tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC November 14, 2019 12:37am-1:38am PST
[ cheers and applause [ cheers and applause ♪ >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers. tonight -- sebastian maniscalco, chat and music from liz phair, featuring the 8g band with chris johnson ♪ [ cheers and applause ladies and genemen, seth meyers. >> seth: good evening, i'm seth meyers. this is "late night. how is everybody doing tonight [ cheers and applause >> seth: that is wonderful to hear in that case, let's get to the news today was the first time in over 20 years that congress has held a public impeachment hearing and if this one is anything like the last one, trump will be impeached, then be acquitted in
the senate, and then in 20 years, his wife will lose an election to some idiot [ laughter ] president trump criticized the use of outside council for questioning at today's impeachment hearing, saying quote, "i see they're using lawyers that are television lawyers. they took some guys off television." which is ironic, because trump would love to take one of his lawyers off television [ cheers and applause he's on the tv again democrats brought in a lawyer to conduct questioning at today's impeachment hearing, who previously prosecuted the mafia, financial crimes and insider trading. said president trump, "i knew, i knew that guy from somewhere [ laughter ] that's the real hat trick for me." republican representative, devin nunes today accused democrats of conducting a scorched earth war on president trump, including trying to obtain nude pictures of him. of course, after today's testimony, trump's just going to tweet nude pictures of himself
as a distraction [ laughter ] witch hunt here's me in the playboy grotto. [ laughter ] adidas has announced it will close a series of automated factories in the u.s. and germany where it used robots to make shoes and will move manufacturing to asia where it will use child robots [ laughter ] [ applause ] with bows. [ light laughter ] a mother and daughter were arrested in dallas last week after getting caught at the airport with 62 pounds of marijuana in their checked luggage. police became suspicious when they saw a mother and daughter voluntarily traveling together [ laughter ] and finally, a new version of the board game candyland has been released that features edible chocolate game pieces said 4-year-olds, "the other ones weren't [ laughter ] i had no idea.
seth: you guys, we got a great show for you tonight he is a very funny comedian, who you can see in martin scorsese's highly-anticipated film "the irishman" in theaters now and streaming on netflix november 27th. sebastian maniscalco is here so happy he's back [ cheers and applause she is a grammy-nominated singer-songwriter whose memoir, "horror stories," is available now. she's here to chat and perform her new single, "good side" for us one of my all time favorites, liz phair is here you guys [ cheers and applause and before we get to all of that, the house held its first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry today, and there was a major new bombshell about president trump's involvement in the ukraine scandal. for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause today was a historic day this was only the fourth time in american history that congress has launched public impeachment proceedings against a sitting president. and that is not a club you want to be in there are the two presidents who actually got impeached, and the
third, richard nixon, who was so desperate to avoid it, he quit first. remember the famous shot of nixon getting on the helicopter. if that have been trump, the secret service would have to tie him to the helicopter by his leg and airlift him out. [ laughter ] please drop me off at a wendy's. [ laughter ] democrats have already collected reams of damning evidence, and witness testimony and private depositions. that evidence has been so compelling, even some conservatives have called for trump's impeachment like george conway, the husband of white house counselor kellyanne conway conway made a rare tv appearance on msnbc today where he was asked specifically how he talks about his criticisms with trump with fellow republicans. >> this is about the country people doing the right thing by the country and not by their party. and this is about telling the truth about what really happened, and not about party loyalty. >> are you disappointed that republicans don't seem to see it that way >> i'm horrified i'm appalled >> if you're alone with a republican, you've spent your career in republican legal
causes, what is the case to the republicans you've known your whole professional life? >> well, the case is, take that republican hat off and look at it neutrally >> seth: it is so weird to watch them dance around the fact that he's married to kellyanne conway [ laughter ] so what do you say if you're alone with a republican, say, in a kitchen, or in a car on the way to dinner. [ laughter ] what do you tell the republicans you've known your whole life say republicans you've exchanged vows with. just one more. you're married to kellyanne conway, what is going on here? [ laughter ] [ applause ] now, once again -- once the hearing began, democratic chairman adam schiff laid out all the evidence democrats have collected. all of which is also publicly known, and there was one crucial point he made that is worth remembering. >> the questions presented by this impeachment inquiry are whether president trump sought to exploit that ally's vulnerability. and invite ukraine's interference in our elections. the facts in the present inquiry are not seriously contested.
