Much Ado About A Grumpy Old Guy


I really wonder what has happened to the world of pop culture when being annoying during a radio interview turns into a big deal.

I watched with amusement this week the absolute outrage over Billy Bob Thornton’s behaviour on a national radio show.

Sure he was childish and uncooperative, the host pissed him off and he made no effort to play nice.

Did he flip the finger ? Did he trash the studio ? Did he throw a chair ? Did he punch anyone out ? No.

He was, everyone seems to think, snarky and rude.


Having produced hundreds of interviews over the years, this is hardly an earth-shattering event. I can’t even begin to count the number of band interviews that were wash-outs, either because the band wasn’t interested in talking, or just thought the host was a dork. Sometimes we aired them just because, but usually, we just tossed them out. I’ve seen fire extinguishers thrown across the room, equipment knocked over, and more than a few worn-out and tired musicians storm out of studio mid-interview.

Petulance ?

That wouldn’t even warm up the tubes.

I don’t think it’s ok to be rude and uncooperative in an interview, but it happens. It’s not a big deal. After all, the music business should be high octane – bristling with echoes of its rebellious heritage. People living on the edge, staying up late, smoking.

Shit happens.

Given the choice between kiss ass, do as your told, smile at the idiot reading his lines across the microphone, and say, being a little snarky – I’ll take the latter any day.

One thought on “Much Ado About A Grumpy Old Guy”

  1. Nicely put, Robert.

    Although, having watched the interview, I have to say that the really sad thing about it is how pathetic BBT is in his responses. I don’t see as much “snarky” as confusion.

    If, after all his years in show business, you can’t muster up something a bit more substantial than “passive aggressive” then you might want to consider getting some media training or look into therapy.

    In fact, there is a disturbing whiff of “not quite on this planet” to his reaction.

    I think that is really what is driving the interest in this interview, although no one seems to be speaking about it.

    He is sort of like a car wreck that people can’t help themselves from looking at. Is it mental illness? Personality disorder? It is sufficiently weird that you can’t help but wonder.

    I also feel sorry for his band mates. They look so uncomfortable.

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