The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I thought there could be no talk show host better than Charlie Rose until I saw Jesus Quintero on Spanish TV. He does all the things Charlie Rose does:
Makes a virtue out of not having a question ready by turning his panicked pause into a meditative pause, out of which comes an utterly pointless, grammarless question.

Eg. Does fame change a writer?

His one frill is that there are no frills. One interviewer. One interviewee. Pure conversation.

Laughs desperately at what the guest says when he's worried that there's not enough camraderie between them.

But he also does things Charlie Rose hasn't even thought to do:
Has music playing over the interview. Imagine Charlie Rose interviewing Seamus Heaney to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries.

Has non-celebrity guests. So he gets to ask The Last Hippy in Ibiza, "What do you think when you see Zapatero's smile." The hippy: "Zapatero? Hum .... er...." Quintero: "He's the president." The hippy: "I don't like politicians."

Gives long abstract meditations on the universe in between guests, delivered in extreme close up. A typical opening would be "Contra... la guerra: ... Paz... "
He's pure genius. If he spoke English, Charlie Rose's salary would be reduced to whatever the passersby on Fifth Avenue felt kind enough to drop in his McDonalds cup.