Calvin Trillin

  • Aired:  11/29/12
  •  | Views: 46,256

Calvin Trillin discusses the small joke trade, the perks of old age, and his muse -- the colorful 2012 Republican primary field. (6:59)

JDZ WELCOME BACK, MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A STAFF WRITING AT THE NEW WORKER.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED DOGFIGHT.

2012 PRESIDENTATE CAMPAIGN IN VERSE PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM CALVIN TRILLIN, SIR.

MR. TRILLIN ALWAYS A DELIGHT TO SEE YOU, MY FRIEND.

>> THANK YOU, YOU'RE LOOKING WELL.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS BOOK.

>> GO AHEAD, SAY AS MUCH AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY SAY.

>> I HAVE MANY AUTHORS ON THE PROGRAM, MANY ESTEEMED PULITZER PRIZE WINNER,

PEOPLE OF GREAT RENOWN.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: THEIR BOOKS ARE THICK.

VERY HEAVY.

AND THEY CAUSE ME GREAT TROUBLE DURING THE DAY GETTING THROUGH THEM.

YOURS, SIR, IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

>> THAT'S THE NICEST COMPLIMENT I'VE HAD SINCE I DID A BOOK OF COLUMNS AND A

FRIEND OF MINE IN FLORIDA SAID THEY WERE JUST THE RIGHT LENGTH TO WAIT OUT ONE OF THOSE DRAWBRIDGES.

SO I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT.

EVERY AUTHOR LOOKS FOR THAT SORT OF COMPLIMENT.

>> Jon: ABSOLUTELY, HERE IS WHAT ELSE IT DOES.

IT BOLDLY PREDICTS AN ELECTION, LOOK, CAN WE GET A SHOT OF THE COVER.

OKAY, OBAMA IS SMILING, ROMNEY IS NOT SMILING.

BIDEN IS INCREDIBLY SMILING, PAUL RYAN HAS JUST BEEN NEUTERED.

SO LET ME ASK YOU THIS: (APPLAUSE) WAS THERE ALTERNATE ARTWORK FOR THIS IF THE ELECTION HAD

GONE THE OTHER WAY?

>> ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I AM AN OLDER NATE SILVER.

>> Jon: DON'T, YOU BARELY, I THOUGHT, YOU COULD BE BROTHERS.

I'VE JUST CROSSED THE AARP THRESHOLD.

>> YOU WILL GET MORE MAIL THAN I USED TO GET.

>> Jon: I DO.

I GOT THE CARD BUT IT DOESN'T SAY THAT I GET-- I DONE THINK I GET OFF AT MOVIES YET OR BUSES.

I THINK IT'S JUST THE CARD.

>> IT IS JUST THE CARD, JON.

>> Jon: WHEN DOES THE OTHER STUFF KICK IN.

>> I WOON KNOW THIS BUT I'VE BEEN TOLD THAT AT 65, AT 65 YOU CAN GET WHAT SUBWAY,

WHAT I CALL A DECEMBERER PASS.

>> Jon: AND YOU GET TO GO.

>> IT'S NOT FREE BUT IT'S HALF PRICE.

AND SO RIGHT NOW COY JUST LEAVE THERE STUDIO, GET ON A TRAIN AND GO TO THE BRONX

FOR ABOUT $1.12.

>> Jon: WELL WORTH IT AT WHAT POINT --

>> IF YOU WANT TO GO TO THE BRONX.

>> Jon: I HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT AT A CERTAIN AGE ARE YOU ALLOWED TO MAKE RACIST

COMMENTS WITH THE AARP CARD AND NOT BE PENALIZED IN ANYWAY.

>> YOU KNOW HIM, HE'S SET IN HIS WAYS.

>> Jon: THAT'S RIGHT, YOU JUST GETS TO SHOW THE CARD.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Jon: TELL ME ABOUT THIS ELECTION.

WAS IT DIFFICULT TO WRITE YOUR VERSE FOR THIS ELECTION?

WAS IT A PROCESS?

WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION --

>> I WAS A LITTLE WORRIED BECAUSE THERE WAS ONLY ONE PRIMARY FIGHT WITH THE REPUBLICANS.

AND THE LAST TIME I DID THIS I HAD TWO.

BUT THE FIELD WAS SO COLOURFUL, AS YOU WELL KNOW.

>> THE REPUBLICAN FIELD.

>> THE REPUBLICAN FIELD.

THERE IS ACTUALLY A POEM IN THERE CALLED THE LAMENTATION OF THE LATE NIGHT COMICS

WHEN I THINK IT WAS WHEN HERRMANN KANE LEFT.

