When I get a chance to watch late night TV, I rarely seek out Letterman or Leno anymore. Not when I could be watching Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show on CBS. I'm rarely disappointed and almost always entertained, even if it's just the band at the end of the show (it's here that I first saw Paolo Nutini, my favourite singing Scot).
It isn't always gold; he gets the popular stars of the day promoting their new movies (and some of his sketches are too silly even for me). But he also pulls in a broad range of people that make a significant contribution to life, either through writing, activism, science, the arts or journalism. And what is rare about his interview style, for me at least, is the respect he shows his guests. He asks real questions and, shockingly, really listens.
This week there was gold, at least for me, and so for this week's cool diversion, I'm going to feature an NPR article and 5 minute clip from his interview with Dr. Cornel West in honour of Black History Month. It is a powerful example of something I think we see too rarely on TV, thoughtful conversation with a goal, not to sell things but to engage minds.
So, check out the listings occasionally to see who he is interviewing that week. If it's someone that looks interesting, I bet it's a great interview.
I'll warn you - the clip contains some salty language and discussion, albeit brief, of a sexual nature. It's late night TV after all. So, not suitable for most worksites or kidlets.