sick and tired of having 60% of their laws made in brussels and all the judges appointed by foreigners who were going to decide on the legality of those laws and decided to take back our independence. >> rose: is that why you supported it so heavily? >> totally, yes, absolutely. i never expected today would ever happen in my lifetime so i'm completely thrilled that it
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has. >> rose: david miliband? i think it's a very sad day for britain. i think it's a very bad day, obviously, for europe because this isn't the end to have the story, and i think it does speak to a real indictment of the political leadership center right and center left that has clearly lost the confidence of a lot of the public and the fact the campaign was defined as a revolt against experts, a revolt against reason, the unanimity of economic opinion, widespread, other expert opinion speaks to the fundamentals of our politics which is very dangerous. >> rose: which is. there is no reason. even andrew said 60% of britain's laws are written in europe. the house of commons says it's actually 14% of brints' laws. >> no, it's house of commons library that said between 55 and 60. >> i'm sorry, it's one in seven. you can see both myself and others, john major, have documented this. i think it's very, very
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important to understand that the economic side-by-side with very big issues of identity that were very prevalent in this, but the real tragedy for britain is the prospect of being part of the big problems that still exist around europe, competitiveness and migration and refugee issues, we've lost that opportunity as britain because we've walked away from the negotiating table. >> rose: john? i feel i'm in the sad and bad category as well. i agree. i think we'll have a long period of negotiation. you've got merkel saying let's do a quick divorce as quickly as possible and you have the other side, the british saying we want time. it's highly likely nothing will begin till october. they won't probably file article 50 till then. when it targets, it's two years from then. so a long period of uncertainty and during that period is what markets hate. >> rose: uncertainty. uncertainty, and investors.
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and people will sit there looking at britain and trying to work out -- and i'm a little more -- there was a noble, if you want, liberal trend to it with a small group of people probably including andrew who thought this was about creating a britain free of regulation, different, but there were a lot of people on the other side who just wanted to get rid of immigrants. >> rose: that drove the passion. >> that seems to have driven the passion. >> rose: david rennie, what do you think? >> i think the real worry of the leaders of whatever government emerges is the british people have sent a significanc signal,e given a mandate for something that couldn't happen. a northern town voted and sent shock waves. it's home of a company making japanese cars which can be sold freely at the moment in the european market. so voters in sunderland, i think
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said they want an end to foreigners having free movement into the u.k. but want to carry on having their jobs and selling cars into europe as before. they want the same prosperity and free trade as before but not the free movement of workers, but i don't think they can have both and i don't think any politician including boris johnson, michael gove and other leaders of the brexit campaign can deliver that for them now. >> rose: who's likely to have been there, who's likely to be the next prime minister of britain? >> i think the newspapers will talk about boris johnson since he was a leader of the leave campaign. however a lot of the gentlemen who know him around the table would say he's not the man who will take you through two years of painstaking negotiation and they point to someone else who is a conservative. this will be a tough period. by any stretch of the
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imagination we'll have a short-term economic hit. people like me, a long-term economic hit, and we'll try to negotiate the new arrangements at that time. it's very, very striking to me that people are now already beginning to talk about the norway option. norway is not a member of the european union. it is a member of the european economic area and abides by the european rules but has to accept the free movement of people. david rennie's point that the crunch is going to come because the leave campaign did not have any degree of scrutiny of its prospectives for government. it was arguing against something not for something and that's where the crunch will come. >> i agree with david on the boris thing. the tory party has a long record of not liking the assassin and boris will be seen as the person who took cameron down, and even if the majority of tories are on the read side and andrew who might be the best.
