Quora Digest #2

Over the last few months, I’ve answered a number of questions on Quora. The topics I’ve responded to range from my professional experience (talk shows and television producing) to my personal interests (basketball and rhyming stories). By answering questions about topics I *think* I know about, I begin to understand them more deeply. To encourage this learning process, I’ll share a post each month that includes excerpts from 10 of my favorite answers here. Click through to see the full response.


Q: What is the nursery rhyme?
A: “The nursery rhyme is oft said before bed
Like Mother Goose and Little Bo Peep’s Lost Sheep
They’re stories and tales that fill up kids’ heads
And – parents pray – get them to fall fast asleep.”

Q: Will the Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship in 2017?
A: “…They’re not as consistent as the Spurs have been over the past decade in team play, and they don’t have a player with the nose-down, do-what-it-takes-to-win determination of LeBron. At least, not yet.”

Q: Why doesn’t CNN stop their guests from interrupting each other?
A: “For the same reason that Jerry Springer’s security guys don’t rush to keep the guests from smacking each other around: people want to watch conflict…”

Q: Would Conan O’Brien have been better off going to FOX in 2010 instead of TBS?
A: “Since 2010, TBS has had a number of late night shows, including Lopez Tonight, The Pete Holmes Show, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. They’ve all been paired on the schedule with Conan’s show.

Since 2010, Fox has had no late night talk shows…”

Q: How many people are needed to air a live sports broadcast?
A: “With Facebook Live, you could broadcast a sporting event with one person…”

Q: How can someone get a talk show to run and sponsor a story?
A: “If you’re asking a TV show to sponsor and run the event, you need to pitch [it] in a way that is mutually beneficial…”

Q: Do the nightly talk show hosts and pundits influence how you will actually vote on election day? Why?
A: “They don’t influence how I’ll vote in this election because this election isn’t a race between two competent presidential candidates…”

Q: What type of music is used for a local talk show?
A: “…They may also reach out to local musicians or bands and pay them to record a few versions of a single song that the show can use over and over again, or just pay them to license an already recorded song.”

Q: What are some effective ways for someone with a cause to go from 0 to being an effective activist and to being invited to talk shows and other events?
A: “To get invited to talk shows and other events, I recommend figuring out your story, and the story of your cause. Communicate that story with visuals. Communicate that story with humans…”

Q: How are guests selected to appear on late night talk shows?
A: “Will they talk to us first? – Being the first stop on the talk show circuit is a big plus. It means that you have a nearly blank check as far as what you can talk about and do with the celebrity, since they won’t have talked about much in their life since their last romp on the circuit…”

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