>> I REMEMBER THAT PAIN LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY.

>> HI YOU CRYING AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WEEPING.

THE LAST LINE IS COULD WE HAVE TRUMPED THAT --

>> OH, WE NOT BE THE GREATEST GIFT TO LATE-NIGHT TELEVISION.

A GROWN MAN THAT HAS TO PUT HIS NAME ON EVERYTHING HE OWNS.

>> BUT IF TRUMP HAD BECOME PRESIDENT, WELL, YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS SAY THAT PEOPLE IN

THE SMALL JOKE TRADE THAT WE TREAT THINGS-- YOU ARE.

>> Jon: NO, NO, IT SOUNDS LIKE A MOVIE THAT BARRY LEFFINSON WOULD DIRECT ABOUT

GUYS IN BALTIMORE WHO ARE IN THE SMALL JOKE TRADE.

>> WELL, WHAT I CAN SAY.

I THINK THAT WE THINK OF SOMETHING LIKE THAT WHICH MIGHT NOT BE THAT GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY.

>> Jon: SURE.

>> THE WAY DENTISTS THINK ABOUT TOOTH DECAY.

IT'S A PITTY BUT WHERE WOULD BUSINESS BE WITHOUT IT.

>> Jon: THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.

>> I'VE ALWAYS WONDERED.

DUE KNOW HOW TRIDENT HAD THAT COMMERCIAL WHERE THEY WOULD SAY FOUR OUT OF FIVE DENTISTS RECOMMEND SUGARLESS GUM.

SO 20% OF DENTISTS WOULD BE LIKE SURE, SUGAR, WHY NOT IT DOES SEEM LIKE THEIR GOAL

WAS YEAH, YEAH, THAT WILL BE GOOD.

>> THAT'S THE 20%.

>> Jon: SO YOU SEE US AS KINDRED SPIRITS WHO ARE THE 20% DENTIST CROWD.

>> WE'RE TO GO AHEAD AND HAVE AS MUCH SUGAR AS YOU WANT, CROWD, YEAH.

>> Jon: WAS THERE A PARTICULAR CANDIDATE IN THIS FIELD THAT GAVE YOU THE GREATEST JOY TO WRITE ABOUT?

>> I LIKE PERRY.

>> Jon: SURE, SURE.

>> YOU LIKED PERRY TOO.

>> Jon: OH, SO MUCH.

>> AND IT WAS A GOOD RHYME, YOU KNOW, I AM INTERESTED IN RHYME.

AND HE HAD GREAT HAIR.

>> Jon: YEAH.

>> AND THEN PERRY RHYMED WITH BENEATH THE HAIR THE SPACE WAS AIRY.

>> Jon: NICE.

NOW ROMNEY IT TOUGH -- IF ROMNEY WAS PRESIDENT THERE IS NOT A LOT THAT RHYMES WITH ROMNEY.

>> NO, THERE ISN'T.

AND I WAS THINKING IN THE LAST FEW DAYS HOW LUCKY I WAS THAT WHEN HE WAS BORN AND HIS NAME WILLARD MITT

ROMNEY, THAT HIS PARENTS DIDN'T SAY WELL LET'S JUST CALL HIM WILLARD, WILLARD DOESN'T RHYME WITH ANYTHING.

BUT M ITT IS OKAY.

AND FORTUNATELY A LOT OF THEM HAD THOSE KIND OF NICK NAME, NEWT, THERE IS A LITTLE PROCEEDS IN THE BOOK

THAT IS CALLED THE TITLE IS CALISTA GINGRICH, AWARE THAT HER HUSBAND HAS CHEATED ON

AND THEN LEFT TWO WOMEN WITH SERIOUS ILLNESSES TRIES TO MAKE LIGHT OF A BAD COUGH.

(LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)

>> YOU KNOWS WHAT'S NICE ABOUT THAT?

YOU DONE EVEN NEED TO RHYME FOR THAT, THAT JUST WORKS.

THAT JUST ULTIMATELY WORKS.

>> Jon: I PROMOTE THIS BOOK.

AND I URGE PEOPLE TO PURCHASE IT.

IT IS A GREAT, AND IF I MAY SAY THIS AND AGAIN A GREAT COMPLIMENT, A GREAT STOCK STUFFER.

BECAUSE IT DOES NOT TAKE AM THE ENTIRE STOCKING.

>> IT'S KIND OF A TOE BOOK IN A WAY.

>> Jon: STICK IT IN THE TOE, DOGFIGHT, IT'S HILARIOUS, ON THE BOOK SHELVES NOW, THE

GREAT CALVIN

Loading...