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>> rose: andrew, who will be the next prime minister? >> i think if he can be persuaded to stand, then michael gove will be the justice secretary. but it looks like eh he doesn't want to do the job. he is temperamentally opposed to becoming prime minister. so as a result, i rather agree with david. >> temperamentally ill disposed to becoming a prime minister, reluctantly forced into it. >> rose: more of the copy i've read over the last month about this have been predicting economic disaster, a global slowdown. you know where i'm going. >> yeah, christine lagarde said the credible forecast said britain was going to lose 10% of its g.d.p. which is worse than the great depression or the first world war. we've also had the prime minister talk about the possible dangers of war in the continent. i don't think anybody's actually
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come up with the idea of swarms of locust from egypt yet. >> rose: so you're saying you do not believe there will be the kind of economic consequences that -- >> there will be the short-term hit john mentioned. there already is. the pound has fallen. good for exporters but, nonetheless, not great for some. but as far as the idea of mass economic dislocation, i don't see it happening for the simple reason that we export so much less to europe than europe exports to us, and, so, therefore, there is a direct and obvious financial danger for europe to try and treat us like norway. we are not norway. we are the fifth largest economy in the world and the second biggest one to have the european union. so it's not going to be like that. there are more jobs in europe dependent on trade with britain than there are in britain. it's simply a lot of doom mongering and scare mongering.
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>> i feel like we're dragged back into the arguments of the campaign. i disagree. we don't know but the initial feedback from the market is not entirely positive. the thing strong from the europeans particularly the french and the german finance minister said they see no real merit in giving britain a good deal because they don't want the same thing to happen with other nations and i think, as a result -- >> rose: use them as a bad example for leaving. >> i think christine lagarde, that is a bit of an exaggeration. but britain going into recession, the pound sinking lower, it has to be-- it's can go down to 120. you can see banks and people already saying we employ a thousand european nationals in the london office or 2,000, will
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they have visas and will they put investment into london. >> any country running a current account deficit depends on the kindness of strangers to lend them money. britain is running one of the largest account deficits, 5.3, 5.4 of national income. we are cutting ourselves off from the world's largest, single richest market. the sunderland point is a very, very important one. i represent a constituency next door 'do, the nissan leadership in japan said the most productive car plant in the world is there to help the right. i think the one to two year consequences will be severe and very important to goat the bottom of the issues quickly. i think the idea that we're going to have a slow pace of withdrawal which is the current claim of the brexit campaign i think will be tested and broken
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in the next few months. >> rose: because they will want to move ahead? >> they may not want to move ahead but they will try to figure out what they are going to do with the victory they've won. i think the negotiating substance of those in europe and others are clear, the negotiating substance from those arguing from the british side, they're not in a position to run a successful negotiation and that's been the danger. >> rose: david? sitting in washington, d.c., one of the bizarre things is hearing someone like andrew roberts who has such a strong sense of the british public's desire for control and to listen to the people of britain and let their democratic voice be heard, remarkably competent that foreigners and the american government and congress are going to be cool, rational economic calculators who look at the balance of trade and bean counting and say, yes, we'll give the british a sweet deal. here's the thing, people are
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also angry about free trade in washington. it's hard to get free trade deals through congress at the moment. andrew seems to think emotion and democracy is all that counts in the u.k. but we are cool and rational. i challenge him to see mitch mcconnell or paul ryan and say the biggest thing will be free trade with the brits, how do you fancy getting that through congress? >> rose: andrew? yes, i do. first of all, we have been accused of not being rational and now we're too rational. it's got to be one or the other. the fact is, in the end, rationality does win when it comes to trade deals, and they want to make more money out of us than we make out of them, and that's the situation that we've got at the moment. so why on earth would it be in their interests to screw that over? >> you like rationality for foreigners but motion that and
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democracy for the brits. >> why do you think democracy is an emotion? it's just as rational. democracies do better than non-democracies. it's better when you're in charge of your own destiny. nothing emotional about it. >> rose: let me raise the question about what may happen to follow in terms of france or northern ireland or somewhere else. is this the beginning of a series of people wanting to extract from the relationship either the european union or somewhere else. >> we know the scottish national party the pro independence party in scotland and run scotland have already said this is a trigger for the beginning of a move of a second referendum. so the threat to the u.k. is very real. it's a clear and present danger. however, there is a bigger point which is the world is ever more interspendent. it's 60 years since john kennedy
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wrote his famous piece about the declaration of independence and his article in foreign affairs. 60 years on, the world is much more interdependent yet we have people saying we have to run our own affairs. france is already celebrating this. you have other movements in europe. you have the sentiment that david rennie referred to. this is a challenge to the liberal international order, one of the key pillars of the liberal international order on trade, environment and security has been the european union and expanded european union, and i think that the historic role britain has played which is to be a stabilizing force, a firefighter in international relations is leaving people -- has been replaced with britain ad frankly an arsonist on the international system and that is dangerous to those of us committed to stability and security of the international
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order. >> the basic -- the short answer to your question is, yeah, in other countries, there will be scotland, but the dutch are already making noises. other movements across europe. >> rose: france. the spanish elections on the weekend. italy has a big constitutional election. >> rose: the eu -- lo impossible are now possible and the question is whether they're probable or not. what is true is i think this certainly advances the chances of the european union suddenly coming apart. >> rose: andrew, you want to make a point? >> i do. the idea we're an arsonist on the world stage because we've had brexit is completely ludicrous. we're going to stay in the g8 and the united nations. the actual reason we have security on the european continent 75 years n.a.t.o., we're also going to stay in.
