In the 1990's, James Lipton burst onto the basic cable scene with Inside the Actor's Studio, a TV interview show where Lipton interviewed name-actors. It was a fun program, not devoid of talk-show cheesiness, but also occasionally insightful and felt like actors sort of let their guard down, but also basked in the attention of starry-eyed young actors.
Lipton became a household celebrity himself, his mannered approach and just off-center style entertaining on its own.
James Lipton has passed at the age of 93.
I was never an aspiring actor, but I was always fascinated by the 10 final questions Lipton would ask as he closed down an episode. So, here are my answers:
- What is your favorite word? - howdy
- What is your least favorite word? - abbatoir
- What turns you on? - intelligent curiosity
- What turns you off? - lack of empathy
- What sound or noise do you love? - dog feet on the stairs or the crack of a bat on ball hitting a homerun
- What sound or noise do you hate? - beep of medical monitors
- What is your favorite curse word? - Fuck (it's so flexible!), but especially in the context of JFC
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? - K9 officer
- What profession would you not like to do? - flight attendant
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? - "all the dogs you ever had are over there with those books you never got around to reading"