I had the really tremedous pleasure of watching Jian record Q live in NYC earlier tonight. They did the show WNYC's really great little live studio in SoHo -- maybe 100 people in the room? I was really really impressed with Jian. Living in NYC, I've seen a million shows recorded, and I've never seen a host who was actually a host to the audience as well as to the guests on his show. He came out a few minutes before the show started and told us how everything would work, and then he fielded questions from the audience up till literally like 6 seconds before the show started. (Questions about anything, by the way. One guy actually asked if there'd ever be an end to the hiatus. Jian was clear that we shouldn't hold our breath, but he was also surprisingly certain-sounding that they'd play together again someday).
But yeah, he was chatty through the whole show. Anytime there was a break in the action, he was gabbing away with the audience. Joy Behar was the first guest on the show, and she kind of ate him alive. He was remarkably candid during the 90 second break after her interview that he felt like he got a little beat up and needed to steal himself to take on Fran friggin' Lebowitz next. Later in the show, there was an issue with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams running late for the show. (He was stuck in traffic. As he put it when he arrived, "Everyone is drunk and standing in the middle of the street." Ah, St. Patrick's Day in NYC.) But yeah, the show's producer came out to talk to Jian about how to rearrange the show to account for Brian Williams' tardiness, and Jian told him to talk louder so we could all listen to the conversation. And after the show ended, he hung out for a little Q&A action and to chat with anyone who wanted to say hi.
I just thought it was really great. The show looked absolutely exhausting to do, and I wouldn't for a second have held it against him if he'd taken his little 90 second breaks in the action to focus on the next guest, but no ... he was just chatting, chatting, chatting. If Q ever comes to your town, make sure you get tickets. I expected to enjoy myself, but I was really surprised how totally fun and fantastic it was in pretty much every single way possible. Great, great night!
And yeah, I've got Dave on the calendar for a little over a week from now. He's playing piano for Ron Sexsmith on his current tour, so I snagged a ticket for the show at Highline Ballroom in NYC. Really looking forward to it!