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we're going to stay in all these big bodies. all we're not going to stay in is this old and inherently protectionist unpleasant thing. the majority of the british people just voted 17.4 million of them to get out of. so we're not arsonists in the slightest. the other point about scotland, first of all northern ireland and wales voted the majority for brexit. as far as the scots, a lot of scots voted remain. when it comes to a second referendum, these guys will vote against leaving the united kingdom, and the same thing will happen with these very low oil prices that the scots are not going to want to leave the united kingdom. >> rose: david, tell me -- david rennie -- tell me if you think the predictions of disaster in the markets, taking
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note of what happened to the pound but also what's happening in the new york stock market, are a little less traumatic as people expected. >> well, i think that people -- you know, it's early days and people clearly felt that was an exaggeration and i think part of the political backlash against the experts that david miliband talked about, one of the phrases that summed up the campaign, is you have michael gove saying this country has had enough of experts. it's a pretty depressing moment. i think what that's about is people feel the people who brought us the iraq war, the financial crisis don't have any right to have any credibility in warning us what to do next. i think what's very striking is people on andrew roberts' side have been saying it's an absolute scan, no recession, we'll be prosperous in a year, it will be a little bumpy. i think the british public doesn't really have a clue what's going to happen next and i think what we'll see and the tragedy of this for the people who voted mostly to leave is that i think they're the people
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who are going to suffer the most is the people in that sunderland car factory who are the most vulnerable. one last thing andrew roberts said, he was accused in the european union as being fundamentally protectionist project. it's not. it's a fundamentally free market wer the voice for free market in that project and margaret thatcher was the balancing voice for the french who created the single market. and margaret thatcher is weirdly a-historical in walking away from everything britain stood for at that time. >> by the time margaret thatcher -- she was out of power in the mid 1990s -- by the time she saw what the treatise had done to the european union, she was all in favor of brexit. so as far as she is concerned, and i do admire her hugely, how
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she would have voted yesterday is very obvious. >> rose: go ahead. mrs. thatcher quoted the normer prime minister saying referendums are the last refuge of demagogues and dictators, and whatever side you're on, there is a certain amount of truth in that. >> it's been used a lot in britain, actually, not since 1975. we've elected mayors on the back of it. i think david miliband's party was in favor of using it. >> we're all guilty. canada uses it, australia uses it. is australia a fascist dictatorship? of course not, referendums work fine. >> rose: did david cameron have to do this? >> i don't believe so. this is the ultimate tragedy for someone who saw himself as having been the ideal preparation for doing the job. he ended up in a situation where i fear -- my fear is being born
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out, he bought himself space inside the conservative party and with ukip with his referendum pledge. i don't believe he would have been toppled as conservative prime minister if he had not comiltnotcommitted to referendu. my own political judgment is he was not doomed to do this. i think there is a really important point about the way the campaign ran. for 20 years since the early '90s, europe has been a hate figure on conservative poll the ticks. david cameron played along with that for a long period of time. even until january, he wasn't able to say he would argue for or against us leaving. in the last few months he turned his view toward the european union as being something he's passionate about.