>> seth: that's true republicans haven't actually contested any of the facts, in fact they've basically admitted to all of it we have the transcript where trump mentioned the biden's by name, and told the ukrainian president, "i would like you to do us a favor. trump and his chief of staff have confessed on tv and rudy giuliani has done multiple interviews where he actually showed off his communications with trump officials on his phone, and his ipad on national television. [ laughter ] you know you're a bad criminal when you keep the evidence against you on multiple devices. [ laughter ] i'd love to see the storage chart on his phone [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause rudy -- rudy's like a bank robber who says, "look at my fitbit i took 1,000 steps from my house to the bank, and then to my getaway car. [ laughter ] republicans have not challenged any of the central facts of the case, so instead, they just resort to lies take republican congressman devin nunes who decided to double down on a bunch of ridiculous conspiracy theories for example, during his opening statement, he made a truly
insane claim that had nothing to do with the actual ukraine scandal. >> we're asked to simply forget about democrats on this committee, falsely claiming they had more than circumstantial evidence of collusion between president trump and russians we should also forget about them trying to obtain nude pictures of trump from russian pranksters [ light laughter ] >> seth: hey man, i guarantee you, no one wants nude pics of donald trump [ laughter ] i'm not crazy about clothed pics of donald trump. also, i have to believe that if there were nude pics of donald trump, the first person to show them to us would be donald trump he'd probably hold a press conference at the white house with a giant posterboard "as you can see here, this was a selfie i took on the toilet. [ laughter ] >> nunes also picked up on a theme right-wing pundits have been pushing for weeks that the impeachment hearings are just a show concocted by democrats for tv as a sequel to the russian investigation. >> what we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance, staged by the democrats. it seems you agreed, witting or
unwittingly, to participate in a drama. but the main performance, the russia hoax has ended, and you've been cast in the low rent ukrainian sequel >> seth: impeachment isn't the low rent ukrainian sequel, these guys are the low rent ukrainian sequel [ laughter ] remember them, lev and igor? these are the real names of rudy's henchmen who were arrested in part for their role in this scandal. at least the russia investigation had guys who look like bond villains and mafia dons [ light laughter ] these guys look like they should be ivan drago's cornermen in "rocky iv. [ laughter ] they look like balloons in the annual macy's day perp walk. [ laughter ] now compare the republicans to the credibility of the two witnesses, state department official george kent and ambassador bill taylor, both witnesses directly tied trump's lawyer rudy giuliani to the ukraine scheme with kent using the especially interesting phrase dover the course of 2018 and 2019, i became increasingly aware of an effort by rudy giuliani and others, including his associates
lev parnas and igor fruman, to run a campaign to smear ambassador yovanovitch and other officials at the u.s. embassy in kiev in mid-august, it became clear to me that giuliani's efforts to gin up politically-motivated investigations were now infecting u.s. engagement with ukraine. >> seth: that's right, rudy was infecting ukraine policy, and that's the right word to use, because he looks like the human version of the mucinex man [ laughter ] but taylor -- taylor in particular is a key witness because he created a written record of what was happening at the time by writing down his concerns in text messages. and he relayed those concerns again in his testimony >> i and others sat in astonishment, ukrainians were fighting russians. and counted on not only the training and weapons, but also the assurance of u.s. support. the explanation made no sense. ukrainians did not owe president trump anything and holding up security assistance for domestic political gain was crazy >> seth: yes, it was crazy which is exactly why i believe trump did it
any time trump has a choice between doing the sane thing and the crazy thing, he picks the crazy thing. that's true even when he stands. [ laughter ] he has the choice between standing like a normal person or standing like a rooster defending his nest and - [ laughter ] he always chooses rooster. but taylor also revealed some damning new information, information he just received recently taylor told the committee that over the summer, during a trip to ukraine, a member of his staff overheard a phone call trump had with his handpicked ambassador to the e.u. gordon sondland. in that call, trump asked sondland directly about the investigations he wanted ukraine to conduct of the bidens >> last friday, a member of my staff told me of events that occurred on july 26th. this member of my staff accompanied ambassador sondland. ambassador sondland called president trump, and told him of his meetings in kiev the member of my staff could hear president trump on the phone asking ambassador sondland about the investigations following the call with president trump, the member of my staff asked ambassador
