Howard took Piers Morgan's seat on America's Got Talent and today Piers Morgan took a seat in the studio to promote his new book, "Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God and George Clooney," in which he talks about the stories behind the interviews he's conducted on his CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight.
Bill O'Reilly's a Dick
But before we get to the Pier's favorite interviews let's review a face to face encounter that isn't one of his favorite's - Bill O'Reilly.
Calling him a dick, Piers went on to explain how he politely asked Bill O'Reilly to do his then brand new CNN show when he ran into him at a Knicks game. As Piers explains it, Bill was very rude and barely acknowledged him.
Then literally minutes later Bill came over to where Piers was sitting and asked for an autograph for his daughter. Howard couldn't believe it! He wondered if Bill was just disrespectful to Piers because of the CNN/FOX News feud.
"No," Piers answers, "I think he's a dick".
Piers Morgan Interview Hit List:
Oprah Winfrey – Piers' first interview was arranged though his great friend – and her even greater friend – Gayle King.
Midway through the interview, Oprah turned to Gayle and asked her to remind her why exactly she was doing this interview? Gayle had told Oprah that Piers was a good interviewer, but she admitted to the Queen that she'd never actually seen him interview anyone. Oprah continued on and her interview was the first episode of Piers Morgan Tonight.
Bill Clinton – Probably Piers' third most famous interviewee (behind Oprah and Howard) is Bill Clinton. U2's Bono had just done an impression of Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative. Piers thought to ask the former President if he happened to do a Bono impression, tell him that if he did, he should come prepared.
On the night of their interview, Piers played the Bono clip and President Clinton reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of sunglasses. The impression wasn't great, but the audience loved it nonetheless.
Charlie Sheen – In the middle of Charlie's 2011 meltdown, Piers called him up and asked him to come on the show that night, live and speak his mind. Charlie promised to be there – he even swore on the life of his kids.
Piers had no backup plan and was understandably nervous when Sheen hadn't shown up and they had five minutes to air. Charlie showed up and the interview went on. When Piers asked him about his sobriety, he produced his latest drug test as proof that he was clean. After the interview, he signed the test for Piers with "To Piers, let's get hammered. Love, Charlie."
The President of Tunisia – He insisted on doing the interview in French, with a translator. Piers asked him one question: "How's it going, Prime Minister?" and he went on and on and on for fifteen minutes with is French answer. Thankfully, it was a pre-taped interview and it was able to be cut way, way down.
Robert De Niro – Deniro is a notoriously impossible interview. Howard said that he always felt he could crack DeNiro and get him to open up; Piers said he said the same thing before he interviewed him. The interview was almost monosyllabic.
After it was over, Piers thanked DeNiro and said he enjoyed it. DeNiro responded "You did?" And Piers said "No."
Alex Jones – Gun nut and radio host Alex Jones famously went at it with Piers. Piers felt that Jones was upset and suffered from the mentality that the British are coming to take the country back. Piers pointed out that it's a ridiculous notion with all the weapons in the US, making the point that the US Government and it's 5,000 nuclear weapons do not fear a citizens armed with AR-15's.
Robert Blake – Piers did the first interview with Blake since his release from prison and things did not go well. Robert was so angry when Piers questioned his honesty that he made the interview uncomfortable tense. When he went to take his jacket off, four CNN security guards stepped into the studio in case he did anything rash, which Piers had never seen before.
And the Ones That Got Away...
Woody Allen – When Piers landed in New York to begin his talk show, Barbara Walters threw him a dinner party at her house. In attendance were Woody Allen and his wife, Soon-Yi. Piers couldn't resist temptation and asked Woody: "Would it be inappropriate to ask you to come on my show for an interview?"
A shocked Barbara Walters shrieked "Yes it would be inappwopwiate!"
Rupert Murdoch – Piers used to work for Rupert when he was a newspaper editor in London and after the phone hacking scandal (which Piers was brought into but denies involvement in) he reached out and asked the media tycoon for an interview. After several emails, Murdoch wrote back that on a scale of one to one hundred, Piers had a less than zero chance of an interview.
Mel Gibson – Piers really wanted to interview Mel Gibson during the height of his mania – the famous "smile and blow me!" voice mails he left his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva – so he took the bull by the horns and showed up at Gibson's house.
Gibson opened the door, eyes bloodshot, bleeding from his temple, and let Piers in. They talked for a while and sat on Gibson's terrace. Gibson was ranting and emotional and Piers decided that for once it wasn't about ratings; it was about being a human being. He didn't have Gibson on, fearing that while he might get great, Robert Blake-like TV out of it, he couldn't bare it if he heard that Gibson had harmed himself in the wake of a public meltdown.
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