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>> i kiss agree. within cameron i understand the desire to have the referendum. within his party, a huge amount. there was a level of fed upness in the british people which was manifested about this result about all these things happening in europe without any chance to ever say and promised referendums never happened, all those things. looking back, i believe that might have been the moment he was doomed. but the second thing which i think definitely did not help is saying he did not want to serve a full term and if we are to take the attitude that boris johnson is something of an opportunist, i think the fact cameron was saying he was ready to go and there would be a leadership election, that gave more room for people like boris to jump forward and have a go. so it's a combination of those two things that spelled his peril. >> rose: what can we say in terms of how the respective parties remain and leave handled themselves in terms of the
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debate? did one side simply make their case better and is that self-evident in the result? >> it's never a good sign when a campaign wins with its most popular argument is not factually true and it is the case the leave camp refined the argument down to two or three things, one that turkey was about to join the european union and nothing britain could do about it. that's factually not true. it isn't about to join and britain gets a veto. thithere was a madeup number abt the cost every week to the british budget paying for europe, and the idea a european army was coming again, just not true. but to criticize david cameron, where i agree with john micklethwait and disagree with david miliband is i don't think the fundamental kind of act of cowardice on david cameron's part was the whole of referendum. i think the fundamental act of
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cowardice was a british act of cowardice was to do the right thing and be too scared to admit it. britain did the right thing in opening labor markets to eastern european workers in the bloc. we got the best educated graduates and english speakers who wanted to work legally. it was a net plus to the british economy. they pay much more in taxes than take out. but david miliband's government, david cameron, either didn't talk about it at all and david cameron's case presented immigration as a negative. onhe couldn't make the arguments because he had taken one to have the key arguments off the table by throwing red meat to the anti-immigrant camp but he could never anti-immigrant the leave campaign. i think that was the real cowardice. >> two things i'd say to david rennie, first of all, he's absolutely right that those of
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us who believe in an open britain need to make the case for a managed britain. thersecondly, i think that we ma policy mistake in 2005 when we did the right thing in supporting europe and eight central european countries came into the european union. it was an historic achievement for the world, not just europe. we did not have a transitional plan for the entry of polish and other workers into the european union and there were to aspects of that that were problematic, one were the sheer number of people, half a million poles came in the first year and we predicted 50,000 would come. we were told one thing but ten times as many came. the numbers were kosher, based on the migration institute, who got it completely wrong. but i think throughout the campaign there's been a policy debate, people i asked want to
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hear about facts, and there's been a political debate that's been doubting whether anything anyone says is true. i'm afraid what happened in 2005 -- >> rose: how much if you can ask this in a straightforward way, how much of this was about immigration? >> a lot in terms of the two demographics. there were some people on the leave side, there were business people, a lot of people who were fed up with regulation from brussels. they wanted to take back sovereignty and had the sense that the european union is a failing project and britain would be better without. however, no doubt that on the doorstep and in some of the polls last night which issue cropped up, it was always immigration. immigration was the most powerful thing. >> rose: take that, the constituency that successfully had the vote for leave, how similar is it in your judgment
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to the constituency that is supporting donald trump? >> i'm sure many of us were thinking about trump. there is a basic element. it pay not matter how well hillary argues about particular things. if people are just determined to give politicians a good kicking, then actually, people -- >> rose: it's the establishment. >> there is the same generic bit of globalization, something i've supported, i think all four of us have supported in different ways. globalization creates classes of winners and economic growth and also creates uncertainty and classes of losers and those are the people who often form the core of the protest movements and gets added to by other people. >> rose: do you agree with that, andrew? >> i don't think you can say something that 17.4 million people voted for, the majority of people voting in the euro referendum. it is more than that.
