Alec Baldwin dialed into a Reddit AMA to talk about his podcast, “Here’s the Thing,” and to give fairly detailed answers to an assemblage of weird hypothetical questions. Of course, there were also some nuggets about 30 Rock, the other projects he’s been working on, and his family-slash-home life. No matter the question, though, he answered as many Redditors as he could with a unique blend of sincerity and hilarity. Here are some of the highlights.
If I could put anyone in a dunk tank… probably Mitch McConnell.
I’m really feeling like Mitch needs to go in the dunk tank right now. For a good six months to a year.
It would be to fight the Keystone pipeline, where else?!?
I wouldn’t charge much. Because I want everyone to experience the joy of flinging Mitch McConnell into the dunk tank. That isn’t something to be reserved for the wealthy.
Yeah, I mean, Tracy was a very sweet guy.
He was always watching really WEIRD TV shows on his TV. He’d have DVDS, or these tapes, he’d transfer them to DVD of like - the JACKSON FIVE special. And he’d be listening to the Jackson 5 from like 1970. He just had very weird taste. He was into wild, crazy, alternative programming.
Uh… I’d say Jesus, but you’d have to have an interpreter, so that would kill a second seat at the table. Jesus would speak Aramaic, and that would wipe out one slot. So as much as I’d love to have dinner with Jesus, if he had to bring his interpreter, that would wipe out 2 seats.
Bob Dylan, I find him very unusual and very interesting, would love to talk to him.
Someone from a drug cartel, someone from Carlos Leder or Pablo Escobar, I want them to tell me all about their career, their life’s work.
So Jesus… Bob Dylan, and Pablo Escobar.
I had gluten-free Cheerios. I had my special granola that I had shipped in from the ski lodge in Park City, Utah. It’s one of my only indulgences. I don’t live in a penthouse, I don’t drive a Range Rover, but I have my granola flown in from the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah.
God, I would probably… well, sing, I can’t sing. I wish I could sing. And I would sing some huge lead in a Broadway musical, like GUYS & DOLLS or something. That would be my dream.
My favorite Superhero… I guess I was more of a Batman person, if I had to be honest with you. I’ve never been one who was into comics or superhero writing. I never was much into that. But I did watch the TV show of BATMAN when I was a kid. I also watched BIONIC WOMAN, because Lindsay Wagner was so beautiful.
But that’s not a superhero reason.
John was a very bright and very lovely guy to work with, and he would let us, you know, do anything we wanted to. Once the script was written, we did a lot of variations on the script, and he was never precious about the material. His joke used to be when he was directing, if we did a scene and it didn’t go the way he wanted, he’d go “Who wrote this shit?!” and of course, he’d written it.
He was a really great guy. Really great guy.
Um… I would never want to fight either one of them. But I would certainly rather face Tracy Jordan than Tracy Morgan.
I think if you come on the show, and you demonstrate to them that you want to - you’ve thought about them, you want to be another member of the cast - and get along with everyone and try to do a funny show, they’re very keen on having you come back. Which is what I try to do. I just try to make it like I’m one of them.
My dream guest… well I mean Obama would be one. I want to ask him what it’s like to be the President, and how was it not what he thought it would be, you know? What were his preconceptions of it, and how was it different, because I have a lot of suspicions about that, for all presidents, regardless their background. And you want to confine yourself to people who are alive, because if you include people who are dead - all these movie stars, John Lennon, people you wanna talk to. I would say probably Obama would be one. And the other one would be… Harper Lee, who wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and she has a new book coming out. She’s completely press averse, but probably her, to talk to her.
Well, my average day is pretty ordinary.
I wake up, and I walk my dogs. I do the morning shift with my dogs. We have a dog walker in the afternoon, but in the morning, I’m out there in the snow, the rain, the freezing cold, I gotta walk my dogs.
Then I feed my dogs. I walk and feed the dogs. My wife takes care of my kid while I walk and feed the dogs.
Then the rest of the day is trying to remind people why they would come see me in some project. You are always trying to fan the flames of your career. It’s very competitive out there. Like I’m going to do a TV show for HBO, or I’m gonna try, we sold a pilot to them, and to compete in the TV market, where there’s such a fracturing of the market, with netflix and cable and streaming - getting an audience to watch your show is really tough.
I do a lot of writing for the show.
Developing the TV show, prepping for the podcast, reading scripts for things I might do but I don’t do that many films any more because I want to stay home with my family. I really don’t want to leave my wife and my kid. Like if I get offered a film, and I can’t bring along my wife and kid, then I probably won’t do the film.
And when I come home, my wife and I have dinner and we go to bed very early. My daughter gets us up VERY early - kicking us in the face, saying If I’m up, you’re up! She wants her cereal, she wants her pancakes, and she speaks spanish by the way - she wants her huevos, she wants her leche, she is the boss. So my wife and I, we go to bed very early - like at 10, I go to bed at 11. Early to bed, early to rise on the farm!
Well, I think… they could never end up together you know? That’s the way those shows were made. They’re smart enough to know that it would be a bad idea. So they avoid it. They like each other, and it works perfectly, so long as you keep that aspect out of it. A lot of television shows are built around that, where you have people wondering and guessing when they’re going to get together that way. And I’m not saying that always ruins everything, but it ruins it enough of the time to give you pause.
So the idea was I was going to do a radio show. It was a completely different style of show, it was going to have more comedy to it. And we were going to do a Howard Stern type bullpen of people talking about news, and social topics, and hopefully some funny material. And then that died an ugly death. That show did not survive. We had an idea for some funny stuff on that show. And then someone came to me and said “Would you like to do a straight up interview show?” Like what I’m doing now. And I guess the person who influenced me the most was Cavett, Dick Cavett, because he took his time, he wasn’t really in a rush, there wasn’t a lot of his show that was canned, he was always spontaneous. And Cavett is someone - although my show’s a radio show, and it’s very different, I don’t have a band, or audience - but Cavett’s way of talking to people, where he let it breathe, was what influenced me the most I think.
Elaine is - was - a really amazingly talented woman. And everybody knows, she was this blazingly talented woman. And she was also a really crotchety, and really difficult person to deal with. And she knew that. That was her persona. She built her career around that persona. That she was really really tough to work with. She could really wear you out. And I got along with her because I gave it right back to her. She liked people who would fight back.
And as we wind down here- I want to pose MYSELF a question.
The question is: So what new things are you working on, Alec?
And I did the movie MISSION IMPOSSIBLE:5 with Tom Cruise that’s coming out soon… And I did this movie, CONCUSSION, with Will Smith, about the NFL concussion policy, and then, if you go on Twitter @Vessel, that’s a streaming service like YouTube, that streams short comedy content. And I have a new show with them that I’m doing called “Alec Baldwin’s Love Ride” and I get in the back of a car and give people relationship advice.
It’s going very well. We just filmed some episodes in Pittsburgh.
And then, on the podcast, we have Edie Falco coming up, we have David Blaine coming up, a lot of good shows coming up.
We’ve got the podcast, these crazy webisodes on @Vessel, these movies, I’m mixing it up!