sondland what president trump thought about ukraine. mr. sondland responded that president trump cares more about the investigations of biden which giuliani was pressing for. >> seth: once again, these guys are the worst criminals in history. think about that trump talked to a henchman on a phone call about his plan to extort a foreign country, and he was so loud, people could overhear him [ cheers and applause a good criminal would call and say, "are you alone? trump would say, "are you alone? if not, go find some people to stand next to. put me on speaker phone, this is a doozy. [ laughter ] but this is a major bombshell, yet another piece of evidence that directly ties trump himself to this scheme we have the transcript, witnesses, text messages, and now we have a damning new phone call if we had this much evidence during the o.j. trial. even johnnie cochran would've been like, you know what, the glove does fit, my client is full of [ bleep ]. [ laughter ] [ applause ] this was yet another new piece of evidence confirming that trump had committed impeachable offenses in fact, george conway summed it all up with his very straightforward statement about just how damning the facts have been for trump
>> it's the ultimate impeachable offense. you can't -- you can't -- if you were going to make up a set of facts that were as bad as you could get, this would be it. >> seth: i agree, and just a thought here, but maybe you could write that down on a post it, and leave it on your fridge. [ laughter ] what this hearing made clear once again is republicans have no defense they have nothing. for example, republicans also hire their own outside lawyer to question the witnesses that lawyer tried to ask taylor about sondland's involvement in the scheme again, as you'll recall, sondland was trump's hand-picked ambassador to the e.u., not ukraine. so it's suspicious he was involved in any of this at all the gop lawyer tried to get taylor to say that it wasn't suspicious, but his line of questioning fell flat. >> i want to turn to the discussion of the irregular channel you describe in fairness, this irregular channel of diplomacy, it's not as outlandish as it could be, is
that correct >> it's not as outlandish as it could be >> seth: that's their best argument [ laughter ] it's not as outlandish as it could be trump should just run all the way with that, and start holding his rallies in front of a giant banner that says, "not as guilty as i could be. [ laughter ] but the gop lawyer kept going on with this bizarre line of questioning about sondland's role in the scheme and eventually, taylor just gave up >> his involvement here while, you know, not necessarily part of his official duties as the ambassador to the e.u., it certainly is not outlandish for him to be interested and engaged pursuant to the president or secretary pompeo's direction, correct? >> it's a little unusual for the u.s. ambassador to the e.u. to play a role in ukraine policy. >> okay. and you know, it might be irregular, but it's certainly not outlandish - [ laughter ]
and then secretary perry - >> seth: i mean, that was -- [ applause ] -- that was the entire series of expressions you make when a guy comes up to you on the subway and asks if you'd like to touch his pet lizard [ laughter ] although probably the best moment in the hearing today came when republican congressman jim jordan kept obsessing over the whistle blower >> now there is one witness, one witness that they won't bring in front of us, they won't bring in front of the american people that's the guy who started it all. the whistle blower >> i'd say to my colleague, i'd be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify. president trump is welcome to take a seat right there. [ laughter ] >> seth: i would love to see trump testify, can you imagine that after five minutes, rudy would probably be running into the room screaming, "boss, i got all the evidence right here. it's in my notes app." [ laughter ] [ applause ] by the way, while all this was
happening, trump was at the white house meeting with the president of turkey. now trump retweeted multiple clips from the hearing throughout the day and yet, he insisted he wasn't watching the hearing because he didn't have time >> no, i didn't. i did not watch it i'm too busy to watch it, it's a witch hunt, it's a hoax. i'm too busy to watch it >> seth: no you weren't. [ laughter ] there's no way you were too busy to watch trump watches tv all the time. i'm shocked there wasn't a tv next to him while he was answering that question. [ laughter ] "i'm too busy to watch, hold on. oh no, they know about the phone call oh, [ bleep ]. [ laughter ] today was both historic and deeply revealing it's almost inevitable that trump will be the third president in history to be impeached. republicans made clear that they have no defense. their best argument is that it might be outlandish, but it's -- >> not as outlandish as it could be [ laughter ] >> seth: this has been "a closer look." [ cheers and applause we'll be right back with sebastian maniscalco, everybody. [ cheers and applause ♪
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[ cheers and applause ♪ >> seth: welcome back. everybody give it up for the 8g band right over there joining us again tonight, he's the drummer for lady gaga and camila cabello who has also played with music icons, like snoop, rihanna, and stevie wonder. be sure to look for his upcoming instructional book "pop, r&b, and gospel drumming.