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the reason they voted i don't think was myprimarily about class, age or racial things. i think it was because to have the the european union. it was very unpopular for a very long time and as david said british politicians didn't stick up for it even ones who later argued for it. so with regards to immigration when it was said tens of thousands would come and the net migration was 330,000, of course people, not in a racial way -- it's not racist to want to have control over your own borders if you're a nation state -- did decide that enough was enough. but overall, this is a perfectly reasonable thing for reasonable, non-racist people to do. >> rose: are there any implications from this vote that go beyond politics and markets in terms of the cultural issues? >> i think that the really important thing to say to an american audience is the immigration debate in print has gone from being a debate about
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race which it historically has been in the '60s and '70s, the immigration was about race, people from the asian continent and the caribbean. it's not about race. it's about poles and rumanians and bulgarians. there is not a racial part to it. >> rose: jobs? actually the macroeconomics shows the lowest immigration is in the highest employment areas. there aren't the microeconomic links. it's the feeling it's been a huge challenge to public services -- can i get my kid into school and get a doctor's appointment. but your question, is politics more about the calculating machine, the answer must be yes, so questions of identity are put front and center by the global economic integration that we've seen, and i think the key to understanding the travails of center right and center left is the way in which issues of inequality and issues of identity are coming together,
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and the brexit referendum is one example of that. >> rose: i remember asking lepen what her campaign was about and she said it's about what it means to be french. >> that's a striking thing, if you look at the exit polls, there's been a big one today, people said this is about immigrants taking jobs. but young people competing for the jobs voted to stay and older pensioners who have left the workforce and collecting state pensions are one of the groups that voted most strongly to leave. if you want to link to trump, having been on the trail and watching trump in rallies across the several months, i think the real link is if you feel the country has been stolen from you and everything is wrong, it's a conspiracy of either maligne forces or idiots and chumps who put their faith in corporation when everyone should understand, this is the trump and the leave view, that selfishness and putting number one first, america first, britain first, that was the emotion that drove
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this. >> i don't think for a moment that brexit was driven by selfishness and the rest of it. i think it's perfectly reasonable to want to govern yourselves. ask any american. the idea that we were going to put up forever with the european union is just not credible. >> but andrew, you yourself claimed that our membership of n.a.t.o. shows how much more we'll remain integrated in the global system. we can't have it both ways. either we are part of global institutions in which power is shared but influence is gained, or we retreat from those institutions. >> one small question before we leave -- why were the experts wrong? >> a very good question. it was the polls, the bookmakers, the markets. all those three together is quite a big thing and that is obviously something in terms of measuring things, in terms of britain, because they got the general election it from wrong as well.
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referendum are inherently difficult to do because you have no previous sample. it's not like you can go back and compare things with the last brexit referendum and try to work out where the areas are. you have to guess. they tried to guess and in some cases they were right, they tried to guess places which had high education and wealth would vote to stay in and those who weren't would go the other way, and they got it wrong. the markets usually are very good at predicting these things, and this time as you saw the route on sterling going up, that was interesting. >> we haven't mentioned the murder of jo cox. >> rose: important point to make. >> this is tremendously important. it seems completely to stop the jugnaut building up and the momentum to leave stopped dead there and the the question was how the undecideds would break in the last 48 hours and whether
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or not the tragic murder of this young lady was going to affect the way they voted and how they broke. there is virtually no way a pollster is going to be able to get that right. also, there seems to be such things as shy brexiteers, and they lied to pollsters. it goes into the psychology of the electorate more than what's happening on the ground. >> rose: andrew, thanks for joining us from london. david from washington. d.v.d., great to see you. john, thank you very much. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: improvisation has become one of the most popular forms of comedy in recent years, pieo neared by del close a chicago-based actor and comedian, taught bill murray and john belushi to stephen colbert
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and tina fey. in the early 1990s, worked with a group called the upright citizens brigade. in 1996, the comedy troupe moved to new york where they established a theater and school. the "new york times" called the upright citizens brigade the most influential name in improv today. the 18th annual del close marathon will take place this friday through sunday in new york city, to honor the legacy of del close after his death in 1999. joining me are amy poehler, matt besser, ian roberts and matt walsh. pleased to have them. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: what else should we say about the brigade? >> good question. nice to hear our name said from your mouth. >> rose: your greatness is confirmed.
