Honestly, I thought I was handling the Trump presidency okay. At least I wasn’t crying every day. I realize that not crying every day isn’t much of a litmus test. But when Trump codified his transgender military ban, I could no longer deny that I was struggling in other subtle and sinister ways: “I have to sleep more than nine hours a day or I cannot function physically,” or “My finances are shot because I don’t have the will to work and provide for a future that may or may not come to fruition.”
Of course, this is what fascists want for someone like me. They want me fatigued, struggling mentally, and hopeless. They don’t want me alive. Logically then, I should fight really, really, hard to thrive. I am trying, when I sit here to write for the first time in almost two months. I am trying, whenever I bring myself to get out of bed before noon, when I cook for myself. I am trying to imagine a fascism-free future. I am trying to imagine a future where evangelical Christians don’t take time out of serving the poor to disparage and damn the marginalized and their allies. I document the moments I laugh the loudest. I try to be honest with myself and with the people I care for.
[Transcript] A conversation between the actor and late-night host—and memories of working together:
David Letterman: We did a sketch on the old ‘Late Night’ show, and it was with one of the writers, Tom Gammill, and it was ‘Dale, the Psychotic Page.’ We had to set up nine holes of a miniature golf course. He would come in with a NBC page blazer, and he would play miniature golf. And with each failing attempt on the hole, he would become more and more psychotic. There’s your comedy, America! This is what you’ve been waiting for. Aren’t you glad we’re here?
Alec Baldwin: Yeah. They’re holding their breath. I love on your show – I haven’t done this in a while, I miss it when – ’cause everything – I guess they can’t do this stuff all the time. Maybe this bit is a victim of global warming, but I get there one time and they want me to ride the snowmobile on the roof of the building years ago. They’re all very droll, and Biff always calls me ‘Alex.’ I love that. You’re on the roof and it’s snowing, and we’re on the roof of your building and it’s snowing, and Biff’s like, ‘Okay, now Alex, you’re gonna ride the snowmobile around the roof a few times, and gonna be men on every corner to catch you to keep you from goin’ over the side. Is that all right? All right, Alex!’ I’m like, ‘Great. Let me go.’ Danger, I love it. Elements.
Letterman: Well, I was thinking about a year ago, I was looking around the Ed Sullivan Theater. What a tremendous stroke of luck that was! I used to love working in the studio, and I remember one day running into Lorne Michaels, and he said to me, ‘How long did it take you to get used to doing a TV show in a theater?’ And I knew exactly what he was saying because to him, TV comes out of a studio, and I always felt that way myself. But I’ve really grown fond of the theater at CBS, the Ed Sullivan Theater, for reasons like that and many more. It’s comfortable; it’s fun; it smells of decades and decades and decades of show business. There’s tunnels, and alleys, and rats, but it’s fantastic. I mean it’s just so versatile and so great. And also the way Hal set it up in the beginning, it’s fairly intimate. You can have a pretty reasonable conversation there in this 500-seat room, and so I think it works fine as a TV studio now.
“Here’s the Thing: Alec Baldwin Interviews David Letterman.” — WNYC
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