chris johnson is here, everybody. thanks for being here chris. [ cheers and applause >> thank you man >> seth: my first guest tonight is a comedian and actor, who is currently on his "you bother me" tour you can also see him in martin scorcese's "the irishman," which is in theaters now, and begins streaming on netflix november 27th. let's take a look. >> hey what are you doing with that >> you really believe in that [ bleep ] league >> come on, it's not that. it's - it's a tag >> joey, joe >> what did i say? >> no, no, no. >> what i say? >> joey, joey, joey, joey. listen, you can't say that stuff like that here okay, you can't -- >> why not think rickles is the only one who can makes jokes? >> i mean, he's a boss >> tony, i'm a boss. he's the boss. we're all supposed to be brothers, right? >> i know you're a boss. i know, but we don't want to have a beef now. okay >> we're brothers, right >> that's right. you guys are brothers. >> we're brothers? >> you're brothers >> we're brothers. >> seth: please welcome back to the show sebastian maniscalco, everyone
[ cheers and applause ♪ >> seth: welcome back. >> seth: welcome back. >> thank you for having me back. >> seth: this is - i mean this is very exciting people have already said this film is fantastic, and we really saw what you were stepping into there in that clip because there you are with pesci there you are with de niro it's martin scorsese directing how did that feel? >> so -- petrified >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> i was, you know, i don't do a lot of acting. so when i got on set, people were like, "oh, you making jokes since you were the comedian? i go, "no, i didn't speak unless spoken to. [ laughter ] >> seth: right >> so, yeah. it was a scary experience, but every time scorsese would yell cut, pesci, de niro, and scorsese would get in a small huddle and start talking so, i'm sitting there. i'm like, should i be in that huddle [ laughter ] or are they talking about me
>> seth: right, right, right >> what's he doing so, it was a great experience, and i had a great time doing that >> seth: you play a very -- it seems like, you know, just from the clip i'm judging here, a lot less humor than we are used to you on stage you're playing a guy named joe gallo, who is a real guy >> yeah. >> seth: this is a hit man this is a bad guy. did you know anything about him going into it? >> yeah, looking at the performance, oscar worthy. >> seth: yeah, yeah, yeah. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause >> bullying. that's sarcasm [ laughter ] yeah, he's a stone cold killer he was a very cocky guy. he kind of operated outside mob rules, and yeah, a serious role. i thought it was a good challenge for me to get outside my comfort zone of doing stand-up >> seth: yeah. >> and take on something like this, and i was proud of it. >> seth: yeah, and you know, it's amazing you think of the size room you play with standups some of the biggest rooms you can imagine, and i think to a
lot of people that seems to be the most terrifying thing, but it must actually, you know, if that's your experience, to be in a small group of people filming a movie where it's about, you know, being really precise, that must be terrifying but one thing that must have made it easier was, you know, martin scorsese did cast you so, here's this guy with this great eye for talent what was the first meeting with him like >> so they tell me, obviously i'm wearing a wig. >> seth: yeah. >> in the -- >> seth: in the film, yeah [ laughter ] >> in the film side burns, the whole thing. >> seth: but, it looks like you're hair, which is part of the oscar winning performance. [ laughter ] >> absolutely. so, they're like, "listen, scorsese wants to take a look at you, and your wig. we're just going to bring you on set. he's going to say, yes or no." i said, "okay. so, i'm just hanging out, but i got brought into an office and there's scorsese, and he shuts the door, and he's like, "i'm sorry -- sorry i kept you waiting. i go, "kept me -- i would have waited for three weeks to talk to you." [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> so i walk in, and he starts talking about old movies, and this guy's really knowledgeable about movies, foreign film i don't know nothing
[ laughter ] so, i'm trying to figure out in my head -- you know when somebody's talking to you, but in your head you're like, "how do i get out of this, and maybe get it?" [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah, yeah, yeah. >> you know? i wasn't even listening what he was saying i'm like, "how do i jump off this and get into something that we have something in common with." so, i started talking about kids he's got kids. we're in there for about a half an hour. i walked out, and the wig people are like, "what did he say about the wig? [ laughter ] i go, "nothing we were talking about movies and kids i think he thought it was my hair." >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> so, it was a great first meeting. >> seth: you passed the wig test >> i passed the wig test >> seth: there you go. >> so, it was really, really great, and then the first day we're doing that scene that you saw, which was actually the gotham comedy club >> seth: oh right, all right >> which, they converted into the copa so, it's the gotham comedy club is the first comedy club i've ever performed at in new york city. >> seth: oh, what a trip >> and now i'm doing a movie in there.