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>> we should be described as a disreputable bunch of nardo-wells. >> we had a sketch in comedy central for a few years when we first got here. >> rose: what's key about it. the name started -- the name of our comedy troupe started but now the name represents a big thing which is a larger community of improvisers, sketch comedians and writers. it's almost philosophy in many ways. it's a community and it's made up of the people that inhabit it, so there's many members. >> yeah, there is a lot of comedy theaters have, like, the top ensemble, like second city has the main stage and that's, what, eight people? but we didn't build our comedy theater that way. we referred to it as the 600-person ensemble. so we have three to four shows a night, a different cast for
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every show. you can in a week have 300 different performers on the stage. so like amy is saying, it now represents a bunch of people. >> rose: but were you inspired by second city? >> yeah, but we wanted to be different. >> we fell into it, honestly, you know having a theater and a school. we were doing our show and came to new york and started doing an improv show with sketch shows. and people had interest and improvisation said would you coach us. we did and people who didn't have teams wanted to do what we did, so we started teaching classes. at one point, we were a theater renting so much space, we were paying their rent. so at that point we said, we should have our own theater and teach our classes there and put up our shows there. >> rose: i mentioned del close, tell me who he was. >> del, he inspired us more in second city. he kind of rejected second city because second city said we do
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skitch and improvisation is a tool used to come up with sketch, and he said, no, improv can be its own art form. he had a funny, contention relationship through the years where he would direct for hem, leave and come babe and eventually left and went to the improv olympic in chicago and developed this form called the herald which had been developed years earlier but took it to fruition at the improv olympic and that's where we started taking classes from him. he developed this thing with other people but we feel he took it to the other level called long form improvisation. >> rose: what is that? short form is you will get a suggestion, tell the audience and rewind the film and say it's film genre, an. long form is doing 30 or 40 minutes off one word. >> and it moves seamlessly so
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the best thing after an improvised show is you have people come up to you and say, did you plan that? >> and we hope that the ultimate goal is, at the end of the show, that improvised scene was good enough to be written and be a sketch. so we're writing sketches on stage. >> it's not just the length. a scene can also be described as a long form scene as opposed to a short form scene. >> rose: i don't know how you measure this but is there a sense improvisation is coming up? >> yes. when we were in chicago, when i started there was maybe 120 people in the community and now there is probably a million improvisers worldwide. >> it was in new york but a less advanced kind of form. when we came here it was, like, you know, bringing silk to america or something.
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it was like what are you doing? we're not doing that. they'd seen sketch but this improv was unique inside chicago as well. now we have this marathon where we're getting people from finland, from japan, from all over the world and it's fascinating to see how they've taken these lessons and interpreted them through their own culture and doing long-form improvisation but still in their own way. >> rose: explain to me the concept of "yes and." >> it's the simple idea that when you're doing a scene, instead of shutting down somebody's idea right away, you agree to it, and you add something to it. so it's a way to make a scene continue. it's also kind of a philosophy in terms of how you create together with another improviser. you work together to figure out what scene is going to be. so for an example, if i came in and said the doctor will see you now and you say, i don't know what you're talking about, this isn't a doctor's office, i came
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to get my tire changed. what you're saying to the person on stage is i didn't listen to you and i'm going to decide where we are. >> the reality of the scene goes away and it's hard to keep going forward. >> you have to learn to relinquish your own idea and build on your partners. a big part of improv is you listen and build. >> rose: listening is key. huge. >> rose: tell me about this weekend, too. that's what i want to know. >> it all started del close passed away in 1999, and he always fell under -- felt underappreciated. in classes, he would tell us that or imply that. a lot of his peers went on to greater notoriety, nichols, may, howard hessman, those kind of guys. and i don't think outside of at least around the time he died outside of chicago and people who had been with him people knew who he was, but he was so unbelievably influential to
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those people who went to the coast and did their thing in film and television. and when he died, i think there was, we felt, a lot of his students felt he needs to be appreciated more. we don't want his memory to die out with him, so we put on a marathon at that point. i think the first one was 12 hours. it went all night to the morning, and it was a lot of fun, just doing all of his -- >> rose: it was over at, like, 5:00 a.m. >> now we've gotten shows, there are so many groups, it's down to 15-minute shows. at that point it was only like 100 people and we were doing four-hour shows and a lot of drinking and smoking involved, charlie, i must say, in the late hours. >> rose: in the hospital? this is for the marathon, but i will be in the hospital by the end of the marathon. >> rose: anybody who has one of those can go to any of the provizationles? >> yes, and anytime day or night there is somebody performing.
