James Lipton ‘not ashamed’ of being a pimp
Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY8:29 a.m. EDT May 30, 2013
“…The host, 86, revealed in an interview with Parade that he was a pimp in Paris in the 1950s…”
As a philosophical Biblical scholar, I know the answer to the question from Jeremiah, “Can a leper change its spots?” is a resounding “No.” As someone who is currently putting off doing productive work, I did some Internet sleuthing to divine whether Mr. Lipton had ever really left the profession. As the transcripts from his 4.20.2013 interview with Holland Taylor reveal, I think he has actually expanded into pornography.
Here are some excerpts:
James Lipton: Our guest tonight, Holland Taylor, is best known for her work on Bosom Buddies, The Practice, Two and a Half Men, and her play about Texas Governor Ann Richards, Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards, has yielded much critical acclaim. Ms. Taylor, it’s an honor to have you on our show tonight.
Holland Taylor: Thank you, James. It’s great to see you again, and it’s great to be here.
JL: Were you nervous playing Governor Richards? She was quite a lady.
HT: Yes she was. Very compassionate and down-to-earth, but also a very domineering presence.
JL: “Domineering.” I like that; very exciting.
HT: Yes, and I really admired the humility she showed when she lost her re-election bid to Bush. As an artist, I really tried to tap into that spirit.
JL: Trying to tap into a domineering woman having to surrender to Bush. Yes, I like that concept. Tell us about the gestalt involved in that.
HT: I—I don’t quite understand the question.
HT: I think one of my favorite actors to work with—and this is easy to say now because he’s become so big—was Tom Hanks.
JL: Yes, I know for a fact that he is big. And you’re referring, of course, to your work on Bosom Buddies.
HT: My first love is the the-at-re, but it was the kind of commercial success that that show, you know, that the show brought that allowed me the freedom to do what I wanted, like more in a creative sense.
JL: Have you had many “bosom buddies” in your wonderful life? You seem very worldly.
HT: Well, yes, I’ve had many intimate female friends over the years.
JL: Wonderful! Could you give us some details? Who?
HT: Geez, where to begin? First and foremost, I guess, would be my mother, God bless her—
JL: Kinky! I’m picturing it right now, running the film through my cerebellum as we speak.
HT: Uh, I’m not sure we’re on the same page here, James.
JL: Oh, well sometimes you just have to chuck the script and go with the moment.
HT: Well as an actor, I certainly know what you mean. The profession, in a sense, is predicated on just kind of going with things.
JL: Allowing yourself to be naked in front of strangers. That’s essentially what you get paid for. Is that a fair assessment?
HT: Well, emotionally, yes, that’s what we do.
JL: Could you please just come right out and say it?
HT: Come again?
HT: When they approached me about doing Two and a Half Men, I was a tough sell at first.
JL: Because you had never done two and a half men before?
HT: Well how could I? I was in the pilot.
JL: I have a midget friend, who–
HT: Excuse me?
JL: Tell me about Charlie Sheen, about working with him. We’ve all heard the stories.
HT: Charlie was wonderful to work with! I can’t emphasize that enough. Very professional on the set. Real hard worker.
HT: He loves his work. He’s passionate about it.
JL: A stallion with lots of stamina, just ready to thrust himself fully into his work with utter abandon.
HT: Wow, I mean, that’s some colorful language, James, but if you want to put it that way—
JL: Yes, I do want to put it that way. Hold on, I need a moment here.
HT: It is your show.
JL: You’re damn right it’s my show and I shall conduct myself however I see fit!
[At this point, James Lipton appears ready to strike Holland Taylor, but he seems to rein in the urge. She begins to squirm uncomfortably and look offstage at a producer.]
JL: There was a lot of buzz when Miley Cyrus appeared on the show. I’ve admired her work since her days on Hannah Montana. I think with that show, she really began to mature, to blossom in the third season. As an actress, of course.
HT: Uh, I guess. We really didn’t work together when she was on Two and a Half Men.
JL: You didn’t?
HT: No, you see, I want to talk about my work with—
JL: Well, that’s quite a stunning disappointment. So you wouldn’t know anything about her dressing room, I take it?
HT: No. I don’t know.
JL: I was just curious as to whether she had any piercings, I mean ones that aren’t visible when she’s on the Red Carpet.
HT: With all due respect, I don’t know why we’re discussing matters like Miley Cyrus and the Red Carpet.
JL: I don’t think she’s a natural blonde, while we’re on the subject. Do you think–
HT: I’m going to have to stop you right there. I’m going to have to leave this interview, Mr. Lipton. I think you should go get some sleep.
JL: Yes, I do think I shall retire to my dressing room post haste. It’s been a pleasure interviewing you. Holland Bosom, everyone. A true legend. Join us next peek.