so, it was -- it was great i still can't believe when i watched it, i'm like, i can't believe i was in that movie. >> seth: it's fantastic. i'm really -- it's quite an accomplishment you've mentioned kids, you got two little ones now. >> yeah. >> seth: older one is doing, what is it nursery school preschool? >> preschool >> seth: how's that? >> yeah, i mean, you can relate to this. >> seth: oh yeah we have similar agents, yeah [ light laughter ] >> so, i'm doing drop off's. >> seth: yeah, sure. same here. >> and i was never dropped off as a kid i was basically -- my parents told me, "just walk down the sidewalk, and once you see kids that are your height, start playing with them. >> seth: yeah, yeah, yeah. [ laughter ] >> so, nobody ever took me to school >> seth: right >> so -- and the school has changed now i've noticed they want you to participate >> seth: uh-huh. >> like, i drop my daughter off, and i started to leave they're like, "where are you going? i go, "i got to go to work." >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> "oh, yeah, yeah just stay here and participate." i go, "did i join preschool? [ laughter ] so, you know, it's an adjustment, and you know, there's a lot of activities.
>> seth: are you making friends with other parents >> listen, i'm not a - [ laughter ] you seem like the guy who's friendly, and it's not that i'm not friendly, i mean, are you? >> seth: yeah, i'm pretty friendly yeah, yeah, yeah [ laughter ] >> no, i mean, i -- there's a lot of activities around school. >> seth: yeah. >> like, the dads get together for like a night, and even when i was going to school, i was never social >> seth: right, right. [ light laughter ] >> and now i find out in my adult years that i am the same way. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] your tour is called "you bother me." >> yeah. >> seth: what are some of the things that are bothering you now? >> well, i think i got a disease called misophonia. it's a disorder. >> seth: okay. >> and what it is, is you hone in on things, and you cannot - like for example, on the way out here from l.a., i was on the plane, and somebody opened up a potato chip bag. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> i got a rash. [ laughter ]
>> seth: oh no >> on my neck just listening to the person eat the potato chips. >> seth: yeah. >> so, anything that somebody's doing, like for example, if somebody's listening to ear buds, and the music, you could just barely hear it, for me it sounds, like i'm at a rock concert. [ laughter ] >> seth: okay, gotcha. >> so, those little annoyances in life are really setting me off. >> seth: it seems like every flight for you must just be, like a six hour nightmare. >> yeah, i'm up and down the aisle pacing [ laughter ] so, great. >> seth: you talk about the difference between your family and your wife's family obviously, you come from an italian family, and your wife is not. >> yeah, my wife comes from a jewish family, upper class family, a lot of golf. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] golf, a big part of your upbringing >> no, i didn't know what golf was until four years ago [ laughter ] >> seth: gotcha, gotcha. >> you know, a lot of country club thing you know, like i'll go there, and people will mistake me for the help
[ laughter ] >> seth: okay. >> you know, they'll throw me the keys, "you want to park that?" [ laughter ] so, yeah i'm the only one that has, like kind of dark hair. >> seth: gotcha, gotcha. >> dark skin on the golf course. >> seth: well, i really think this "irishman" thing is going to turn that around for you next time you go to the country club. [ laughter ] hey man, congrats again. >> thank you >> seth: thanks so much for being here it's always great to see you sebastian. sebastian maniscalco, everybody. "the irishman" is in theaters now, and on netflix november 27th. for tour dates go to sebastianlive.com we'll be right back with more "late night." [ cheers and applause ♪ (burke) at farmers insurance, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. (bert) even a "not-so-handy monster." (johnson) what is going on in here! i can't hear myself think! (grover) what does it look like, sir? i am here to help you with your water heater. (johnson) oh! [sighs defeatedly] (grover) do not worry sir. i also fix cars! [johnson groans] (bert) grover is a monster of many talents! (burke) and we covered it. at farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.