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you do a show, sleep, come back, in the morning, someone is there. it's a feeling the theater never closes. it's uniquely new york. it is in the city that never sleeps. the del close marathon is the stage that's never dark. >> rose: how many years have you been doing it? >> 18 years. on our 15th year, we got a documentary crew and shot the whole thing and did a lot of interviews after those with a lot of his peers and we released it this year and just got bought, a documentary called thank you, del, it's going to be on see so today. and being here is our goal from the beginning, being right here is the goal, releasing that documentary because people will now know how influential he was. >> rose: a quote from you in 2008 you told the a.v. club, i
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think the hardest thing as an improviser is to get to the point where you can live life on stage. remember that. >> so, yes, del used to talk about, you know, we're having this conversation here and it's a natural conversation with give and take and nothing is exaggerated and you want to try to transfer that feeling when you get up on stage. so you don't want to try to be funny. when people try to be funny, they kind of disassociate from what real life is sometimes, so it's trying to stay grounded and real so that the first unusual thing in a scene is what you catch and you explore that. >> rose: take a look at this. this is a sketch from a 1990s upright citizen brigade live show. >> live show. >> rose: that's what it says. we'll find out. >> we'll be so young looking. cape canaveral. i'm showing a breech in the porthole. please confirm.
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>> confirm. we are now going to activate the russell australians and do a complete diagnostic. hang in there. >> roger cape canaveral. i wasn't aware the shuttle was equipped with a russell australians. >> last-minute addition, son. okay. i see it now. it must be working without me. >> affirmative. the russell australians is fully automated. >> all right, just seems that i could fix the breech in the hole myself without a robotic australians. that's what the training was for, the deprivation travel, the vomiting. the russell australians is telling me to get out. (laughter) >> don't mind that. don't mind that, that's a minor technical glitch, nothing to worry about. >> no, it's not. the russel russell arm is tellio
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get out. >> i'm sending the ramsey arm in to get the russell arm. >> hello, there houston. this is cape canaveral. we were not informed of the ramsey arm. the russell arm does not need to know the ramsey arm. looks like they're wrestling, specifically arm wrestling. >> the ramsey arm is stronger. surely the russell arm will be swiftly defeated. >> wasn't my worry. activate blow torch now. >> just got rerouted to the russell arm. >> force field. looks like the ramsey arm is taking on my titan boosters. the ramsey arm flipped me off! >> rose: what did you see? you discovered a nugget. i have not seen that in a long time. >> the object worked for the arms. that was me, guys.
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(laughter) >> that wap your audition for s.n.l., wasn't it? >> i can't believe the robot arms never got on s.n.l. >> rose: i can't either. would have been perfect. that was in new york right when we moved here and we moved here to showcase. our sketch showed for comedy central and they bought it. that was a scene that never made it in the show but that was us working out a scene after the show. >> that was the red room. >> rose: was that all improv? no, i think that was a written scene. but what that scene shows is a good example of heightening our game. so, you know, the scene starts with an astronaut ready to take off and he notices a robotic arm in the cockpit with him and slowly but surely the two,
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cape canaveral and houston, start fighting and it slowly grows and that probably came out of improv and somebody wrote it up. >> rose: that happens a lot. did back then. we used to tape the shows and comb through them for ideas that we could then turn to sketches. every so often you get one you can just about transcribe and then you know you really improvised well. >> we were before the internet generation so you couldn't film stuff and put it on youtube and people had to come to your shows to see what you're about. what's sweet about that video is we recognize the laughs of the eight people in the audience because it was probably two sets of parents. >> rose: television goes in terms of prime time and all kinds of other alternatives you suggest from netflix to other things. television, there will be a long period for drama, then it will slow down and you will see the rise of comedy.
