James Lipton

James discusses the records 'IAS' is breaking and examines the amazing bond between Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

on Feb 8, 2012

In my last blog I predicted that we were about to make history. Maybe not world-shaking history, but certainly history for Inside the Actors Studio, and perhaps for television.

And so it is coming to pass. . .

On January 9, on our Actors Studio Drama School stage at Pace University, we shot until 11 p.m. with George Clooney. Working at what was then record speed, we edited a two-hour episode and aired it January 31-- at precisely the moment when Brad Pitt was walking onto that same stage to shoot his episode of Inside the Actors Studio. Each of them sharing his life and life's work with our students for the first time, and each of them hitting the ball (to borrow a term from Brad's film Moneyball) out of the park. Ten days after Brad's live appearance, on February 10, shattering all our previous records, we will have edited his episode and he'll be on the air, matching George revelation for revelation, hilarity for hilarity, and perception for perception.

Each of the two evenings set several records -- for live audience, with lines snaking around the campus in the hope of gaining admission; for the guest's rapport with the students (each left at midnight when I finally had to tell them and the students, who would gladly have stayed with them all night, that early morning classes were looming); and for graciousness, charm, and warmth, in which they ended in a dead heat.