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asking, are any of them actually worth the money? well, we here at "late night" have figured out the only way to answer that question and it's comparing every streaming service to the thrill of learning to pop a wheelie on a bike when you're 12 years-old. [ laughter ] let's start with apple tv+ this starts at $4.99 a month debuts with nine original shows. meanwhile, the thrill of popping a wheelie on your mongoose bike when you're 12 is totally free, and you earn the respect of everyone in the fifth grade for eternity [ laughter ] winner [ ding ] the thrill of popping a wheelie. [ laughter ] [ clapping ] next up, disney+ this boasts approximately, 7,000 television episodes and 500 films, including titles from the disney brand name, as well as marvel, pixar and star wars meanwhile, the thrill of popping a wheelie when you're 12 is timeless, eternal and utterly unbeatable plus, you made a bet with noah sinchuck, who said you couldn't do it, and when you did, you got to drink his powerade it was mountain berry blast. [ laughter ] so, which one wins this head to head
[ ding ] it's the thrill of popping a wheelie. [ cheers and applause moving on, we have hbo max this is $14.99 a month, access to over 10,000 hours of hbo content including every episode of "friends. hbo max's vast library might be narrowly better than the thrill of popping a wheelie on a bike, but how does it compare to chucking a basketball totally at random from across the gym [ laughter ] making that basket unfortunately, even with shows like "the sopranos" and "sex and the city," hbo max's massive catalog can't compare to the surprise, and combination of skill and blind luck that goes into making a basket like that [ light laughter ] plus, when you think about how everyone p.e. class lost their [ bleep ] when the ball swished in [ laughter ] yeah, there's really no way a streaming service could compare. i mean, people were still talking about it during lunch. [ laughter ] until brandon neimen puked in the cafeteria, and then of course, that's all anybody talked about for the rest of the school year. so gross man, brandon's older sister was so hot, though [ laughter ]
[ laughter ] anyway, the winner of this matchup -- [ ding ] is clearly chucking a basketball, totally at random from across the gym and making the basket [ cheers and applause last but not least, we have amazon prime amazon prime video offers over 18,000 movies and nearly 2,000 tv shows for the cost, the low cost of $8.99 a month. experts say, "this is the best deal out there," but how does it stack up next to that time that one kid in the mr. t sweatshirt did a flying kick in the parking lot. [ laughter ] dented a teacher's car and everyone was like, "wait, who is that guy?" [ laughter ] and someone else said, "i think that's matt linder's cousin," but then, matt was like, "i have never seen that kid before." [ laughter ] and then, before we could ask the kid who he was, he disappeared. [ light laughter ] one think i know is he must have taken karate classes, cause that kick was bonkers [ laughter ] and then you ask your parents if you can take karate classes. and they said, "no." and, sure, now -- now you know how to play the flute pretty well, but you still can't do a flying kick that could dent a car. [ laughter ] so, how does amazon prime compare to that. [ ding ] sorry bezos, seeing that kid do a flying kick and dent the car, wins this round.
[ cheers and applause that's been streaming services we'll be right back with more "late night. [ cheers and applause ♪ i got you something. ♪ ooooh ♪ even though we just started dating ♪ ♪ i find you so captivating ♪ and i'm done with hesitating let's see where this goes? save on a gift that says it all with 20% off during the jared semi-annual sale. ♪ only at jared [ "turn around, look at me" ♪ there is someone ♪ walking behind you ♪ turn around ♪ look at me ♪ there is someone
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♪ [ cheers and applause >> seth: our next guest is a grammy nominated singer, songwriter and indie rock legend whose debut album, "exile in guyville," is one of "rolling stone's" top albums of all time. her memoir, "horror stories," is available now, along with her new single, "good side." please welcome to the show liz phair, everyone. [ cheers and applause ♪ >> seth: hi, liz >> hi, seth. how are you? >> seth: i'm so happy to have you here you -- i was in chicago in the '90s you were in chicago in the '90s. you were a way bigger deal than
i was. >> and look at how fortunes have changed. >> seth: oh, no. not at all [ light laughter ] they finally have matched. was chicago a very important place for you to be in those years? do you feel like that city had a lot to do with you getting started as a artist? >> yeah, i think i paid my dues there. i think i got my chops there, which is a very chicago thing. i got my chops [ light laughter ] >> seth: yeah, exactly >> yeah. >> seth: it's a chops town >> it's a chops town >> seth: famously known for chops. but i guess it was college, right? you went to school in ohio and that's where music started, i guess, becoming a career for you. >> yes, oberlin college had a conservatory of music associated with it. it was part of the college itself so, those of us in liberal arts would, like, play music every weekend all the time people just got up on stage at every party and played music, whether they were good or not. you know [ light laughter ] >> seth: yeah, so at what point as you're doing that - cause obviously you have something to compare yourself against. was that the first time you thought to yourself, "oh, i might be good, cause i'm a little bit better than maybe some of these other people at this party"?