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where are we now if there's a cycle life to this. >> we're in a boom in general. like this see so place we're playing at has a commission of a variety show the ucb show where we shoot the best material from our theater and you can see it everywhere in the country. that's an ultimate goal of ours in the '90s in chicago. we used to joke we would have our own television show. >> rose: you can do that now. you don't have to appeal to 30 million people anymore. >> you see all the rough edges and the stuff like it happens on stage, a little radical, crazy, experimental. >> so you can do the exact comedy you want to do and only appeal to a million but still be considered successful. >> rose: one more note about del close as is sitting there in front of me. i mentioned bill murray, gilda
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radially, dan accrude, tina fey, stephen coburks adam mckay -- this is an incredible history of comedy he was a part of. >> he was probably the most famous person in comedy people don't know enough about. he was a lot of very successful and hilarious people's teacher and mentor, and when -- >> rose: beyond being funny, he was also a teacher? >> he was. >> rose: primarily a teacher. yeah. i know that we were in chicago at a time when chris farley had just kind of left to go on to success, and i arrived at second city with steve carell and stephen colbert on, like, the main stage there, and these guys were already performing in a really successful team in chicago, and there was just a feeling that something was happening there, and there was
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just a hope, frankly, that you could put in your time on stage, get better, take risks and get a job, and we think that that feeling is still the same. >> rose: get better, get a job. >> yeah. people always ask us, you can't train someone to be funny. it's, like, no doubt. chris farley was hilarious when he showed up on del close's door but was a force of nature that needs to be give an little direction, and he really did have these techniques that you don't see just as an audience member but in class you're, like, oh, yeah! if i do it this way, it does work better. you can be funny within yourself, but when you're working with someone else, you need certain rules to be able to create something on the moment without a script. you can't just go out and everybody starts talking. >> the rules are great for writing, too. the same rules you use to improvise are the same rules you use to go from here to the
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keyboard. >> rose: like for example -- knowing the game to have the scene in comedy. any movie or tv show you see, there are those patterns. it's funny because it add heres to the rule. >> rose: at this table, i've talked to many a great comedian, and they all, when working on standup, i was talking to louis kay and he's trying to hone a standup routine. he said it will take me six months. he said i'll get one idea and go to a club to try it out. i was struck of a sense of where it comes from, how the idea of making it perfect and making it as good as possible, you know, is an ongoing process, you know, until you get it at least where you're willing to present it. >> i think that that's -- >> rose: it's standup. it's the same thing for us. that's why we have a book. you couldn't have a book if you can't teach it. there's a method and people
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acknowledge that with any other endeavor in the world. yet somehow they think, just say anything that comes to mind, and it's just not true. >> what's great about comedy is the lafayetteish tells you what's working. you can spend hours writing a drama and not know. but when we did the shows which we did repeatedly before we honed the russell arm. >> rose: you can come back. you can listen to the tape and know where the laughs were and know what wasn't working. >> the other side is to do a show like we'll be doing this weekend that exists only that moment and goes away and oftentimes it's good that it goes awe way. >> rose: thank you all for being here. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: my honor. 18th annual del close marathon taking place ji june 24, today, to sunday 26th in new york city. visit for more information. you will have a great time. thank you. >> thanks.
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, charlie. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at and captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> rose: on the next charlie rose, we begin the week with a look at the continuing implications of brexit and an update on the american presidential elections. join us.
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>> the following kqed production was produced in high definition. [ ♪music ] >> it's all about licking your plate. >> the food was just fabulous. >> i should be in psychoanalysis for the amount of money i spend in restaurants. >> i had a horrible experience. >> i don't even think we were in the same restauran


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