>> no, i - what it was -- [ laughter ] sorry. what it was, was the man-splaining from all of my boyfriends - >> seth: oh yeah >> -- about what good music was. >> seth: oh, that's so great yeah >> that was the era of the mixtape. >> seth: yeah. >> and i thought, you know, like, i love the mixtape >> it was the era of the mixtape. sure >> it was the era. that's how you expressed yourself >> seth: yes >> you gave someone a mixed tape but, you know, after hearing that my taste in music was terrible, and i didn't know, like, green river turned into whatever band. you know, they had this whole -- >> seth: yeah. >> -- it was, it was - so, i kind of felt like, yeah. i do know what good music is, and i will show you. >> seth: oh and that was - [ cheers and applause and it was really -- and it was also a very -- i mean, i guess now music is also very diy, because of the internet has sort of made it that way but you were very diy in the beginning as well. you were just sort of recording on to -- on to tapes, and just getting them out there to people >> yeah. >> seth: is that just crazy to think back at like how so much you were doing it by yourself? >> what's crazy about that is what happened. my record -- my first record came out before i'd ever performed on stage ever. >> seth: that's so crazy
>> so there was a terrible catch-up period where i think ira glass once told me that he came to a show of mine early on. and he said it was like watching those skating routines where people fall and they get back up and he was like, "i just can't look." >> seth: oh wow. >> "i can't watch. >> seth: because i guess you were doing it -- >> because if you do it at home in a bedroom with a guitar, and then suddenly you're on stage in front of an audience, and it's an entirely different thing. >> seth: you -- writing a memoir, i would assume, is hard for a lot of people, because its so personal. but then i was thinking about it like your music has always been personal so this probably -- was this a huge leap for you? or was this a natural transition >> it was scary. it was a lot to put out there. the memoir is very revealing in certain ways in certain -- i expose a lot of my personal life on the page and i was challenged by a couple people to kind of -- in my life, to do something like what i did when i first started making music, to be as honest and be as vulnerable as that >> seth: i don't know if rush is the right word, but did it feel the same way putting those personal stories down? >> my mom called me and said -
i've counted on my parents not ever listening to my music >> seth: yeah, yeah, yeah. >> cause they're like -- and that's been this wonderful unspoken thing that we've done over the years >> seth: and you don't feel like they've ever engaged with it >> not really. >> seth: okay. >> nor does to my son, exactly so i live in this kind of illusion that they're not really going to see it. >> seth: yeah. >> and then mom called up. and she's like, "i was in the grocery store, and robert from the bookstall came running in. "mrs. phair, mrs. phair. have you read her book?" and she said, "why no, elizabeth has not given us the book yet. he said, 'here's my copy.' >> seth: oh, my. [ laughter ] >> and i was like -- [ laughter ] >> seth: so you wrote a book not thinking to the next step that people like your mom would read it >> now you understand my entire life >> seth: yes, now i understand you're very much in the moment >> yes >> seth: you're not one step ahead. >> yes, exactly. >> seth: but this is -- this is cool you're already going to write a second memoir, which is, i guess, different in tone a little bit >> yes >> seth: because this is horror stories. and what's the idea of the second book? >> well, when i went to random
house with this book, it was a two part memoir. the first part is "horror stories," and the second part is "fairytales. "horror stories" being slightly tongue and cheek, because a lot of the moments are horrifying, but they're smaller than you would expect >> seth: yes >> and then "fairytales" is about the big lies you tell yourself, or the big glamorous rock 'n' roll events that actually are somewhat like disturbing or disquieting. >> seth: of course because i think those are the scariest moments >> yeah. >> seth: the thing you've looked forward to your whole life and then it happens, and it doesn't make you feel the way you thought it was going to make you feel >> and there's always -- there's always some -- yeah, there's some weirdness in it and i envision the memoir as sort of a yin yang so "horror stories" is the darker parts of my life with this bright center of like honesty and beauty and then "fairytales" will be all the glamorous stuff with like, you know, that little niggling - >> seth: the darkness. >> yeah. [ light laughter ] like a french perfume, like one note of nausea >> seth: oh, that's great. [ laughter ] you talk about the catalyst of this book being, sort of, the loss of artists like prince and david bowie.
can you talk about how that made you make the decision to write a book like this >> yeah. i was on tour with the smashing pumpkins. i was opening up as a solo artist, a solo act in opera houses and my manager called me the day that prince died and we had other business to discuss. but he said something that really took me back. he said, "you know, liz, none of us knows how much time we have you don't know you could be gone tomorrow you have no idea none of us knows." and i'm like, "i feel pretty good." >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> i feel -- you know, and it was kind of, like, unflattering, cause i could hear him thinking about how to sell my records after -- posthumously >> seth: sure, sure, yeah, yeah. [ light laughter ] >> you know, he's like, "what do we do if one of our artists just, like, dies?" >> seth: yeah. >> but he said, "are you making the work that you would want to leave behind if it was your last?" and i wasn't >> seth: that's a -- that's a very, very cool way of looking at it. i also feel like - >> good managing right >> seth: yeah, yeah, very good managing whereas i feel like every time i talk to my agent, he's like, "you're going to live forever. [ light laughter ] it's interesting that moment you talk about, like, the things you think would be really cool
one is, of course, being recognized and having fans, you know, think as though they know you in a way that they can interact with you that's maybe not quite appropriate. you really had, i feel like, the gold standard for this you -- during -- while you were giving birth in a very long labor to your son. >> that's in the chapter labor of love actually >> seth: yeah, and it was that the doctor was a fan of yours? >> well -- the -- okay, here's what happened. i know that you had a non-typical delivery experience? >> seth: yeah, we just dropped it in the lobby. we were in and out [ laughter ] in and out >> i could only dream. >> seth: yeah. >> i was in labor for 32 hours >> seth: see, yeah people are always like, to my wife, "it must have been so terrible." i was like, "it took 30 seconds. it's so much better than the alternative. [ light laughter ] >> and at the very end of this, my parents had wafted in, in their black tie cause they were at a downtown formal and they were like, "oh, it's not -- okay, we'll be back." so i'm just like, ugh. and it gets to the final point where my ob/gyn is not comfortable letting this happen this way anymore
they're going to go in, and they're going to get him out so all of a sudden, this nice sort of, room -- bedroom-y looking thing turns into an entire, like, operating -- what do they call those >> seth: yeah, like a operating suite. or operating room. >> yeah. and everyone's waiting for the anesthesiologist and i really don't want to feel anything else. >> seth: yes, of course. >> so he comes in. and he's like my best friend, but he's literally talking to me about my career. he's like, "you played at the vic, didn't you? i caught that show." [ light laughter ] and he's like, "are you still playing that fender? and i'm like, "dude, i'm giving birth, like, right now." [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> and then he asked for my autograph. and it was -- it was -- it was a lot. >> seth: that was a lot. that was a lot but it all worked out. >> it worked out great >> seth: and it's so wonderful to have you here and you're going to stick around and do a song for us >> yes, yes. >> seth: and this has just been such a delight liz phair, everybody [ cheers and applause "horror stories" is available now wherever books are sold. we'll be right back with a performance from liz phair [ cheers and applause ♪ ♪
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♪ [ cheers and applause >> seth: back to perform her new single, "good side," liz phair, everybody. [ cheers and applause ♪ ♪ there's so many way to mess up a lif i try to be original done plenty more wrong ♪ ♪ than i ever did right still i'm not a criminal if i wanted to make this last even longer ♪ ♪ i'd do what i did only sweeter and stron but that wouldn't stop m true nature from ♪ ♪ showing up eventually when you think back on u i don't want you to feel bad leave you ♪
♪ with my good side gonna leave yo with my good sid gonna leave you ♪ ♪ with my good side so i'm not calling or coming to the party thinking up ways ♪ ♪ to make you want me i like what we had and that's as good as it get if we say goodbye now ♪ ♪ and that's how we par it'll never be sad and we'll finish what we started and we won't have regrets ♪ ♪ gonna leave you with my good sid gonna leave yo with my good side ♪ ♪ gonna leave you with my good side ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ when you think back on us i don't want you to feel bad you'll find in due tim you're gonna miss ♪ ♪ what we had gonna leave you with gonna leave you with gonna leave you ♪ ♪ with my good side gonna leave yo with my good sid you're gonna miss me ♪ ♪ and my blue eye you're gonna leave m with the good side ♪